Asian Studies Advisory Board

  • Amy Allocco
    Associate Professor of Religious Studies
    Spence Pavilion-Religion/Phil. 208
    2340 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-6484

    Dr. Allocco joined the Elon faculty in 2009 after earning her PhD in Emory University's Program in West & South Asian Religions. She is the 2012 recipient of Elon’s College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award and previously held the University’s Distinguished Emerging Scholar professorship in Religious Studies. In 2017 she was named the founding Director of Elon's Multifaith Scholars Program. Allocco teaches courses on the religions of South Asia, particularly Hinduism, as well as Hindu goddesses, ethnography, and gender in Islam. Her research focuses on vernacular Hinduism, especially contemporary Hindu ritual traditions and women's religious practices in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where she has been studying and conducting ethnographic fieldwork for more than 20 years. In addition to her current research project, Domesticating the Dead: Invitation and Installation Rituals in Tamil South India, Allocco has recently begun fieldwork among Tamil populations in Sri Lanka. Allocco’s work is animated by interests in the forms of religious change inspired by the new social and economic realities that characterize a globalizing South Asia, as well as narrative, everyday religion, and gender in urban India.

  • Xiaolin Duan
    Assistant Professor of History
    Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 101B
    2335 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-6425
    Specialty: China, East Asia, World History, Social and Cultural History, Urban Studies, Popular Religion, Material Culture

    Dr. Xiaolin Duan joined the Elon faculty in 2015 after teaching in Luther College, Iowa as a visiting professor for one year. Dr. Duan earned her Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Seattle in Chinese history (2014) and a Bachelor’s degree from Peking University (2008).

    Her research specialization focuses on socio-cultural history in medieval and early modern China, particularly urban history, popular religion, and visual/material culture. She is currently working on two research projects: one is a book manuscript titled “Leisure and Nature: Sightseeing around Hangzhou’s West Lake in Medieval China.” It explores how sightseeing activities influenced the way people interacted with and conceptualized the surrounding environment. The other project explores the connections between the global passion for silk and state-society relationships by tracing the production and trade of silk textiles in 17th-century China and Mexico.

    Dr. Duan teaches Chinese and East Asian history, including topical courses on the globalization of China, material culture, popular religion, women's history and environmental history. She also offers courses on the world in the 20th century and global core course on “The Sense of Place.” Both her research and teaching feature cross-cultural inquiry and incorporation of visual/material culture.

    She has mentored undergraduate research (Elon College Fellow, Teaching Fellow, CSRCS scholar, etc.) on varying topics, including post-war Sino-Japanese relationships, Korean national identity construction, Montagnard refugee, museum educations, etc.. Feel free to contact if you are interested. 


  • Binnan Gao
    Lecturer in Chinese
    Carlton Building 330
    2125 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5238

    Binnan Gao received her Ph.D. in second language acquisition from the University of Iowa in 2009. She was formerly employed at Harvard University before joining Elon faculty in 2014. She believes in engaging students with meaningful and real-life tasks in the language classroom and is passionate about teaching Chinese language and culture through films. Her scholarly interests include second language reading and writing, second language acquisition of grammar and vocabulary, and heritage learners. Her hometown is Harbin, the capital city of the farthest north province of China, Heilongjiang province. She misses its cool breeze and picnics on the Songhua riverside in the summer, beautiful ice-sculptures in the winter, and the local cuisine and snacks, such as the wine filled chocolate and sourdough. 

  • Raj Gupta
    Associate Professor of Finance and Director of the William Garrard Reed Finance Center
    Koury Business Center 222
    2075 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5962

    Neeraj “Raj” J. Gupta, associate professor of finance and director of the Reed Finance Center at Elon University, has a doctorate in finance from the University of Connecticut, and is an active CFA charterholder.  He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Delhi and an MBA from Babson College.  He has over ten years of industry experience in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, having worked for Nestlé, Xerox, and Claridges Investments (a boutique asset management firm).

    Neeraj has taught various finance courses, including principles of finance, corporate finance, and investments, to undergraduate and MBA students at both Elon and UConn.  He has led study abroad business courses to the Pacific Rim (Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and to the Indo-Gulf (India and Dubai).

    His research interests are in investments, corporate finance, financial planning and international finance with ongoing research in sustainable investing, designing efficient retirement portfolios, valuing intangible investments, fund-flows & returns in emerging markets, and valuing long-dated options. His research has been published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals such as Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Journal of Economics and Finance, Financial Services Review, and others.

    In the recent past, Neeraj has consulted for The Clearing House, the Business North Carolina magazine, and the NC Special Court for Complex Business Cases.

