MSU International - Volume 2, Spring 2001
Who's Who
     

Asian Studies Center


Michael Lewis
Department of History Professor Michael Lewis has been appointed director of MSU's Asian Studies Center (ASN) after serving as acting director during 1999-2000. Under his leadership, the center drafted and submitted the successful grant proposal which resulted in asn being designated a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center. (See related article, p. 5.)

Lewis earned a doctorate in modern Japanese history from Stanford, and also holds master's degrees in Chinese history and Japanese history from Claremont Graduate School and Stanford, respectively. His graduate and postgraduate work includes two years at the Law Faculty of Tokyo University and visiting professorships at other Japanese universities.

Lewis's recent academic work investigates the process of nation building in modern Japan and the often prickly relationship between the central state and citizens living in so-called peripheral regions. Becoming Apart, his study of national integration and popular protest, was published in August 2000 and was nominated by its publisher, Harvard University Press, for the 2000 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Joining Lewis in expanding the center's range of activities and services to students, faculty, and the wider MSU community are Hiromi Maenaka, the recently appointed ASN assistant director, and Les Adler, hired as ASN's outreach coordinator in September 2000. Maenaka has just completed her PhD in mass media from MSU. She also holds two MSU master's degrees, an MBA in marketing, and an MA in communication. Adler received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan. He holds master's degrees in anthropology from Michigan and social work from Berkeley.

As ASN director, Lewis aims at continuing to make the center an essential resource for learning, teaching, and creating an informed understanding of Asia. Funds from the Title VI grant, as well as the recent gift to isp from Delia Koo (see related article, p. 2), promise to enhance the center's activities in this regard.

With its newly expanded staff, ASN has been able to partner more energetically with other units at MSU on various teaching and outreach initiatives. One such initiative seeks to extend MSU's offerings of "less-commonly-taught languages" (LCTLs). Historically, the majority of LCTLs offered have been languages of Africa, but the popularity of the recently piloted introductory Nepalese class, which was filled to capacity, strongly suggests that the Asian Studies Center is in tune with the needs of its constituents.

Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program


Irwin Widders
Irvin E. Widders, professor in the Department of Horticulture, was named director of the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) at MSU, effective June 1, 2000. He had been acting director since fall 1998.

The Bean/Cowpea CRSP, one of nine CRSP nationally funded by USAID, was founded in 1980. It is a research and training program that supports international research partnerships to increase the availability of beans and cowpeas, ultimately contributing to improved nutrition of target populations through enhanced consumption. Scientists from 12 U.S. universities in partnership with host-country scientists from 11 countries in Latin America/Caribbean, and West and East Africa collaborate on a variety of research projects. Michigan State University serves as the management entity for the Bean/ Cowpea CRSP, administering the financial and technical aspects of the program, which is administratively part of MSU's Institute of International Agriculture.

Widders, who holds a PhD in plant physiology from the University of California-Davis, has been on the MSU faculty since 1982. His research has centered on environmental physiology, plant mineral nutrition, and integrated production management of processing vegetable crops.

Dr. Patricia Barnes-McConnell, who had directed the center since 1983, is pursuing related projects as she prepares for retirement from MSU.

For more information about the program and its activities, see http://legumelab.msu.edu/.

Center for Advanced Study of International Development


Jeff Riedinger
International Studies and Programs Associate Dean Jeff Riedinger, who served as codirector of the Center for Advanced Study of International Development (CASID) during 1999-2000, has been appointed director of the center beginning fall 2000.

Riedinger, who holds a JD in environmental and natural resource law from the University of Washington and a PhD from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, is an associate professor in the Department of Resource Development. In his announcement of this expanded leadership role in July 2000, College of Social Science Acting Dean Phil Smith said, "With more than 20 years of international development experience in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, Dr. Riedinger is well qualified to assume the responsibility of leading CASID as it seeks to expand its curricular, research, and outreach mission in international education."

Riedinger's academic work applies theories of political economy and state-society relations to problems of economic development, particularly in the area of redistributive agrarian reform. He is particularly interested in the way that political liberalization and democratization reforms affect the distribution of economic assets, such as land, and in the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the formulation and implementation of development policies. He seeks to draw attention to the importance of political institutions and political processes in determining who benefits and who is harmed during the development of poor countries.

Tom Carroll, who had served as CASID's director for two decades, will continue his affiliation with the center as director emeritus and senior consultant, while concurrently filling a joint assignment in the Office of the Dean of the College of Social Science. Under Carroll's leadership, CASID has had the distinction of being the only international studies center to receive continuous US/ED Title VI funding since 1981.

Institute of International Agriculture


Dan Clay
Dan Clay was appointed director of the Institute of International Agriculture (IIA) on August 1, 2000. Dan brings a wealth of international experience and knowledge to this position and aspires to work closely with faculty in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and other colleges to improve international agriculture and natural resources programs at MSU.

Clay completed his graduate work at MSU in rural sociology program with a focus on international development and demography. He worked in Washington, D.C., for eight years at the International Statistical Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau, concentrating on agricultural development, population, and health.

At MSU, he has had leadership roles in the Rwanda Agricultural Surveys and Policy Analysis Project and the Rwanda Food Security Research Project, programs which addressed a series of policy research issues including income diversification, farm inputs use, land degradation, food availability and nutrition, agricultural productivity, and food aid targeting and impacts. Clay joined IIA in 1996, where he became a leader in many of the institute's program development activities. He has helped to bring several interdisciplinary projects to MSU, including Broadening Access and Strengthening Input Market Systems (BASIS), Rural and Agricultural Incomes with a Sustainable Environment (RAISE), and the Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL). Most recently, he coordinated MSU's successful application for a $2.9 million USAID Higher Education Partnership Grant. (See related article, p. 6.)

Clay replaces former acting director Russ Freed, who headed IIA since February 1998. A professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Freed is an agronomist whose current work focuses specifically on oats and canola.

International Studies and Programs


Murari Suvedi
International Studies and Programs recently announced the appointment of Murari Suvedi to be part-time assistant dean, effective February 2001. Suvedi is an associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Education and Communication Systems (ANRECS), where he has coordinated the activities of the Center for Evaluative Studies since 1992. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Extension Education from MSU. Prior to coming to MSU, he was a lecturer at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science at Tribhuvan University in his native Nepal. He has worked in the field of agricultural extension for a quarter of a century.

Suvedi's academic work focuses on program evaluation and his expertise is much in demand by agencies such as the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank. He has assisted in the evaluation and/or design of agricultural extension and rural development projects in Costa Rica, Equador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nepal. He is also the developer and coordinator of MSU's popular semester-long study abroad program in Nepal.

In announcing Suvedi's newest set of responsibilities, ISP Dean John Hudzik said, "We look forward to Murari Suvedi joining our office as he will bring his considerable talent, experience, and energy to International Studies and Programs."