Ellen Hansen With The King, in Seoul, Korea, summer 2009

Ellen Hansen, Ph.D.

Professor of Geography

I’m Ellen Hansen, Professor of Geography in the Department of Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. 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; Urban Geography, and others, as well as the capstone course for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program. Most of  upper division courses are offered online.
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 (where you see me enjoying an Elvis sighting). 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 have presented papers and lectures in Japan, England, and Finland, and this summer I presented a paper at the 11th World Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue, in Warsaw, Poland. While in Poland, I also visited Krakow and made a trip to the nearby WWII concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau. Travel is about the most educational activity all of us can participate in, and although the concentration camps visit was emotional and sad, it was a real learning experience, humbling and worthwhile.
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 and lots more.
I am faculty advisor for the Unwind Knit and Crochet Club, and love to teach others to knit and crochet. If you're interested, find out more at the HornetLive page on the ESU website.
You can reach me by telephone at 620-341-5583, and by email at ehansen@emporia.edu

Ellen Hansen - Waiting for the bus in Riga, LatviaThe photos:
(top) An Elvis sighting in Seoul, Korea, summer 2009.
(bottom) Blending in (?) while waiting for the bus in Riga, Latvia, summer 2006.