The ONSF is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ron Kalafsky as its first Faculty Fellow. Given the increasing rise of applications for the Fulbright US Student Program, Dr. Kalafsky will help advise and guide students through the planning and application processes for the 2015-16 Fulbright year. He will also help with general advising and representing the ONSF in departmental meetings, presentations, and more broadly across campus. Additionally, Dr. Kalafsky will serve as a senior Faculty Fellow for the ONSF’s Undergraduate Society of Fellows to commence in Fall 2015. Join us welcoming Dr. Kalafsky to the ONSF team!
Ron Kalafsky’s research and teaching interests comprise of two interconnected components: economic geography and geography education. The first element focuses on examining the competitive challenges and strategies of manufacturers, especially as they pertain to the differences between export-intensive firms and non-exporters located in industrialized economies. He is particularly interested in the location-based factors that hinder small-to-medium-sized firms from accessing global markets, and in turn, the strategies (e.g. trade fairs, international business networks) that successful firms use to overcome such obstacles. His research also examines the parts that manufacturing and exporting can play in regional economic growth, mainly in terms of human capital development and the impacts of supporting industries. Current research projects include studies of manufacturers and exporters located in Japan, Korea, Great Britain, and Canada. His second research focus, on geography education, is informed by the above work, essentially centered on how to explore central concepts in economic geography in introductory- and upper-level undergraduate coursework. Recent research on this topic has examined the ways in which students can analyze essential concepts and models through the use of online cases studies focused on advanced manufacturing, international trade, and economic development. In turn, such explorations can illustrate the impacts of globalization at various scales. Ron is the director of the department’s undergraduate program and offers courses such as the Geography of the Global Economy,Concepts in Human Geography, and the Regional Geography of East Asia. He also serves on the faculty of the Global Studies and Asian Studies interdisciplinary programs.