  • Jason Kirk
    Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies
    Gray Pavilion - Pol. Science 210D
    2333 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-6633
    Specialty: Politics and International Relations of India

    I joined the Elon faculty in 2008. My Ph.D. (2005) is in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and I previously taught at The Virginia Military Institute (2006-08).

    I was born in Chapel Hill, grew up in Charlotte, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. (1997) in international studies and journalism & mass communication. I developed an interest in India as an undergraduate, originally intending to pursue photojournalism, and spent a semester in Bangalore in 1996. It was an extraordinary time to experience this dynamic city, still early in its emergence as a center of India's IT revolution.

    The surprise nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in May 1998 (and a token of advice from my favorite journalist, Steve Coll) sealed my intent to pursue advanced study of contemporary India and South Asia. As a child of the late Cold War, I continue to have an interest in nuclear proliferation and deterrence, but my main scholarly interests are in the politics of India. My dissertation at Penn, on the evolution of World Bank assistance to India, laid the foundation for my book India and the World Bank: The Politics of Aid and Influence (London, New York and Delhi: Anthem Press, 2011, 2010).

    I live in Chapel Hill with my wife Deepa, a clinical endocrinologist at UNC, and our children Arun (b. 2002) and Uma (b. 2006). I am an avid reader, runner, and watcher of Tar Heel basketball. I enjoy rock and Americana music, and I'm always open to suggestions for songs with political themes to play before class begins.

  • Glenn Scott
    Associate Professor of Communications
    Schar Hall- Communications Bld 214E
    2850 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5791

    Glenn W. Scott teaches courses in journalism, media writing, research, international communications and occasionally in sports & media at Elon.  Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, he is serving as faculty in residence and living along with his family in an apartment in Elon's Global Neighborhood. His aim is to engage students in academically vibrant conversations and activities outside of classrooms. He also is serving as adviser to one of the best-known residential communities on campus, the International Living & Learning Community, which also calls home one of the residence halls on the north side of campus, known as the Global Neighborhood. This community offers students chances for multicultural interaction, as about half of the students are U.S. residents and the others come from nations around the world.

    His research interests focus on participatory journalism, commentary writing, media practices in the Asia-Pacific region, and coverage of international sporting activities.  He also takes pride in mentoring undergraduates in their scholarship.  As campus coordinator for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, he aims to give students real looks at the importance of international humanitarian reporting.

    In the 2011-12 school year, thanks to a Fulbright grant, he taught courses on global media and U.S. culture(s) at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan.  He has worked and lived in Japan for a total of four years.

    After a year fully enrolled at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, as an Asian Studies fellow, he earned his doctorate in journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to his return to higher education, he worked for more than two decades as a newspaper editor, metro columnist, and reporter at papers including The Honolulu Advertiser, The Modesto Bee, Nikkei Weekly, and Pacific Stars & Stripes (in Japan).  In a parallel career, he traveled widely as a correspondent covering international volleyball, working at many championship events, including a handful of Olympic summer games.

  • Rhonda Waller
    Director of Study Abroad
    Global Commons 308
    2375 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5185

    Rhonda joined the staff in the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center in September 2014.  She is eager to continue work towards the institutional goal of 100% access to global engagement as articulated in The Elon Commitment strategic plan.

    Waller is currently involved in several campus committees and initiatives including:

    • Experiential Education Advisory Committee 
    • GEC Advisory Committee, non-voting member
    • Asian Studies Committee
    • International & Global Studies (IGS) Committee
  • Pamela Winfield
    Associate Professor of Religious Studies
    Spence Pavilion-Religion/Phil. 212
    2340 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5128
  • Honglin Xiao
    Associate Professor of Geography
    Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 112H
    2335 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-6408
  • Chalmers Brumbaugh
    Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Political Science
    Powell House 202
    2333 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-6489

    Chalmers Brumbaugh joined the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Elon University in 1986.  Throughout his career, Brumbaugh has devoted his energies to Elon’s model of engaged and experiential learning.  In 1995 he was honored at Elon for his outstanding work in the area of Service Learning.  In 2008, the University bestowed Brumbaugh with its Award for Excellence in Mentoring.  In 2011 and 2012, he was named Advisor of the Year in North Carolina for his work with Elon’s chapter of the North Carolina Student Legislature.  Currently, Brumbaugh oversees the International Studies program.  During the traditional semester periods, Brumbaugh teaches courses in Latin American politics and American Government.  During the winter term, Brumbaugh takes students to Costa Rica to study Latin American politics, history and culture.

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