Montevallo professor receives grant to study Japanese culture

A University of Montevallo political science professor hopes to add Asian studies to UM&8217;s curriculum, after receiving a prestigious grant to study the culture of Japan.

Scott Turner, who four years ago taught in Kenya under a Fulbright Scholarship, has been awarded a Sasakawa Fellowship by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

He is one of about 20 educators chosen from across the nation for the fellowship. Turner will attend the National Faculty Development Institute on &8220;Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum&8221; at San Diego State University June 4-22.

&8220;I applied for the award because I&8217;m interested in developing myself professionally in a new direction &045; I don&8217;t know much about Asia,&8221; said Turner. &8220;At a minimum, I hope to develop a course in Asian politics.&8221;

Designed for university faculty members who have no experience in Japanese studies but who wish to incorporate information about Japan into the courses they teach, the three-week institute will focus on the study of modern Japan by allowing participants to learn from scholars, business leaders, artists and journalists about Japanese civilization, history, language, business and education.

&8220;I also hope that this is just the first step in my own professional development in this area, and toward that end, I would love to see Montevallo develop an Asian studies program,&8221; he said.

Turner, a member of the faculty at Montevallo since 1995, has taught a number of classes ranging in topic from African, Middle East and European politics to international relations and organizations, the science of politics, and citizenship and public service.