Dr. Jennifer Mapes arrived in Kent in fall 2012, having previously taught at Plattsburgh State University of New York and the University of Southern California. At Kent State, she teaches Human Geography, Geography of the U.S. and Canada, Economic Geography and Cartographic Design. Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities.
Dr. Mapes continues her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment of Kent. She is currently writing a book called The New American Small Town, 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.