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K-State Today

November 9, 2021

Sanderson recognized by Great Plains Research journal

Submitted by Chuck Martin

Matthew R. Sanderson, Randall C. Hill professor of sociology, anthropology, and social work and professor of geography and geospatial sciences, was awarded the Leslie Hewes Award for Best Social Science Paper published in 2020 in the journal Great Plains Research. 

Sanderson’s article “People Pipelines: Channeling and Immigrant Integration in the Great Plains” presents results from a study of immigration in southwest Kansas. The paper shows that southwest Kansas emerged as a new destination for immigrants in the 1980s largely because of the phenomenon of "occupational channeling."  Over time, migration networks develop that create channels linking southwest Kansas to migrant-origin communities an increasingly binational labor market for immigrant labor. These channels facilitate immigrant integration in southwest Kansas and elsewhere in the U.S., as migrants are increasingly able to transfer skills from origin countries to the U.S. 

The research was initially supported by an award from the Graduate School’s Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, which brought three undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to work with Sanderson, a Faculty Enhancement Award from the College of Arts and Sciences, and an Early Career Award from the Rural Sociological Society.

The award is given in honor of Leslie Hewes, an eminent geographer of the Great Plains region and longtime chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.