MACON – Mercer University's Department of International and Global Studies (IGS) was recently selected to serve as the new host for the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), a nonprofit educational organization established in 2004 to advance academic research, training and exchanges in Inner Asia.
“We very much appreciate Mercer's willingness to host the American Center for Mongolian Studies,” said Dr. Charles Krusekopf, outgoing executive director of ACMS, professor of international business at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, and visiting professor at the Management Institute in Innsbruck, Austria. “Previous hosts have included Austin College, Western Washington University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania, each of which have both contributed to and benefitted from their association with ACMS.”
ACMS began operations at Mercer on Oct. 1. Additionally, Dr. Jonathan Addleton, who serves as an adjunct professor of international and global studies, was appointed the new executive director of ACMS, providing U.S.-based strategic direction and support for the organization's office in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. ACMS sponsors a library, conferences, lecture series and other programs in Mongolia.
As a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., ACMS is part of a network of 25 similar centers, including “sister institutions” in Egypt, Jordan, India, Cambodia, Senegal and elsewhere.
Dr. Addleton joined Mercer's faculty in January following a 33-year career as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer that included assignments as U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia from 2009-2012 and USAID Mission Director in Mongolia from 2001-2004.
“It is both an honor and an opportunity for Mercer University to host ACMS and become part of the broader CAORC network,” added Dr. Addleton. “My hope is that this affiliation will further strengthen Mercer's international connections, not only with Mongolia but also with East Asia, Central Asia and beyond.”
Funding for ACMS programs related to Mongolia come from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, Luce Foundation, Asia Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. Ongoing activities include a summer fellowship program that provides opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to visit and conduct research in Mongolia.
“The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to host the ACMS and to work with Dr. Jonathan Addleton,” said Dr. Anita Gustafson, dean of the College. “I know that the Center will benefit Mercer students by providing expanded opportunities for cultural exchanges and international education.”
“The addition of ACMS to IGS will provide both depth and breadth to the variety of programs we offer in the department,” added Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and chair of international and global studies. “We look forward to working with Ambassador Addleton on student and faculty exchanges with Mongolia, course offerings on the region and possible service opportunities in the country through Mercer On Mission and other outlets. Our Asian studies, global development, global health and international affairs offerings will be richer and stronger as a result of the partnership with ACMS.”