Urban Geography

Chris Willer Head Shot

Christopher Willer

Department of Geography
Ph.D. Student and Teaching Assistant
Campus:
Kent
Office Location:
445B McGilvrey Hall
Office Hours:
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Contact Information
Biography

I am a third year doctoral student in the Department of Geography.  I arrived in Kent in the Fall of 2014 after I completed my B.A. in History at SUNY Geneseo to pursue my M.A. in Geography at Kent (2016).

I consider myself a broadly trained geographer with a wide-range of interests.  However, my current work lies primarily within urban geography, GIS, and community planning.  More specifically, my dissertation, loosely titled A 'Place' on Main Street: the Geography of Place Marketing, Branding, and Promotion in downtown, examines the geography of the National Main Street Program and how its local programs market and brand small-city downtowns.

Teaching includes: Geography of U.S. & Canada, Cities & Urbanization, World Geography, and Physical Geography Lab

 

Master's thesis: “It Takes a Village”: Urban Change in the Elmwood Neighborhood, 1990-2016

Education
M.A. Geography, Kent State University (2016), B.A. History, State University of New York, College at Geneseo (2014)
Expertise
Urban Geography, GIS, Community Planning
Publications
  • Mapes, J., Kaplan, D., Turner, V. K., & Willer, C. (2017). Building ‘College Town’: Economic redevelopment and the construction of community. Local Economy, 32(7), 601-616.
Affiliations
American Association of Geographers, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honorary)
Awards/Achievements
  • 2017 - Kent State GSA International Travel Aware ($1,300)
  • 2017 - NASA-Ohio Space Grant Consortium ($150)
Kathryn Hannum Headshot

Kathryn Hannum

Department of Geography
Ph.D. Student and Teaching Assistant
Campus:
Kent
Office Hours:
10am-Noon MW
Contact Information
Biography

I graduated from San Jose State University’s geography department, after which I went to work for the ministry of education in Galicia, Spain. Living in Galicia sparked my interest in nationalism, sociolinguistic geography, and regional identity. I further explored these topics while working for a stint in Somaliland, the breakaway republic of northern Somalia before coming to Kent State. My master’s work has focused within Galicia, exploring language, nationalism, and identity as it is bound up in public policy and nested political geographies of the region, state and supra state. I have chosen to stay here at Kent to work on my Ph.D., beginning in the fall of 2016. 

 
Education
San Jose State University B.A., Kent State University M.A., Kent State University (Ph.D. Candidate)
Expertise
Cultural/Human Geography, Political Geography, Urban Geography, Regionalism, Europe, Spain, Latin America, Argentina
Publications
  • • Hannum K.L. & Rhodes M.A. (2018). Public art as public pedagogy: Memorial landscapes of the Cambodian genocide. Journal of Cultural Geography.
  • • Hannum K.L. (2018). Minority language groups in the State system. In Brunn S. & Kehrein R. (Eds.) Handbook of the changing world language map. Springer.
Affiliations
American Association of Geographers, International Society of Landscape Place and Material Culture
Awards/Achievements
  • Society of Women Geographers Pruitt Fellowship ($11,500) Spring, 2018
  • Kent State Graduate Student Senate Research Grant ($2,000) Spring, 2018
  • AAG East Lakes division graduate student travel award ($1,000) Fall 2018
  • David B. Smith award ($500) Spring 2018.
  • Kent State Graduate Student Senate International Travel Award ($1,500) Summer 2017
  • San Jose State Division IA Water Polo Team- Full Ride Athlete 2006-2010
Andria Blackwood Headshot

Andria Lynn Blackwood

Department of Geography
Ph.D. Candidate
Campus:
Salem
Office Location:
Room 306A McGilvrey Hall
Office Hours:
11:00 am – 12:15 pm Mondays and Wednesdays
Contact Information
Phone:
330-332-0361
Biography

My research primarily concerns the social structure of urban spaces and the role of neighborhoods in mediating a variety of outcomes linked to race, gender, social class, community capacity, and civic engagement.My research primarily concerns the social structure of urban spaces and the role of neighborhoods in mediating a variety of outcomes linked to race, gender, social class, community capacity, and civic engagement.

