The Tri-College LIASE Program

Professor Haili Kong's "Tea in China: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives" course offered students firsthand experience in tea farming and tea making.

Professor Haili Kong's "Tea in China: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives" course offered students firsthand experience in tea farming and tea making.

In 2015, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded a $701,000 grant to Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford Colleges (the Tri-Colleges) as part of the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE).  The grant supports innovative approaches to interdisciplinary teaching and learning about Asia and the environment.

The Tri-College LIASE program benefits Tri-College students through significant enhancements to the curriculum.  New and modified courses in a variety of disciplines will address environmental and sustainability issues in Asia, strengthening offerings in the Tri-College Environmental Studies Program, the Bi-Co (Bryn Mawr and Haverford) Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Swarthmore’s Asian Studies Program. 

Tri-College students will also participate in new experiential learning courses involving independent research, conversations with experts on Asia's environment and sustainability, and travel to Asia.  Bryn Mawr will lead the development of a new series of 360° courses dedicated to Asia and the environment. At Swarthmore, faculty will develop new interdisciplinary team-taught courses that provide opportunities for travel to relevant sites in Asia

The Tri-College LIASE program will also help to bring in visiting scholars, artists, and speakers to share ideas in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences on current topics in the environment and sustainability in Asia.

Over the course of the three-year grant, 30-40 faculty members and more than 400 students will participate in courses, travel to Asia, and special events.