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Paul N. McDaniel

Associate Professor of Geography, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Paul N. McDaniel is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University. He is a broadly-trained geographer, having taught a variety of human geography and physical geography courses in diverse formats including large and small face-to-face courses, fully online, and study abroad. As an urban geographer, his current research explores the geography of place-branding, particularly as it relates to the causes, processes, and implications of immigration to urban regions, and other issues related to inclusive city- and place-branding strategies, initiatives, processes, and effects and how place-branding can contribute to the cultural, economic, political, and social development of cities and regions. Within this context, he also focuses on processes of immigrant settlement, adjustment, integration, and receptivity in cities and metropolitan areas, particularly in the U.S. South, using mixed-methods, qualitative, and community-based participatory research methods. McDaniel has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Urban Affairs, Southeastern Geographer, Professional Geographer, Papers in Applied Geography, Journal of International Migration and Integration, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Law & Policy, Geographical Review, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Journal of Community Practice, Museums and Social Issues, Health Promotion Practice, Journal of Migration and Health, among others, as well as academic book chapters, and reports and other pieces for a general audience, such as those published with the American Immigration Council, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Atlanta Studies. He has delivered research and applied presentations at many local, regional, national, and international conferences, meetings, workshops, and other venues. His teaching interests broadly include regional geography, human geography, urban geography and urban studies, population geography, health geography, and research methods.

In the Atlanta region, McDaniel focuses on community-engaged scholarship through cross-institutional partnerships. He is co-founder of the Georgia Immigration Research Network (GIRN), a research consortium among Atlanta area immigrant and refugee integration researchers that helps cultivate community outreach with practitioners and organizations, including Welcoming America and its municipal government affiliates, as well as community-based nonprofit organizations. Within the scope of GIRN, he is also co-founder and co-PI of the Atlanta Immigrant Crossroads project, which explores untapped potential or utilized promise for newcomer integration in the Atlanta metropolitan area. This research is funded in part by a 2016-2017 KSU Creative Activities and Research Experiences in Teams (CARET) grant to cultivate community-engaged research experiences for a team of undergraduate researchers, and a 2017-2018 KSU Office of the Vice Presdient for Research (OVPR) Pilot/Seed grant. McDaniel is also a 2017-2018 Race and Ethnicity Diversity Faculty Fellow with the Center for Diversity Leadership and Engagement through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. McDaniel also supervises undergraduate and graduate research assistants who are interested in immigrant integration and receptivity, including through KSU’s M.S. in Conflict Management and Ph.D. in International Conflict Management programs.

McDaniel is also a founding member of the collaborative Receptivity, Integration, and Settlement In New Gateways (RISING) research group based at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. RISING is a consortium of community-engaged scholars, practitioners and advocates working with immigrants, refugees, and asylees and their families in new gateways. The consortium shares trans-disciplinary and trans-sector interests in the dynamics of migration and the complexities of settlement, receptivity, inclusion and integration at the local level and is committed to applied, participatory and action-based research. RISING presents results and information in diverse forms to a wide variety of audiences, develops and implements interventions that flow from the voice of the communities with whom we work and the research we have conducted, and mentors each other in our respective areas of expertise. RISING educates students from introductory undergraduate to advanced doctoral levels in community-engaged scholarship and collaborates with partners on innovative projects that enhance the lives of immigrants in new gateway communities.

Previously, McDaniel was a research fellow with the American Immigration Council in Washington, DC, where he conducted research and policy analysis on immigrant settlement and integration in cities and metropolitan areas, immigrant and refugee entrepreneurship, urban/suburban revitalization, receptivity, and community building. He also led research and policy efforts, outreach, and partnerships related to immigrant integration and the welcoming cities movement, including with Welcoming America and many of its affiliate cities across the United States. He also represented the Council at meetings with other research, non-profit, NGOs, and government organizations, in meetings with congressional staff on Capitol Hill, at The White House, with the media, and at academic and practitioner conferences. Also in DC, McDaniel was a project researcher with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), where he led a research evaluation of the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) in partnership with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, and CLINIC affiliate organizations across the U.S. Prior to his work in Washington, McDaniel was at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he assisted community-based participatory research projects with the Department of Family Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center and the Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary-care Research (MAPPR), Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Levine Museum of the New South, and Crossroads Charlotte. In particular, he worked on research evaluation projects for the Levine Museum of the New South’s Speaking of Change and Changing Places community dialogue programs.

McDaniel earned a Ph.D. in Geography and Urban Regional Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, an M.A. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an M.S. in Geography from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Geography from Samford University.