Expertise
Urban Geography, Social Inequalities, Ethnicity, Gender, Race and Social Class, data analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Publications
  • Blackwood, Andria and David Purcell. 2014. “Curating Inequality: The Link between Cultural Reproduction and Race in the Visual Arts.”Sociological Inquiry 84(2): 238-263.
  • Blackwood, Andria, Alec Boros, Tessa Smith and Adam Donnelly. 2016. “AWOL Behavior within a Community-based Correctional Facility (CBCF): Connecting Risk Factors and Influences with Masculinity.” Journal of Community Corrections 25(2): 5-14.
Affiliations
American Association of Geographers (AAG), American Sociological Association, North Central Sociological Association, Member of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society
Awards/Achievements
  • The Nora Henry Award for the Advancement of Women in Geography 2016
  • Kent State University Graduate Student Senate Research Grant Award Fall 2015
  • Teaching Award for Excellence in Accessibility – Kent State University April 2015
  • The Isenogle Graduate Award for Outstanding Achievement in Geography and Dedication to Academics – Kent State University 2015
  • Race, Ethnicity and Place VII Student Poster Competition, Second Place 2014
  • The Elaine Mae Schock Award for Outstanding Masters Student in Sociology – Kent State University 2012
  • The James Fleming Memorial Award in Theory 2009: Most distinguished paper in social theory May 1, 2009 “Social Networks in Cyberspace: Reification and Commodification of Identity”
Sarah Smiley

Sarah L. Smiley

Department of Geography
Associate Professor
Campus:
Salem
Contact Information
Phone:
330-337-4228
Fax:
330-337-4122
Biography

I am an urban geographer with research interests in water and development.  I use multiple qualitative methods including surveys, interviews, participant observation, spatial video, mental mapping, and archival research.  I am specifically interested in the ways that colonial legacies of segregation and inequitable housing and amenity provision affect everyday life in Sub-Saharan Africa.  My current research project analyzes what access to water really means.  In particular I explore how the price, availability, reliability, and quality of water along with the physical act of walking to collect it impact water access.  I am based at the Salem Campus where I teach a variety of Kent Core and Diversity Courses, and I also teach graduate courses on Water and Society and on African Cities on the Kent Campus.

Education
The University of Kansas, PhD in Geography (2007), The University of Kansas, MA in Geography (2003), The University of Cincinnati, BA in Geography (2000)
Expertise
Sub-Saharan Africa, Urban Geography, Water Resources, Development
Publications
  • Hungerford, H., Smiley, S., et al. 2019. Coping with Floods in Pikine, Senegal: An Exploration of Household Impacts and Prevention Efforts. Urban Science 3, 2, 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3020054
  • Smiley, S. Accepted and In Press. Impacts of Improved Water Access on Water Vendors and Resellers. Tanzanian Journal of Population Studies and Development 24, 1-2.
  • Smiley, S. 2018. Explaining improvements and continuing challenges in water access in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. International Journal of Water Resources Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2018.1513831
  • Adams, E. and S. Smiley. 2018. Urban-Rural Water Access Inequalities in Malawi: Implications for Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals. Natural Resources Forum 42, 4: 217-226.
  • Smiley, S. and H. Hambati. 2019. Impacts of Flooding on Drinking Water Access in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Implications for the Sustainable Development Goals. Journal of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene for Development 9, 2: 392-396.
  • Adams, E., D. Sambu, and S. Smiley. 2019. Urban Water Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Historical and Emerging Policies and Institutional Arrangements. International Journal of Water Resources Development 35, 2: 240-263.
  • Smiley, S. 2017. Quality Matters: Incorporating Water Quality into Water Access Monitoring in Rural Malawi. Water International 42, 3: 585-598.
  • Smiley, S., A. Curtis, and J. Kiwango. 2017. Using Spatial Video to Analyze and Map the Water Fetching Path in Challenging Environments: A Case Study of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases 2, 8; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed20200
  • Smiley, S. 2017. Teaching Cultural Geography with “The Amazing Race”. Journal of Geography 116, 3: 109-118.
  • Smiley, S. 2017. Defining and Measuring Water Access in Tanzania: Lessons for Moving Forward in the post-Millennium Development Goal Era. African Geographical Review 36, 2: 168-182.
  • Smiley, S. 2016. Water Availability and Reliability in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Journal of Development Studies 52, 9: 1320-1334.
  • Hungerford, H. and S. Smiley. 2016. Comparing Colonial Water Provision in British and French Africa. Journal of Historical Geography 52: 74-83.
  • Curtis, A., J. Blackburn, S. Smiley, et al. 2016. Mapping to Support Fine Scale Epidemiological Cholera Investigations: A Case Study of Spatial Video in Haiti. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13 (2), 187; doi: 10.3390/ij
  • Kusek, W. and S. Smiley. 2014. Navigating the City: Gender and Positionality in Cultural Geography Research. Journal of Cultural Geography 31, 2: 152-165.
  • Smiley, S. and C. Post. 2014. Using Popular Culture to Teach the Geography of the United States and Canada. Journal of Geography 113, 6: 238-246.
  • Smiley, S. 2013. Complexities of Water Access in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Applied Geography 41, 132-138.
  • Smiley, S. 2013. Mental Maps, Segregation, and Everyday Life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Journal of Cultural Geography 30, 2: 215-244.
  • Smiley, S. 2010. Exclusionary Space in Dar es Salaam: Fear and Difference in Expatriate Communities. Africa Today 56, 3: 24–40.
  • Smiley, S. 2010. Expatriate Everyday Life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Colonial Origins and Contemporary Legacies. Social and Cultural Geography 11, 4: 327–342.
  • Smiley, S. 2009. The City of Three Colors: Segregation in Colonial Dar es Salaam, 1891-1961. Historical Geography 37: 178-196.
Affiliations
Association of American Geographers, Africa Specialty Group (AAG), Historical Geography Specialty Group (AAG)
Jennifer Mapes

