Skip to Main Content

Queens University of Charlotte Welcomes Distinguished New Faculty

Aug 31, 2023 By Queens University Communications

Queens University welcomes a new cohort of accomplished faculty members to its academic community. These educators offer a wealth of expertise and experience to Queens, enhancing its commitment to providing transformative educational experiences for its students.

 “I am excited to welcome these distinguished new faculty members to Queens University,” said Sarah Fatherly, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “They are a diverse group of individuals with rich experiences and depth of expertise that will inspire our students and spark their curiosity in and out of the classroom.”

New faculty members include:

Donna “Kim” Ballard, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting instructor of English. Ballard’s career has spanned several years in institutions across the country. She was the director of the Western Michigan University Writing Center for more than 20 years, the co-editor of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, and helped start the Purdue OWL®, a global resource for English writing assistance. Her areas of interest and research include technical rhetoric and writing and digital reading. “I’m really excited about the use of technology in writing,” said Ballard. “My theme this semester will focus on identity and how it intersects with others, the multiple identities we have as individuals, and with technology. I’m excited to work with a small class of students and focus on techniques to help them become better writers.”

Sun Ki Choi, Ph.D. will join Queens’ McColl School of Business as an assistant professor of economics. Choi is an accomplished professor having taught at St. Lawrence University as well as the University of Kentucky. His research interests include economics and public policy, labor, health, education economics, and public policy analysis. This year, Choi will be teaching a joint introductory micro and macroeconomics class in which both topics are combined. “This new approach will teach students how to focus on these two important principles of economics and understand how they are connected in a more compact way,” said Choi.

Thomas “Espy” Espenschied, M.F.A. will join the James L. Knight School of Communication as an assistant professor of multimedia storytelling. Espenschied worked as an associate and creative producer at Wrought Iron Productions as well as a digital media specialist at Davidson College. They directed, produced, and edited several shorts including “Human Kaleidoscope,” winner of Best Student Film at the Short Sweet Film Festival in 2018. This year they will be teaching a course about storytelling and how it has evolved throughout human history. “If you write a story without understanding who you are,” said Espenschied, “You’ll never be able to answer the question ‘why’ and that’s the main question we must answer as storytellers.”

Chalet Jean-Baptiste, ABD will join the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting instructor of English. She has taught at Old Dominion University as well as Northern Virginia Community College and Tidewater Community College. Her areas of interest include world mythology, intercultural communications, African-American rhetoric, black activism, and pop art’s role in the lives of black people. “I’m looking forward to utilizing Queens’ thematic learning approach where students select a pathway and apply it to different areas of learning,” said Jean-Baptiste. “This year, the theme in my writing class will be ‘Others in America’ in which I will use literary works of authors like W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, and Pedro Pietri to explore the power dynamics and sentiments of how individuals in America can sometimes feel excluded because of culture, race, gender or identity.”

Rebecca Guth-Metzler, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor of chemistry. Guth-Metzler was an instructor at Georgia Institute of Technology and her research interests include RNA’s relationships with metals and RNA chemistry in coacervates. “I am excited to help students establish a strong foundation of chemistry while teaching them how to be good learners,” said Guth-Metzler. “I’ll also be setting up my research lab in preparation for next semester in which I’ll be exploring RNA in the context of astrobiology, an exciting study of life in the universe, while teaching students about RNA biochemistry.”

Sean Krysak Ph.D. ‘17 will join the Blair College of Health as an assistant professor of exercise and sports science. Krysak lectured at UNC Charlotte and interned at OrthoCarolina Research Institute. He earned a B.S. in kinesiology at Queens University followed by an M.S. in applied physiology and neuromechanics and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary biology from UNC Charlotte.  Krysak is excited to return to the Queens campus. “As an alumnus, I remember the personal connections I had with my professors and I am thrilled to be able to collaborate with them as my new colleagues,” said Krysak. “I’m looking forward to connecting with my students and building relationships with them that will hopefully last for years to come.”

 Forrest “Gregg” McIntosh, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor of chemistry. McIntosh has worked as a chemistry lecturer at Winthrop University, Belmont Abbey College, and York Technical College. He is an accomplished chemist and holds two patents. “I look forward to working with students and teaching them how to increase their critical thinking and inquiry skills,” said McIntosh. “I feel that establishing continuity with students is important and I look forward to making those connections with both students and faculty.”

Nathan Michalewicz, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor of history. Michalewicz completed a Digital World History Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh and was an instructor at George Mason University and the University of West Georgia. His research interests range from early modern diplomacy to digital history. Michalewicz is most enthusiastic about teaching a smaller class this year. “There’s a big difference between having a discussion with your students and running a lecture,” said Michaelewicz. “Being able to actually engage with a small group changes the entire dynamic of the classroom.” Michalewicz will be teaching a digital history course this year that teaches students how to build databases for research, as well as spatial analysis. He’ll also teach modern European history with a focus on interactions with and impact on the wider world. 

Amy Sentementes, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor of political science. She has taught at Penn State University, UNC Chapel Hill, and the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. She has also served as a freelance writer for INDY Week and has a social media channel that highlights her culinary adventures. Sentementes teaches course in American political behavior, and this semester, she is teaching introduction to United States government, politics and the media, and the politics of food.  She is an expert in political psychology and has combined her passion for food to examine how it extends to group stereotypes and relates to our own identities. “I’m so glad to be back in a big city like Charlotte,” said Sentementes. “Since I’ll be teaching a food politics course, I look forward to engaging with food banks and the local restaurant community to help support my interdisciplinary approach to teaching students about this subject.” 

Gerardo Vazquez, Ph.D. will join the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor of physics. Vazquez is a former NASA employee specializing in areas such as stellar populations, galaxy evolution, and infrared astronomy. He has served as a lecturer at Salisbury University in Maryland and as an instructor at Charlotte Country Day and Woodlawn School. This year he will be teaching an introduction to programming using Python and leading another in which students will be printing innovative tools with the use of a 3D printer. “I look forward to working with students to teach them the basics of programming,” said Vazquez. “I also think they’ll be really excited to use the 3D printer and appreciate the potential it has for being an innovative solution to a variety of problems in the future.”

“Our faculty leads the charge in ensuring that our students engage in intriguing and challenging multidisciplinary experiences that characterize the learning environment here,” said Fatherly. “I’m excited to see how our new faculty will enhance our campus and the Charlotte community through their expertise and passion this year.”