Once focused on a career in chemistry, Janice Glowski took an extreme turn after graduation and subsequent service in the Peace Corps, thanks to a few courses in religious studies and encouraging professors at Wittenberg.
“My chemistry adviser, Dave Finster, besides being an excellent teacher, opened the door to exploring others cultures,” Glowski said. “He helped me get the permissions necessary to study abroad. To my knowledge, this wasn’t the usual practice for chemistry majors at the time. In fact, I think I may have been the first chemistry major they let study abroad, but I’m not certain.”
Now a foremost scholar in Asian art history, having received or participated in numerous research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, among others, Glowski has dedicated her life to exploring cultures, religions and artistic traditions.
“Just when I think I’ve got a handle on some aspect of history, art, religion or culture, I realize how much I don’t know, and how much more there is to learn,” she explained.
Currently an award-winning independent scholar following 12 years at The Ohio State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Asian Art history and served as curator of the John C. and Susan L. Huntington photographic archives of Buddhist and related art, Glowski has traveled the world throughout her career. A few years ago, Glowski accompanied a team to Nepal to photograph the Buddhist archeological and artistic remains of the Katmandu Valley, and she is now the curator of a traveling exhibit on one of the first artists in the world to use computers to create art, Charles A. Csuri.
“Asian art is incredible, in and of itself,” said Glowski, who also credits Wittenberg professors Eugene Swanger, Anne Terry and the late Herbert Wolfe, for inspiring her to choose this path.
“It’s vast and deep and so diverse that I think there is something for everyone to appreciate."'