Jennifer Mapes

Department of Geography
Associate Professor
Campus:
Kent
Contact Information
Biography


Dr. Jennifer Mapes teaches Human Geography, Qualitative Methods, Seminar in Geography, Cartographic Design, Nature & Society and Urban Sustainability.

Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities. Living in downtown Kent, Jen continues her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment. She is writing a book called "The New American Small Town." The book will be based in part on her dissertation, which examined the effects of global contemporary change in small towns, connecting theoretical understandings of place and space to on-the-ground outcomes. As part of her research, she spent nine months in seven towns in the American West, interviewing local residents and key decision-makers to learn how their towns experience and react to socio-economic and environmental change.

Her current research and practice focus on the city of Kent, with a particular interest in its recent downtown redevelopment. In 2017, she was named Volunteer of the Year by Main Street Kent for her work on downtown map kiosks. Jen is currently working with the Map Library to create a community-accessible GIS database of Kent and Northeast Ohio.

Education
State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A. International Relations and Geography, 2000 (summa cum laude), The Pennsylvania State University, M.S. Geography, 2005, University of Southern California, Ph.D. Geography, 2009
Expertise
Urban Geography, Community Planning, Small Towns in the U.S., Kent, town/gown issues, May 4, sustainable cities
Publications
  • Mapes, J., D. Kaplan, K. Turner, C. Willer. Building ‘College Town’: Economic redevelopment and the construction of community. Local Economy. 32(7): 601-616. November 2017
  • Mapes, J. The New Main Street: Planning, politics, & change in downtown Kent, Ohio . In Urban Transformations: Geographies of Renewal and Creative Change. N. Wise and J. Clark, eds. Routledge. June 2017
  • Nicolaides, B. and J. Mapes. Stay-at-Home Moms in Los Angeles County, 1950–2000. California History, 93(3): 2-8. Fall 2016.
  • Kaplan, D. and J.Mapes. "Where are the women? Accounting for Discrepancies in Female Doctorates in U.S. Geography." Professional Geographer. Vol. 68, Iss. 3, 2016..
  • Kaplan, D. and J. Mapes. “Panoptic Geographies: An examination of all U.S. geographic dissertations.” Geographical Review. January 2015.
  • Curtis, J., A. Curtis, J. Mapes, A. Szell, and A. Cinderich. “Using Google Street View for systematic observation of the built environment: analysis of spatio-temporal instability of imagery dates.” International Journal of Health Geographics. 12:53.
  • Mapes, J. “Landscapes of nostalgia: Place marketing and the cultural economy in the American small town.” In Cultural Political Economy of Small Cities, A. Lorentzen and B. van Heur, eds. Routledge (Regions and Cities). August 2011.
  • Mapes, J. and J. Wolch, “‘Living green’: The promise and pitfalls of new sustainable communities,” Journal of Urban Design, 16(1): 105-126. February 2011.
  • Wolch, J., J. Newell, M. Seymour, H. Bradbury, K. Reynolds, J. Mapes. “The forgotten and the future: Reclaiming back alleys for a sustainable city.” Environment and Planning A, 42(12) 2874 – 2896. December 2010.
Documents
Research Institutes and Initiatives
Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative