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Sue Roberts Named A&S Associate Dean

By Gail Hairston

(April 17, 2015) ‒ Mark Kornbluh, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, announced today that Sue Roberts, professor of geography, has accepted the positions of associate dean for international affairs and director of the international studies program for the college. Roberts’ term begins July 1, 2015.

“The new associate dean position will enable the college to enhance its internationalization efforts and to consolidate oversight of and initiatives regarding international activities,” Kornbluh wrote in a message to his college faculty and staff.

Roberts will provide vision and coordination for all international programs, travel, exchanges, and more for the College of Arts and Sciences faculty, students and staff.

With the support of the college’s Executive Committee and Council of Chairs, the new associate dean position was combined “for the present time with the directorship of the International Studies Program, in the hope of accelerating the college’s progress toward an enhanced profile in this area. As director, Dr. Roberts will work on strengthening the International Studies Program and enriching its relations with other units in the College,” wrote Kornbluh.

An economic geographer who studies international processes, Roberts works academically with students and colleagues from many countries. She was co-PI on an NSF-funded research program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is currently co-PI on a grant from the Australian Research Council. Recently, she spent a year in Finland as a Fulbright scholar, interacting daily with Finnish faculty and students in classes, workshops and seminars. She has also delivered talks in many countries outside the United States and has served on the UK International Advisory Board for several years.  Roberts is an accomplished scholar, having published widely with leading presses and top-tier geography journals and received several research grants.

Her contributions to service, both to the profession and the university, are equally impressive. She is presently co-editor of Progress in Human Geography, a leading peer-reviewed journal, and she was recently elected to the national council of the Association of American Geographers. Roberts provided excellent leadership as department chair from 2008-2012. She also has experience working in interdisciplinary realms – being an active member of the Committee on Social Theory and an affiliate of Gender and Women’s Studies.

Roberts replaces Carlos de la Torre, professor of sociology, as director of international studies.

“Professor de la Torre showed great leadership in moving the International Studies Program to the next level,” said Kornbluh. “He successfully stewarded the program through its external review, grew the major to over 400 students and helped develop new international exchanges. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Roberts to this role and thanking Dr. de la Torre for his excellent service.”