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Eric Spears - Columbus State University

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Columbus State University

headshot of Eric Spears, Ph.D.

Eric Spears, Ph.D.

Associate Professor / Executive Director, Center for Global Engagement

Center for Global Engagement

Associate Professor

History & Geography

Schuster Center 122

Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Latin American Studies

Education and Certifications

  • B.A., Geography, Marshall University, 1992
  • M.A., International Political Economy, The University of Warwick (UK), 1995
  • Certificate: Portuguese as a Foreign Language, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil, 1999
  • Ph.D., Geography, West Virginia University, 2004


Dr. Eric Spears arrived to Columbus State University in October 2017 after his appointment as the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar Chair of International Education and Associate Professor of Geography. He came to Columbus State with more than twenty years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education, including roles at Georgia College and Mercer University.

Dr. Spears offers a variety of Geography courses, including the World Regional Geography class. In addition to his research on Brazil, he also focuses on East Asia, and works with the Asian Studies Development Program alumni at the East-West Institute in Hawaii. He was the recipient of a Fulbright grant for work in South Korea in 2010.

In addition to his teaching in the Department of History and Geography, Dr. Spears also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement at Columbus State, where he serves as Coordinator for the International Studies Certificate and oversees the continued development of campus internationalization and CSU's award-winning study-abroad programs.

Academic Areas

  • Geography
  • International Political Economy
  • Political Ecology

Professional Experience

Dr. Eric Spears is the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar and Chair of International Education and an Associate Professor of Geography. He joined Columbus State University in the fall semester of 2017 and has served as the Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement and chairperson of international education. He is also the program director of CSU's Oxford Visiting Student Program and Spencer House in Oxford, England. Dr. Spears' faculty appointment is in the Department of History and Geography, where he teaches world regional geography, geographies of Latin America and East Asia, and other selected topics. He coordinates the International Studies Certificate Program and teaches courses in International Studies and International Relations. Dr. Spears' scholarship is focused on Brazil as well as the American Southeast's coastline. Dr. Spears researches the geographies of political economy and political ecology in urban Brazil, including topics related to sustainable development in urban favelas and hazards and risks related to mining in the Rio Doce Valley. Dr. Spears also participates in a research program related to the political economy of higher education in Brazil and co-publishes with Dr. João Dos Reis Silva Júnior (UFSCar) and Dr. Deise Mancebo (State University of Rio de Janeiro). More regionally, Dr. Spears focuses on the sustainable development of Georgia's coastline in relationship to race, sea-level rise/climate change, and capitalism. He also serves as a CSU representative to the Georgia Climate Project. Dr. Spears has extensive overseas study and work experience in the United Kingdom and Brazil. He also works in East Asia, where he received a Fulbright to South Korea and worked with international education in China. He presently is the Vice-President of the Asian Studies Development Program Alumni Organization at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i. You can learn more about Dr. Spears at:

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