University of Washington

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships

The Canadian Studies Center is a recipient of a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program grant. The grant provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to assist meritorious graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and Canadian Studies. Each fellowship includes an institutional payment and a subsistence allowance. The Canadian Studies Center is extremely proud in having awarded several Fellowships in least-commonly taught Canadian Aboriginal languages including Inuktitut, Dane-zaa, Musqueam Salish, and Anishinaabemowin.

FLAS Coordinator: Robyn Davies

FLAS Fellows 2012-2013
Former FLAS Fellows Currently Enrolled at the UW

2012-2013 FLAS Fellows

Luke Davies, Global Health
Summer FLAS 2012, French 
Luke's research involves the comparative immigration policy of Haitian refugees and immigrants to Canada and the United States. Luke studied French at the University of Washington during the summer. 

Brian Ferrasci-O'Malley, School of Law
Academic Year FLAS 2012-13, French
Brian's research involves Canada-U.S. transboundary environmental issues and how Aboriginal law and science interact within the environmental policy arena.

Michael Hank, Evans School of Public Affairs
Summer FLAS 2012, French
Michael's research concerns the cultural and social equity of Arctic peoples, Arctic governance and human security issues in the Far North. MIchael studied French at the Universite de Laval in Québec City, Québec during the summer. 

Read about Michael Hank in the UW Daily!
Read about Michael in the July Newsletter
FLAS Fellow Presents at the Beyond the Nature Conference: Rethinking Canadian & Environmental Studies

Hilary C. Johnson, Ethnomusicology
Summer FLAS 2012, French
Hilary is studying how musical traditions in Québec function to promote a sense of a “nation within a nation” in Canada, identity formation and cultural resistance. Hilary studied French at Point 3 Language Centre in Montreal, Québec during the summer. 

Winning the Inuksuk busines card holder! (06/12)


FLAS Ethnomusicology Awardee Spends the Summer in Montréal
by Hilary Johnson, Summer FLAS 2012, Ethnomusicology
This summer I was enrolled in six weeks of intensive French courses at POINT3 Language Center in the Old Port of Montréal. More ...

Kevin Kirkpatrick, JD, School of Law
FLAS 2012-2013, French
I’m curious about how deregulation of electricity markets by state and provincial governments starting in the 1980s and the implementation of NAFTA in the 1990s may play a role in determining new terms of the Columbia River Treaty in 2014.

Welcome New FLAS Fellow from the Law School! 

Allison Krebs, Information School
Summer FLAS 2012, Anishinaabemowin
Allison's research concerns how Indigenous information ecology diverges from Western information ecology to catalyze the creation of public policy. Allison studied Anishinaabemowin at Bay Mills Community College in Brimley, MI during the summer, and will study at Algoma Univesrity in Sault St.Marie, Ontario during the academic year.

Photo from Anishinaabemowin language immersion camp (2011). Allison is in the third row, fifth from the right.

Katherine LaPorte, Ethnomusicology
Summer FLAS 2012, French 
Kait is researching transnational queer art-activism in the United States and Canada with a queer indigenous studies framework. Her research focuses specifically on indie musicians and spoken word artists. Katherine studied French at the University of Washington and at the Alliance Francaise Seattle for the summer. 

Hollis-Anthony Ramsey, School of Law
Summer FLAS 2012 & Academic Year FLAS 2012-13, French 
Tony's research regards the legal issues facing the Inuit of Nunavik, Québec's Arctic policy, and Canadian Arctic policy more broadly. Tony studied French at the Universite de Québec a Montreal and at Seattle Languages International during the summer, and will study at the University of Washington during the academic year.

FLAS Fellow in Arctic Policy Spends Summer at Université de Québec

Michael D. Tillotson, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
Academic Year FLAS 2012-13, Tlingit
Michael's research will examine how traditional uses of marine resources by Tilingit and other indigenous groups might serve as the foundation of economic development in Native communities. The research will consider how the indigenous understanding of place might interact or conflict with economic development opportunities such as aquaculture, tourism and renewable energy.

Canada and the Pacific Northwest Coast


FLAS Fellows at the UW 

Joyce LeCompte-Mastenbrook, Anthropology
Academic Year FLAS 2008-09
My dissertation research explores the processes by which people come to understand and develop particular kinds of attachments to non-human nature through a comparative, trans-boundary study of human interactions with the mountain huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) and with the landscapes where it grows.
Chair: Stevan Harrell
Degree Exp: 2012
Julia Colleen Miller Julia Colleen Miller, Linguistics
Academic Year FLAS 2008-09
The Acoustics of Tone in Dane-Zaa (Athabaskan)
Julia is a doctoral candidate who has been a FLAS Fellow since 2006. Currently she is working with elders from two First Nations communities in northern British Columbia to create a lexical database for a dictionary of the language. Over the last couple of summers Julia took part in a collaborative project, Dane Wajich-Dane-zaa Stories and Songs.
Chair: Sharon Hargus
Degree Exp: 2012-2013


Canada and the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Michael Tillotson, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, 2012-2013 FLAS, Tlingit

As a student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, my studies focus on the physical and abstract interactions of the human and natural worlds in the marine environment. The coast is a particularly important place to study these interactions because of the incredible amount of human and natural activity that takes place in a relatively small area, and because of the rapid pace of change in coastal communities and ecosystems. For communities that have historically prospered based on their proximity to the ocean change has not always been kind. Very generally my research is intended to explore the ways in which place-dependent communities can survive in the face of change. There is perhaps no better example of a place-dependent community than the indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest. Not only do they have some of the longest standing traditions and ties to the land, but they have also demonstrated a huge capacity for adaptation, and continue to face some of the most significant challenges among coastal communities.

