Matt Mars

Departmental Faculty

Associate Professor

Fellow, Cardon Academy of Teaching Excellence


Matthew M. Mars 2020 CV

Matthew (“Matt”) M. Mars, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Agricultural Leadership and Innovation and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural Education at The University of Arizona. He is also a Fellow in the Cardon Academy of Teaching Excellence in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Mars teaches undergraduate and graduate courses relevant to social innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, and agricultural development in both rural and urban communities.  His research agenda generally aims to identify new insights on and develop a deeper understanding of the educational and organizational factors and dynamics that foster agricultural and community development.  His research is notably interdisciplinary with collaborations that intersect communication, ecology, and marketing.  The topical areas of interest that Dr. Mars is currently focusing on include: the system-level work (i.e., institutional entrepreneurship) associated with local food system development, the organizational ecosystem metaphor, and the socialization and professional development of women graduate students in the agricultural and STEM disciplines.  His research is published in journals such as the Agriculture and Human Values, Higher Education, Journal of Agricultural Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organizational Dynamics, and the Review of Higher Education. Dr. Mars earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree through the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. 

Educational Background

The University of Arizona
Center for the Study of Higher Education                                          
Doctor of Philosophy, May 2006
Major: Higher Education Administration

Northern Arizona University                                                          
Master of Education, December 1998
Major: Counseling/Human Relations

Utica College of Syracuse University                                              
Bachelor of Arts, May 1995
Major: Sociology/Anthropology

Teaching Responsibilities
AED 295B, Heritage and Traditions of the University of Arizona
ALC 410/510, Entrepreneurial Leadership in Agriculture and the Life Sciences
ALC 422, Communicating Knowledge in Agriculture and the Life Sciences
ALC 411/511, Principles and Applications of Organizational Innovation
AED 621, Program Planning and Evaluation


Selected Publications

Mars, M.M., & Schau, H.J. (2018). The jazziness of local food work: Organization level ingenuity and the entrepreneurial formation and evolution of local food systems. Rural Sociology: 1-27 (Advanced online publication) doi: 10.1111/ruso.12244

Mars, M.M., & Schau, H.J. (2018). What is local food entrepreneurship? Variations in the commercially and socially oriented features of entrepreneurship in the Southeastern Arizona local food system. Rural Sociology, 83(3), 568-597. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12197

Mars, M.M., & Bronstein, J. (2018). The promise of the organizational ecosystem metaphor: An argument for biological rigor. Journal of Management Inquiry, 27(4), 382-391. doi: 10.1177/1056492617706546

Mars, M.M., & Schau, H.J. (2017). Institutional entrepreneurship and the negotiation and blending of the Southern Arizona local food system. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(2), 407-422. doi: 10.1007/s10460-016-9722-3

Szelényi, K., Bresonis, K., & Mars, M.M. (2016). Who am I versus who can I become? Exploring women’s science identities in STEM Ph.D. programs. Review of Higher Education, 40(1), 1-31. doi: 10.1353/rhe.2016.0036

Mars, M.M., Bresonis, K., & Szelényi, K. (2014). Science and engineering doctoral student socialization, logics, and the national economic agenda: Alignment or disconnect? Minerva, 52 (3), 351-379

Mars, M.M., Bronstein, J.L., & Lusch, R.F. (2012). The value of a metaphor: Organizations and ecosystems. Organizational Dynamics, 41 (4), 271-280.

Mars, M.M., & Rhoades, G. (2012). Socially-oriented student entrepreneurship: A study of student change agency in the academic capitalism context. The Journal of Higher Education. 83 (3), 435-459.

Mars, M.M., & Rios-Aguilar, C. (2010). Academic entrepreneurship (re)defined: Significance and implications for the scholarship of higher education. Higher Education, 59 (4), 441-460.

Mars, M.M., & Lounsbury, M. (2009). Raging against or with the private marketplace? Logic hybridity and eco-entrepreneurship. Journal of Management Inquiry, 18 (1), 4-13.

Mars, M.M., Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, G. (2008). The state-sponsored student entrepreneur. The Journal of Higher Education, 79 (6), 638-670.

Graduate Student Publications

Jeffers-Sample, Ashley, Mars, Matthew M., Rice, Amber M., & Torres, Robert M. (2018). Examining the entrepreneurial leadership propensities of Extension educator. Journal of Extension, 56(6) Article 6FEA4. Available online:

DeKoker, Teresa, Mars, Matthew M., Torres, Robert M., & Quist, Tanya M. (2018). Wild greens knowledge and consumption: A qualitative exploration of human agency in the Southern Arizona food system. Food, Culture & Society, 21(3), 331-349. doi: 10.1080/15528014.2018.1451040

Cubillas, Sonora, Mars, Matthew M., Torres, Robert M., & Sias, Patricia M. (2017). Touristic authenticity and value co-creation: An exploration of two local wineries in Southeastern Arizona, USA. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 12(1), 34-54.

Zamudio, Jessica, Mars, Matthew M., & Torres, Robert M. (2016). A qualitative exploration of entrepreneurial learning among Southern Arizona small-scale farmers and ranchers. Journal of Extension, 54(2) Article 2FEA4. Available online: