KSU geography professor honored for scholarship, teaching and service

Paul McDaniel
Paul McDaniel

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jun 3, 2020) — Kennesaw State University professor Paul McDaniel has been honored for his contributions to the field of ethnic geography, recently earning a national award from the American Association of Geographers (AAG).

McDaniel received the 2020 Early Career Award for Scholarship, Teaching and Service from the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG) of the AAG. The award recognizes an EGSG member’s outstanding work in their early to mid-career years in ethnic geography, the study of distributions and interactions of ethnic groups and the cultural characteristics on which they are based.

“For my teaching, scholarship and professional service to be honored by this organization is an immense honor and a humbling experience,” McDaniel said. “I have learned much from this group of stellar colleagues and mentors and have a deep respect for their work within and their contributions to the discipline of geography. It also reflects well upon the work of the interdisciplinary research teams and colleagues with which and with whom I have engaged at Kennesaw State on a variety of projects.”

McDaniel, who has taught in KSU’s Department of Geography and Anthropology since 2015, incorporates aspects of ethnic geography and human migration into all of his teaching. His research exploring the causes, processes and implications of immigration to urban regions, particularly in the U.S. South, has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and presented at a variety of conferences. He also supervises undergraduate and graduate research assistants who are interested in immigrant integration and receptivity.

“Much of my research involves partnering with local governments and nonprofits to understand and evaluate how well municipalities integrate immigrants into metropolitan Atlanta communities,” McDaniel said. “The subject of ethnic geography is near and dear to me because it is one way in which we can understand contemporary processes and practices, and apply that understanding to inform positive decision-making in cities and metropolitan regions.”

McDaniel serves on the Kennesaw State Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and as a Race and Ethnicity Diversity Faculty Fellow through the KSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He also is co-founder of both the Georgia Immigration Research Network, a consortium among Atlanta area immigrant and refugee integration researchers that helps cultivate community outreach, and the Atlanta Immigrant Crossroads project, which explores untapped potential for newcomer integration in metro Atlanta.

– Paul Floeckher


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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