Hi, and welcome to the Department of Social Sciences. I’m Ellen Hansen, Department Chair and Professor of Geography. My Ph.D. in Geography is from the University of Arizona in Tucson. I teach World Regional Geography and a variety of upper division courses, including Cultural Geography; Gender, Place and Culture; Geography of the Middle East and North Africa; Urban Geography; Human Ecology and others. I offer upper division courses online as well as in the classroom.
Growing up in San Diego County and living in Arizona for many years, I developed a love of the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico, and particularly of the border region, with its unique cultural and physical environments. I lived right on the border for a year, doing research in Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
My current research interests concern the impact of immigration on small towns in the Midwest; teaching geography; and a continuing interest in the U.S.-Mexico border. I am also interested in gender issues in international development.
I love to travel. I’ve been fortunate to participate in several study abroad trips with ESU students in the past, and look forward to more in the future. I have traveled with students to Korea, Kenya, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, China and Finland. In 2009 and 2011 I taught People and Cultures of Asia in the fabulous International Summer Program at Dankook University in Seoul, Korea. The same terrific program is available to ESU students every summer. For more information, check with the Office of International Education. With a group of students and community members, I went to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2011, to work at the Happy Life Children's Home, hanging out with orphaned and abandoned children. A small group of students went back to the home in summer of 2013, and I hope more will follow.
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, where I lived in the Andes and worked with indigenous farmers. If you are interested in the possibility of doing long-term volunteer work as a Peace Corps Volunteer, please talk to me. I have a variety of materials in my office and many stories I love to share about my work with indigenous sheep farmers in the highlands of Ecuador. You can also check out the Peace Corps website to see where Peace Corps sends volunteers, download the application form, find out about upcoming recruiting events in the areas, and lots more.
I’m faculty advisor for the Environmental Club and the newly-formed Knitting Club. Come talk to me about either of these Recognized Student Organizations.
You can reach me by telephone at 620-341-5576, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org