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Kato Named Cone Early-Career Professor

Fumie Kato, associate professor in the Department of Languages and Culture Studies, is the 2014 recipient of the Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professorship for Teaching. Her selection was announced during the annual University Convocation Tuesday, Aug. 19.

Provost Joan Lorden, in revealing the honor, said, "Kato uses her expertise in applied linguistics with emphases on language pedagogy, student motivation and learning strategies to strengthen the degree program and inspire her colleagues."

Interest in UNC Charlotte’s Japanese studies has skyrocketed during Kato’s time as program coordinator. Between fall 2002, when she first joined the program, and fall 2013, the number of Japanese courses offered has increased from six to 22. The number of exchange partner universities in Japan has increased from two to six, and the number of students enrolled in the Japanese courses has grown from 258 students to 856. These accomplishments led to the establishment of the Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Studies in 2011.

Cruz Receives 2014 McColl Award

Performing artist CarlosAlexis Cruz is the 2014 McColl Award winner. An assistant professor of voice and movement in the College of Arts + Architecture, Cruz received the honor for the project "Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque," which translates to "New South, New Circus." Presented by the Arts & Science Council, the McColl Award is named in honor of Hugh and Jane McColl; it is given every three years. The award comes with a $25,000 grant that Cruz will use to implement his project.

Cruz will learn and incorporate "underground" dance, acrobatic and physical theater scenes that thrive within local ethnic communities into cirque-style performances. The project will include neighborhood residencies expected to take place between January and December 2015 and a main stage production in the spring of 2016.

"Nothing like this has ever been done in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, so we are excited to see what Carlos creates," said ASC President Robert Bush. "It’s something that will bring our community together in the truest sense – not only will Carlos bring talented underground performers to the forefront, but his project will tie their stories and traditions to the larger story of our city and county."