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have for time immemorial adapted to change along our coasts. Their way of life has survived the advance and retreat of glaciers, as well as to the advance of Europeans. Today the challenges faced by indigenous communities seem no less significant. They face changes in the marine resources on which they depend in addition to lingering social and economic issues. A lack of local economic opportunities can lead to migration away from communities which in turn weakens cultural ties to the place and its resources. My research seeks to address this issue by considering what types of economic development can successfully and sustainably utilize the cultural and natural resources of indigenous communities to ensure that they survive in the face of change.

With the generous funding of the FLAS fellowship I have been able to enroll in Tlingit language classes; an indigenous language of Southeast Alaska and Northern British Columbia. This opportunity has been challenging – Tlingit contains at least 20 sounds not used in English – and fascinating. I have been pleased to find that the language and the culture cannot be readily separated, and thus my language studies have been integral to gaining a better understanding of what is at risk of being lost if indigenous communities cannot find sustainable industries.

Throughout Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia indigenous communities are experimenting with industries that draw off their existing capacities while honoring culture. These include, for example, cultural tourism, aquaculture, seafood processing and renewable energy. Over the remainder of the year I will be working to evaluate such opportunities and their success in achieving the goal of cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in indigenous communities.

Funding for FLAS Fellowships is provided by a Center allocation from International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education. Visit our FLAS page:

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FLAS Fellow Presents at the Beyond the Nature Conference: Rethinking Canadian & Environmental Studies
by Michael Hank, Summer FLAS 2012, Evans School of Public Affairs

Michael with Matthew Evenden, Associate Professor Environment and Sustainability at the Canadian Studies Center at University of Washington, Sept 30, 2012 after discussion panel presentation.

Being asked not only to attend but, present a topic at this, my first academic conference as a presenter, by Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director of University of Washington’s Canadian Studies Center, was like, “sure I can do that….right?” Sponsored by the University of British Columbia’s Canada Studies Center, I was very much impressed to hear the many different and eclectic topics presented by Canadian Studies subject matter experts such as utilizing Canadian poetry in classes, how to extract water from icebergs for bottled water manufacturing, to expressions of various Canadian urban architecture concepts.

As a first year Evans School graduate student, attending this conference was a stimulating opportunity to observe as well as talk with academic professionals representing a wide range of backgrounds. Of main interest to me was how this information was orally presented. Public speaking and policy making go hand in hand, and this conference afforded me a firsthand opportunity on how to implement both.

Trying to bring a new twist to my presenter skills, I discussed how climate change has impacted inhabitants living in the Arctic regions of the Canadian white north while looking at the possible seeds of conflicts which could arise between neighboring Arctic states. From U.S. & Canadian military operations designed to claim Arctic territory while providing a strong and over-reaching national defence structure, the term “Cold War” may have new meaning.

As part of my graduate public affairs project, I hope to conduct area studies and research in the Canadian Arctic on these main policy issues. In retrospect, this conference provided me a look into utilizing new presentation skills while giving me an opportunity to meet with many other academic professionals dedicated to protecting and educating students about Canada’s Arctic region.”

Funding for FLAS Fellowships is provided by a Center allocation from International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education. Visit our FLAS page:

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FLAS Fellow in Arctic Policy Spends Summer at Université de Québec
by Tony Ramsey, Law School, FLAS Fellow, Summer 2012, French

Tony with two colleagues from the French program – Mona Poon, Montréal (left) and Andrea Matrasovs, Blue Mountains, Ontario. “We cooked a dinner with ingredients from Little Italy in Montréal and conducted the entire evening in French!”

A few short days after finishing finals, I was off to Montréal to participate in the Université de Québec à Montréal’s four-week Business French Immersion program. The program involved daily morning classes where we talked about a wide-range of topics in business, worked on vocabulary, and learned advanced level grammar. In the afternoons, we visited different Montréal-based businesses. The highlight of the program was our work on conversation, with assignments that included developing and administering a survey to strangers on campus and producing a news program with Radio Canada.

During the program, I had the oppocrtunity to spend four weeks in Montréal and experienced firsthand Montréal’s rich cultural offerings. From nightly forays into the yearly Francofolies music festival, which highlighted Francophone music the world over, to celebrating the “Fête Nationale” in the rain at Parc Maisonneuve, I relished the opportunity to explore Québécois culture.

My summer FLAS allowed me the opportunity to learn more about Québec culture and to develop my conversational abilities with other advanced speakers. I am grateful to the Canadian Studies Center for this opportunity as the experience has both strengthened my interest in working on cross-border legal issues and laid a firm foundation for my continuing studies in advanced French.

Tony's research regards the legal issues facing the Inuit of Nunavik, Québec's Arctic policy, and Canadian Arctic policy more broadly. Tony studied French at the Université de Québec à Montréal and at the Seattle Languages International during the summer and academic year.

Funding for FLAS Fellowships is provided by a Center allocation from International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education. Visit our FLAS page:

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Canadian Studies Center
University of Washington
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
F (206) 685-0668