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Faculty Members

The City and Community Studies Initiative (CCSI) is a unique collaboration between the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Geography to provide an intellectual community that promotes funded, interdisciplinary research on key issues concerning cities and communities in Northeast Ohio. 

The partnership of these departments began because each subject area has a hand in the development of the community and the quality of life within a region – a main focus of the Initiative.  The following information highlights core faculty members involved in the City and Community Studies Initiative.

Founding members of CCSI include the current Director Dr. David Kaplan, along with Dr. David Purcell, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Kaplan head shot 6 

Dave Kaplan, Director

David H. Kaplan is a Professor of Geography at Kent State University.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Kaplan has published 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and has seven books published: Segregation in Cities, Nested Identities, Boundaries and Place, Urban Geography, Landscapes of the Ethnic Economy, Cambridge World Atlas, and the four volume Nations and Nationalism: A Global Historical Overview.  Dr. Kaplan’s research interests include ethnic and racial segregation, urban and regional development, housing and finance, transportation, and nationalism.


Richard Adams, Charter Faculty Member

Richard E. Adams is an Associate Professor in Sociology.  His interest in urban life began when he read William Foote White’s Street Corner Society while in graduate school.  His dissertation focused on neighborhood context as it relates to community social ties, psychological sense of social integration, and psychological well-being.  Since then, he has worked on research projects related to community disasters like the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.  Currently, he is analyzing data from the Program on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, with an interest in positive youth development and the transition to young adulthood.


John Hoornbeek, Charter Faculty Member

John Hoornbeek has worked in and around the public sector for more than a quarter century, and he has served as a policy practitioner at the local, state, and federal levels of government.  He is currently director of the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy at Kent State University (KSU), where he assists local governments and conducts research on intergovernmental collaboration, the environment and public health, and public management.  Dr. Hoornbeek's research has appeared in peer reviewed journals and edited book volumes, and his new book on water pollution policies in the American states is scheduled for publication by the State University of New York (SUNY) Press during the first half of 2011.


Dr. Taylor

Emariana Widner, Charter Faculty Member

Emariana Widner is an Assistant Professor in the Kent State University Geography Department.  Her research interests lie in biogeography, urbanization, ecological systems, environmental philosophy and conservation. Within these broader areas, she focuses on species response to human influenced land use change, and urban ecology. Dr. Widner uses a multi-agent ecological modeling, combined with digital imagery to illustrate change, through traditional visual and spatial analysis. Additionally, she has conducted research on environmental perception in urban areas and has interests in understanding environmental perceptions, citizen action, and how these elements affect the political process and policy decisions. The proliferation of urban systems, concurrent with human population growth, makes cities the new wilderness for species conservation and her passion lies in  identifying and creating sustainable solutions for people and wildlife.

Greenhalgh-Stanley, Nadia


Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, Charter Faculty Member

Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Kent State University.  Her research interests are in urban economics and public finance.  Her dissertation focused on the impact of changes in social insurance programs on elderly housing decisions, living arrangements within families, and home equity investments.  She has recently started projects looking into the effects of living in a food desert on long-term health outcomes among the elderly, end-of-life homeownership decisions, why the elderly have a low take-up rate of food assistance programs, and investigating how bankruptcy laws differentially affect the elderly and their housing decisions.