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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.

Classes Begin at Charlotte Engineering Early College

Classes get under way Monday, Aug. 25, at the new Charlotte Engineering Early College, located in the shadow of EPIC. It is the first of its kind for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). The inaugural class of 100 ninth-graders from across Mecklenburg County will delve into a curriculum that focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses, with a special emphasis on energy and engineering.

The young students who comprise the first class at Charlotte Engineering Early College will spend three years on high school courses followed by two more years of college course work at no charge. Program leaders envision the school as a blueprint for the future of STEM education in the region, state and perhaps even the nation. High on the list of goals is to discover ways to bring in more female students, minorities and first-generation college students.