Experience

  • 2020–present
    Associate Professor of Geography, Kennesaw State University
  • 2015–2020
    Assistant Professor of Geography, Kennesaw State University
  • 2013–2015
    Research Fellow, American Immigration Council
  • 2007–2012
    Research Assistant, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • 2012–2012
    Project Researcher, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Education

  • 2013 
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte, PhD / Geography and Urban Regional Analysis
  • 2007 
    University of Alabama at Birmingham, MA / Higher Education Leadership
  • 2006 
    University of Tennessee, MS / Geography
  • 2004 
    Samford University, BS / Geography

Publications

  • 2022
    Beyond COVID Chaos: What Postsecondary Educators Learned from the Online Pivot, Professional Geographer
  • 2022
    'Why do they laugh at me?' Stereotypes and Prejudices Experienced by Immigrant Youth, Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity
  • 2021
    Inclusive Storytelling: Community Reaction to Immigrant Youth Experiences in Atlanta, Atlanta Studies
  • 2021
    The Immediate Impact of COVID-19 on Post-Secondary Teaching and Learning, Professional Geographer
  • 2021
    A Scoping Review of Literature About Mental Health and Well-Being Among Immigrant Communities in the United States, Health Promotion Practice
  • 2021
    Immigration Status as a Health Care Barrier in the USA During COVID-19, Journal of Migration and Health
  • 2021
    Twenty-First Century Migration, Integration, and Receptivity: Prospects and Pathways in Metropolitan Areas of the Southeastern United States, Southeastern Geographer
  • 2020
    A Global Welcome: Metro Chicago's Approach to Immigrant Inclusion, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • 2020
    Human Services Providers’ Perspectives on Refugee Resettlement in the United States Before and After the 2016 Presidential Election, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
  • 2019
    Immigrant Integration and Receptivity Policy Formation in Welcoming Cities, Journal of Urban Affairs
  • 2019
    Community-Based Participatory Research as a Tool for Improved Understanding and Practice of Newcomer Integration, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement
  • 2019
    From Municipal to Regional Immigrant Integration in a Major Emerging Gateway: Planning a Welcoming Metro Atlanta, Papers in Applied Geography
  • 2019
    'FU': One Response to the Liminal State Immigrant Youth Must Navigate, Law & Policy
  • 2018
    Shared Humanity, City Branding, and Municipal Immigrant Integration Initiatives in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern Geographer
  • 2018
    Creating a Welcoming Metro Atlanta: A Regional Approach to Immigrant Integration, Atlanta Studies
  • 2018
    Welcoming America: A Case Study of Municipal Immigrant Integration, Receptivity, and Community Practice, Journal of Community Practice
  • 2017
    Receptivity's Construction in Public Schools: A Component of Immigrant Integration in an Emerging Gateway, Journal of International Migration and Integration
  • 2017
    Receptivity and the Welcoming Cities Movement: Advancing a Regional Immigrant Integration Policy Framework in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, Papers in Applied Geography
  • 2017
    Increasing Immigrant Settlement and the Challenges and Opportunities for Public Education in Charlotte, North Carolina, US Latinization: Education and the New Latino South
  • 2015
    From Black and White to Technicolor: The Spatial Demographics of the New Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: School Desegregation and Resegregation in Charlotte
  • 2015
    Belonging in charlotte: multiscalar differences in local immigration politics and policies, Geographical Review
  • 2015
    Speaking of Change in Charlotte, North Carolina: How Museums Can Shape Immigrant Receptivity in a Community Navigating Rapid Cultural Change, Museums and Social Issues
  • 2009
    Ethnic Enclave or International Corridor?: Immigrant Businesses in a New South City, Southeastern Geographer

Grants and Contracts

  • 2022
    Tenured Faculty Enhancement Program: Not-So-New Destinations: Changing Integration and Receptivity Experiences in Twenty-First Century New Immigrant Destination Metropolitan Regions
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2021
    RCHSS Research/Scholarship Support Grant: Welcoming Cities: Place-Branding and Geographies of Care, Inclusion, and Belonging
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2021
    RCHSS Student Success Grant: Teaching Urban Geography through the Lens of the Atlanta BeltLine
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2020
    Connecting Globally While Grounded at Home: Advancing a Community-Based Participatory Research Model for Metropolitan Regional Immigrant Integration and Receptivity through the One Region Initiative
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative
  • 2020
    Summer Faculty Research Fellows Program
    Role:
    Research Fellowship
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2020
    RCHSS Student Success Grant: Teaching the Geography and Sociology of Health through the Lens of the Atlanta-Based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2019
    RCHSS Student Success Grant: Teaching Urban Geography through the Lens of the Atlanta BeltLine
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2019
    RCHSS Student Success Grant: Engaging Students through the ‘Places and Spaces: Mapping Science’ Exhibit
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2018
    Documenting Human Migration: Green Card Youth Voices - Immigration Stories from an Atlanta High School
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    National Geographic Society
  • 2017
    OVPR Pilot/Seed Grant: Atlanta’s Immigrant Crossroads: Civic Engagement as a Tool for Newcomer Integration
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2017
    Faculty Summer Research Grant: Local Processes of Immigrant and Refugee Receptivity and Integration in the U.S. and Europe
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University
  • 2016
    Creative Activities and Research Experiences for Teams: Atlanta’s Immigrant Crossroads: Untapped Potential or Utilized Promise for Newcomer Integration
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    Kennesaw State University

Professional Memberships

  • Urban Affairs Association
  • American Association of Geographers
  • Ethnic Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers
  • Southeastern Division, American Association of Geographers