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Department of Communication Studies


Dr. Matthew Sanderson

Dr. Matthew Sanderson is the Randall C. Hill Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work and Professor of Geography and Geospatial Sciences at Kansas State University. He has been a Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas-El Paso and the Hugo Centre for Population Research at the University of Adelaide in Australia.  He is Editor-in-Chief of Agriculture and Human Values, the leading international journal for interdisciplinary research on agriculture and food systems.

Dr. Sanderson’s work focuses on the issue of development, as a practice, a problem, and an ideal.  He is especially interested in understanding the relations between people and the ecosphere in the context of globalization – the social processes integrating economies, polities, and cultures into an increasingly shared, but contested, space.  Most of his work is comparative and historical, investigating development processes across places and over time. Through research, teaching, and outreach, he is exploring means of developing more regenerative, socially and ecologically resilient communities.

Currently, he is working on several projects that examine co-evolving relations between humans and ecosystems. This work focuses on the dynamic intersections of water, agriculture, and local social structures in the context of long-term, global social change. Much of his other research focuses on international migration.  This work investigates migration as both a cause and consequence of global political-economic dynamics.  His research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Australian Research Council.

Dr. Sanderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Kansas State University. He earned his Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Utah.  He is a Kansan by birth and by choice.  A fifth-generation Kansan, he returned home in 2011 to take a position at KSU, his alma mater.

Learn more about Dr. Sanderson’s research.



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Dr. Alex McVey, Ph.D.
c/o Communication Studies Dept
234 Nichols Hall
702 Mid Campus Drive South
Manhattan, KS 66506
Email:  jalexandermcvey@ksu.edu
Dept Phone:  785-532-6875