• Article
  • Nov 19 2019

UK's Sue Roberts Named Fellow of the American Association of Geographers

Sue Roberts

Sue Roberts, associate provost for internationalization and professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky, has been named a fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG).

The AAG fellows program recognizes geographers who have made significant contributions to advancing the discipline. Fellows serve as an advisory body to the AAG — to discuss and create initiatives, advise on challenges and mentor early and mid-career faculty members.

The honorary title of AAG Fellow is conferred for life and is a testament to the leadership and devotion Roberts has shown in her field. “This is a huge honor for me, and it is a bit hard to believe it is happening,” she said.

Roberts' innovative research successfully bridges economic, political and feminist geography.  

For the past 27 years, her message has been consistent — geographers have the capacity to develop collective and global means to challenge how the world is hierarchically known and spatially organized.

To put it simply: Roberts is interested in how and why some places and people prosper while others don't. She asks, how and why is the development of capitalism uneven across space? Roberts' research, though it involves diverse themes, is driven by this overarching question.

According to the AAG, "Roberts' research represents the best of geographic scholarship. It is not only theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, but it also consistently pushes the boundaries."

Roberts was a pioneer in the development of the first published feminist geography collection, "Thresholds in Feminist Geography," a volume that significantly shaped the discipline and continues to be widely recommended today.

“In my research, teaching and mentoring, I have always tried to work for inclusion. I hope I have contributed in some small way to the opening up of geography," Roberts continued. "To develop geographical research around issues that were once marginalized, and to help build a discipline whose ranks are more representative of human diversity, have been important goals for me.”

Roberts' career-long dedication for advancing underrepresented members of geography stands as a model for building diversity within the profession.