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Kathleen Sexsmith

Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Penn State

My research program looks broadly at gender and rural development, with both domestic and international areas of focus. In the U.S., I study how gender, legal status, and geographical isolation shape integration among immigrants working in agricultural industries. In particular, I look at social networks and transnational ways of life in non-traditional rural immigrant destinations. My international research examines the gender dynamics of sustainable agriculture initiatives, including voluntary certifications, responsible investment, and climate-smart agricultural programming in the Global South.

My work has a community outreach and advocacy focus, although I do not have a formal extension appointment. Here at Penn State, I continue to build partnerships with outreach and advocacy organizations that support vulnerable populations in agriculture.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Penn State