Skip to: search, navigation, or content.

Indiana University


K-12 East Asian Connection

Volume XVIII, Number 2

Spring/Summer 2016

Quick Links

Any questions? Contact us:

Theresa Kang
Director, NCTA

Anthony Ross

Outreach Coordinator

Read previous issues in our archive.


Stacey Gross, 2015 Illinois Art Educator of the Year

Congratulations to NCTA alumna Stacey Gross of Champaign Centennial High School, who has been recognized as the 2015 Illinois Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association! 


Stacey received her M.A. and B.F.A. in Art Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been teaching art at Centennial High School since 1994. Stacey currently serves as Centennial High School’s Fine Arts Content Area Chair and Champaign Unit School District 4’s K-12 Visual Arts Coordinator. She was also part of the East Asian & Pacific Studies Teacher Advisory Board.  


Throughout her teaching career, Stacey has taken a particular interest in Japanese art and culture, which was fully realized in 2006 when she participated in a 3-week Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund teacher program. Stacey attended world-class exhibits that taught the value of traditional, Japanese decorative and functional art and its relevance to the culture. When asked about her experience, Stacey stated, “I learned about wabi-sabi, and began to make connections in my own aesthetic; this had a profound effect on my own art-making, as I was transitioning from film to digital photography.”  


Following the Fulbright teacher program, Stacey became heavily involved with NCTA, starting with her participation in IU’s 2007 NCTA Teaching About Asia seminar in Urbana-Champaign. In 2008 and 2013, Stacey participated in two NCTA study tours to Japan, programs available only to NCTA alumni. Most memorable for Stacey on the latter tour, which focused on peace education, was hearing the story of Sadako Sasaki, a victim of the atomic bomb and one of the many children that the Children’s Peace Monument of Hiroshima commemorates. After hearing the story from Sadako’s brother, Stacey was inspired to develop lesson plans for a classroom project around the subject. That same year, her Peace Education in Japan and the U.S.: Curricula for Classrooms lesson plan: “Positive Peace Through Social Activism” was published by the Five College Center for East Asian Studies and NCTA.


Education about Asia remains a lifelong commitment for this teacher-practitioner, who believes that “students still have a very narrow range of experiences with Asian people and culture.” Using art, Stacey exposes her students to the region, developing assignments like her “100 Views of ____” series for a Digital Photography class, which was inspired by Hokusai’s “100 Views of Mt. Fuji." Despite her demanding schedule, Stacey continues work on her own wabi-sabi project which, along with her other work, can be viewed at   


We wish Stacey the best with her current and future projects and congratulate her again on receiving the 2015 Illinois Art Educator of the Year award! NCTA at Indiana University is very proud to count her among our alumni.

For a full press release on Stacey's award, please visit




Return to top of page >

2015 NCTA Teaching about Asia Seminars

In the spring and summer of 2015 EASC conducted three National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars. Over 30 K-12 educators throughout the Midwest learned about the history and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. Seminars were held in New Albany, IN; St. Paul, MN and Birmingham, AL. Those who successfully completed the seminars received books, school resources, and stipends. For more information about upcoming NCTA seminars, please see the NCTA seminar Web page.




Return to top of page >2015 NCTA Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

In July, EASC hosted its 17th annual Freeman Foundation funded workshop on Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School on the IU Bloomington campus. Twenty-one high school English and world literature teachers from all corners of the country participated in an intensive week of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities, guided by the experience and knowledge of an exceptional group of East Asian scholars: Chinese literature specialist Gary Xu (EALC and Comparative Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), China historian Xiaoqing Diana Chen-Lin (History, IU Northwest), Japanese literature specialist Andra Alvis (Asian Studies, DePauw University), Japan historian Susan Furukawa (Modern Languages and Literature, Beloit College), and Korean literature and history specialist Sean Kim (History and Anthropology, University of Central Missouri).


Every afternoon Cecilia Boyce (English, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL), a curriculum consultant, led teaching strategy sessions to assist teachers in developing lesson plans for their classrooms.Not only did the partcipants attend lectures and discussions, but they also enjoyed cultural activities such as a tour of the IU Art Museum, a Calligraphy session and Taiji practice, as well as screenings of East Asian films. As a final activity, participants used works such as Takahashi Takako's example of psychological realism literature, Congruent Figures, the Korean post-colonial short story, A Tale of Music by Kwi-Mi Kang, and the Chinese May Fourth Movement piece, Hands by Xiao Hong, to create syllabi designed to introduce high school students to the great possibilities of East Asian literature. For more information about the July 2016 workshop, please click here.



Return to top of page >

Summer Residential Program at the NCTA Coordinating Site at the University of Colorado at Boulder

Six NCTA alumni, George Dalbo (Minneapolis, MN; 2014), Kim Diorio (Bloomington, IN; 2012), Susan Flickinger (Chicago, IL; 2009), Noah Lawrence (Chicago, IL; 2008), Larry Leonhardt (Indianapolis, IN; 1999), and Lisa Mahler (Bloomington, IN; 2007) spent five days this summer exploring South Korea's distinct history, geography, intra-peninsular and international relations, and transnational cultural transmissions (e.g., K-pop, film, and design). The NCTA residential summer seminar, entitled “Korea's Journey into the 21st Century: Historical Contexts, Contemporary Issues” was hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder from June 13th -17th, 2015. Participants worked with specialists to learn about the Korean peninsula beyond the media coverage, drawing on Korean narratives and texts to enrich their teaching about contemporary South Korea in the classroom




Return to top of page >

NCTA Completes Two National Study Tours

Columbia University Study Tour

Two NCTA alumni, Laura Aysen (New Orleans, LA; 2008), and William Bauman (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; 2011) took part in the summer 2015 study tours to China (Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing) and Japan (Tokyo, Kamakura, Sendai, Nara, Kyoto and Osaka) sponsored by the NCTA site at Columbia University. This study tour was open to full-time teachers who have taught for at least two years and are currently teaching or supervising curriculum areas with significant Asia content. A total of 30 hours in NCTA-sponsored professional development programs were required as well. This 20-day study tour provided educators with a practical experience helpful in utilizing this new expertise and prepared educators to strengthen curriculum on East Asia in their school districts.


FCCEAS Study Tour

Two NCTA alumni, Jessica Buchta (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; 2010), and Duane Johansen (South Bend, IN; 2010) attended the 2015 Japan Study Tour offered by the Five College Center for East Asian Studies. This study tour required the participants to have completed an NCTA 30-hour seminar on East Asia. From June 26-July 9, the group traveled to Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Kyoto, Japan, to learn about peace education. Participants also had the opportunity to meet with Japanese teachers and students, and learn from scholars and others involved in peace efforts in Japan. Post-study tour activities included developing a curriculum project and leading a community presentation reflecting on their experience.


Click here for information on 2016 study tours.



Return to top of page >

IU Chinese Flagship Center's Flagship Chinese Institute

From June 5th to July 31st, 2015, the Indiana University Chinese Flagship Center hosted its summer 2015 Flagship Chinese Institute (FCI) for students of Mandarin Chinese at all levels.


Thirty-eight students from Indiana University and around the country participated in this residential intensive immersion program, focused on providing one full year of college-level Mandarin Chinese instruction in just eight weeks. Individuals received six to eight college credit hours while engaging in a full spectrum of active learning experiences and events. This program was funded with generous support from the IU College of Arts and Sciences.


The Chinese Flagship Center receives support and funding from the Language Flagship, which leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing a new paradigm for advanced language education.


Exceptional high school students are encouraged to apply. Admissions info can be found here.

Return to top of page >

Chinese Instruction for 2nd-through 8th-Grade Students

This fall, with the support of the Center for the Study of Global Change (CSGC), the Chinese Flagship Center, and EASC, a team of volunteer students from IU offered free Chinese language classes to 2nd- through 8th-grade students in Bloomington. In addition to learning Chinese through a communicative approach, students also engaged in activities that familiarized them with Chinese culture, such as a tea ceremony and dumpling making.


The classes took place at IU's Mathers Museum and are part of a larger project coordinated by CSGC—Bridges: Children, Languages, and World— which also provides instruction in Russian. Find the class schedule for this past fall session here.



Return to top of page >EASC Webinar Series Wraps up Successful Third Season

This past spring EASC hosted three webinars, accessible through Webinars are free for educators and feature a range of topics pertaining to the histories and cultures of East Asia.


The first spring 2015 webinar, titled “Pop Culture, Song, Cinema, and the Korean Wave” was presented in February by EALC Professor Michael Robinson. The session discussed the origins of Korean pop culture, providing a historical context for understanding contemporary Hallyu (the "Korean Wave"). To access February’s webinar go to


The second webinar, titled “Spirits of the Mind: Gods, Ghosts, and Meditating Monks in Chinese Buddhist Art” occurred in March and featured Professor Phillip Bloom of IU’s Art History department. Bloom lectured on rituals associated with Buddhism through three medieval Chinese paintings that depicted both the external performance and mental visions of Buddhist ritualists. To access the presentation go to



In April, Professor Michael Dylan Foster of IU’s Folklore & Ethnomusicology department presented the third webinar, titled “Yokai: Monsters of Japanese Folklore.” The presentation introduced the concept of yokai, or “monsters,” and their significance in Japanese culture and history. To access the webinar, visit




Check your email for information on our Spring 2016 Webinar series!



Return to top of page >

IU's Third Korean Night                 

On October 3, EASC and The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago hosted an exciting evening of Korean performances, activities, and food. The event took place at the Willkie Auditorium on the IU Bloomington campus and attracted a crowd of over 500 educators, students, and Bloomington community members eager to learn more about Korea.

The evening kicked off with various traditional Korean activities and games such as yutnori (board game), jegi chagi (Korean hacky sack), ddakji (cardboard disks game), jongiijeopki (paper folding), hanguel (Korean) writing, and a hanbok wearing experience. A series of performances followed the activities: K-pop dance team, kagok (traditional vocal form), samulnori (percussion ensemble), and pansori (Korean traditional opera) highlighted the rich legacy and variety of Korean performance art.


Professor Donald Clark (Trinity University) was also on hand to sign free copies of his book Korea in World History. Following the signing, attendees were treated to samples of Korean cuisine including bulgogi, chapjae, and ddeokbokki. The night closed out with a K-pop dance performance by Bloomington’s Devil Force Dance Club.


Admission was free for all.


Interested in volunteering for next year's Korean Night? Check the EASC Volunteer page often for updates on how to get involved!

Return to top of page >