The College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences recently announced that Matthew Anderson, associate professor of urban and regional planning, has been awarded the Jeffers W. Chertok Memorial Endowed Professorship.
This prestigious professorship was created to honor the life of Jeffers W. Chertok, who worked at EWU for more than 34 years and left a legacy of scholarship, generosity and genuine care at the university and beyond.
The professorship was established through donations from private donors, including Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Carper, and through a match from the state of Washington. According to its sponsors, it is intended to be focused on classic social science theory, with an emphasis on the origins of thought. To the extent that current or emerging theory is introduced, it should occur within the context of analysis from the perspective of the masters, typically great thinkers such as Marx, Smith, Plato, Newton, Locke, Hume and others. In addition, a major focus of the Chertok Professor’s work should involve arriving at a determination and understanding of where ideas and beliefs come from, and why.
Anderson, who currently serves as his department’s director, has an impressive interdisciplinary background in planning, geography, environmental studies and critical social theory. He arrived at Eastern in 2014 after obtaining his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and teaches classes on the history of cities, community development, environmental justice, sustainability and planning theory.
In awarding the professorship to Anderson, Chertok sponsors cited Anderson’s strong commitment to social and environmental justice issues. His research in these subjects addresses a wide array of timely and pressing topics, from sustainable water planning in drought-prone regions to the affordable housing crisis, processes of gentrification, and homelessness in large American cities such as Portland and Chicago.
Anderson’s research has been published in numerous academic journals, such as Environmental Politics, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Antipode, Urban Affairs Review, and the Annals of the American Association of Geographers.
In his role as the Chertok Professor, Anderson plans to continue facilitating the Chertok Lecture Series while funding a team of undergraduate and graduate student assistants on multiple research projects.