As Associate Executive Director (AED) of the Center for Global Engagement and Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, Dr. Coffman focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration, hands-on problem-solving, and outreach. Her duties as AED include internationalizing JMU curricula; grant-writing, outreach, and research project leadership; scholarship and faculty support to elevate the academic profile of CGE; and analyzing and implementing “sustainability” practices at CGE and in CGE programs abroad. 

Dr. Coffman earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Political Science from Duke University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching focus on environment and development from a political ecology perspective. She has studied land and wildlife resource management and sociocultural change in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania; participatory development and ethnic politicking in rural and urban Kenya; local land and food production issues in the Shenandoah Valley; and other, related topics. She continues to present and publish on these topics, as well as serves as PI or Co-PI on grants related to her research. She also established and directs JMU’s East Africa Field School, an intensive summer program.

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