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CAS Faculty International & Diversity Initiatives

Dr. Cory Willmott

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Dr. Wilmott is a founding and board member of GRASAC (the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Culture ), an international multi-ethnic collaborative research project. She has been a member of GRASAC since 2004. GRASAC is composed of three non-exclusive constituencies: academic researchers, museum professionals and aboriginal community members. The project is based in Canada, with Native American partners in Canada and USA and regular members in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and a few EU countries. GRASAC's goals are threefold: 1) to reunite cultural heritage materials that are currently in storage repositories all over the world in an online database; 2) to integrate and bring to bear on these materials the differing knowledge bases of the three constituent membership groups within GRASAC; and 3) to facilitate access to these materials of aboriginal community members. GRASAC members achieve these goals in two main ways: 1) through collaborative museum collections research in which groups that include members of all three constituencies travel to museums to study their collections and thereby learn from each other while they enter their observations and conclusions into the database - training of aboriginal students and museum professionals is also a strong element of this component; and 2) deployment of the database in aboriginal communities through teachers and artists that can build educational programs around the material in it. Visit GRASAC's website to learn more about the program.

Dr. Willmot has also been working on the project ENRICH (Electronic Network for Research on International China Heritage), a collaborative research project with Dr. Tom Lavellee to establish a distributed research network and database for faculty research. The project was initiated in January 2011. ENRICH is a research network of scholars, students, and community members focused on the study of China heritage. ENRICH's collaborative network, while international in scope, has its home base at SIUE where it involves the participation of American and international faculty and students. A S.T.E.P. grant funds Tom Lavallee's pilot project "A Digital Imaging of Temple Art and Decoration in the Xiamen City Area".

Dr. Willmot is also in the planning stage of coordinating collaborations with institutions in China, specifically Chengdu University, Sichuan Museum and Xiamen University.

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