March 13, 2020

Alexa Royden, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Political Science & Sociology Department

Queens University

Great Decisions Topic: India & Pakistan

India’s National election in 2019 which resulted in Prime Minister Modi’s BJP Party capturing 303 seats of the Parliament’s 542, upended India’s secular democratic traditions and global reputation as the world’s most populous democracy and further destabilized its precarious relationship with neighboring Pakistan. Since the election PM Modi has swiftly adopted BJP’s hardline, right wing political agenda of Hindu nationalism. Most prominently was the BJP’s move within two months of the election playing its ideological hand in a stunning strike against Muslim-majority Kashmir by stripping them of their limited political autonomy and placing them under military rule. Dr. Royden will discuss the impact this has had on Pakistan as well as its relationship with the US. It is truly work in progress for all parties involved.


Dr. Alexa Royden teaches World Politics, Chinese Politics, Contemporary American Foreign Policy, International Human Rights, International Terrorism and CORE 220.

Her research interests include global governance, international organizations, international security, nonproliferation and human rights. Her work to date investigates the evolution of legitimacy and public authority within international organizations, specifically the nonproliferation regime.

Ph.D., International Relations, University of St. Andrews
M.A., International Affairs, George Washington University
B.A., Rollins College





April 17, 2020

Margaret Cummins, PhD

Great Decisions Topic: US Relations with the Northern Triangle

More details soon!





March 27, 2020

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney

Topic: Statistics Behind Charlotte's Homicide Rate

More details soon!





March 20, 2020

William F. Wright, MD

Topic: The Science of Addiction

The word addiction comes with a lot of societal assumptions and preconceived notions. With the increased presence of issues stemming from addictions (opioid epidemic/crisis, vaping deaths...), this disease is still shrouded in misunderstanding. Come discover the science behind this topic from a board certified expert in the treatment of addictions by learning the basic biology and how it may be seen by anyone.

William F. Wright, MD FAPA is a double board-certified general and addiction psychiatrist who originally hails from Rock Hill, SC. He completed all his formal medical education including medical school, residency (including being elected a Chief Resident), and addiction fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. During his tenure at MUSC, he learned under experts in the field of addictions such as Drs. Kathleen Brady, Ray Anton, and Kevin Gray.

Although Charleston will always remain in his heart and on his mind, he returned to his roots in the Piedmont of the Carolinas. In working as an addiction psychiatrist with Atrium Health Addiction Services as one of only two addiction psychiatrists in the entire system, he has immersed himself in the addiction issues including the opioid crisis at the local, state, and national levels. With the desire to further extinguish the stigma surrounding those battling substance use, Dr. Wright has also become a trainer at the local, state, and national level for other clinicians in utilizing specialized medications for the treatment of substance use disorders.

He is also passionate about teaching the next generation of physicians as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Psychiatry Clerkship Director for the Charlotte Campus of the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine, and core faculty for the new Atrium Health Psychiatry Residency Program.

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE -- (most current)

Atrium Health Addiction Services – Ballantyne 5/3/2018 – Present
Addiction Psychiatrist – Charlotte, NC
Medication management with substance use specific medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone/Vivitrol, acamprosate, and Antabuse as well as outpatient detoxifications with benzodiazepine tapers and opioid detoxification protocols.
Individual psychotherapy specifically geared to each patient’s needs; utilizing supportive, motivational, interpersonal, CBT, and psychodynamic approaches.

Atrium Health Addiction Services – TeleAddiction Services 4/18/2019 - Present
Addiction Psychiatrist
Mindy Ellen Levine Behavioral Health Center (Davidson, NC)
Expert addiction psychiatry consultant for evaluation including diagnosis and treatment management including pharmacological and psychotherapeutic options.
Rendering services to fellow inpatient psychiatric experts to better aid patients in their entire treatment spectrum from mental health hospitalization to recovery.


Fellowship Program • Addiction Psychiatry 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2016
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Residency Program • Psychiatry 7/1/2011 – 6/30/2015
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Doctor of Medicine • MD 8/20/2007 – 5/19/2011
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Professional Science Master’s Program • Bioinformatics 8/21/2006 – 12/15/2006
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Bachelor of Science • BS Biology (Cum Laude) 8/19/2002 – 5/14/2006
College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Honors College Minor – Religious Studies

March 17, 2020

Event on Queens Events Calendar


The Learning Society of Queens @ Belk Theater







March 6, 2020

John M. Lewis, CEO Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS)

Topic: The Future of Mass Transit in Charlotte

Confused by Blue Line, Gold Line, Silver Line?  John Lewis is CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System and he will explain it all, including Charlotte’s mass transit plans for the future.

John M.Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). He arrived in September 2015 and is leading CATS through a significant stage of growth to construct the LYNX Blue Line Extension, expand existing light rail platforms to accept three car trains, and advance the CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 (streetcar) through final design and in to construction.

Mr. Lewis has focused on advancing the long-term transit plan, enhancing customer service to attract and retain customers and on ensuring a safe and reliable transit system for the region.

He brings a wealth of transit knowledge and experience to Charlotte, having previously served as CEO of the Central Florida Regional Transit Authority (LYNX) where he provided strategic leadership to Central Florida’s primary mass transit system.  Prior to his time with LYNX, Mr. Lewis held several leadership positions as the CEO of  the Greater Richmond Transit Company, and director of rail operations and director of bus operations with the Maryland Transit Administration. 

Mr. Lewis is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., ​and he holds a bachelor of arts in political science.



Friday, March 6, 2020

New Member Meet & Greet

Join us for coffee &/or tea 

Come early before the opening 10 AM bell, any meeting Friday, to enjoy coffee or hot tea, meet fellow scholars and make new friends who share common interests.

Organized by Carol Kesmodel

April 17, 2020

Event on Queens Events Calendar

PHILHARMONIX @ Queens University


What's Going On At Queens University of Charlotte?

Queens University Calendar 

 Tip: scroll down the right side, below the calendar, to find events open to the "General Public"


Alternate Venue: Queens University Sports Complex

2229 Tyvola Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210 (MAP)

Four times a year we meet at the Queens University Sports Complex. The dates for the venue change are shown in the Senior Scholars Scrolling Calendar. A reminder is given at the prior meeting and highlighted in the weekly email. This location is significantly smaller (estimated capacity is 75% of that at PUMC) than PUMC, so plan to come early to be assured of a seat.







April 24, 2020

Gavin Edwards, Writer

Topic: Living in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

For over three decades, Fred Rogers was a beloved fixture in American homes. Warm and welcoming, he spoke directly to children—and their parents—about the marvels of the world, the things that worried them, and above all, the importance of being themselves. In his signature cardigan and sneakers, Rogers offered a wholesome message of generosity and love that changed the landscape of television and shaped a generation of children. Looking back at the history of the show and the creative visionary behind it, Gavin Edwards reminds us of the indelible lessons and insights that Mister Rogers conveyed—what it means to be a good person, to be open-hearted, to be thoughtful, to be curious, to be compassionate—and why they matter today.

Gavin Edwards is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including The Tao of Bill Murray, Last Night at the Viper Room, The World According to Tom Hanks, and most recently, Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever. A longtime contributor at Rolling Stone, he has written for the New York Times, Wired, Billboard, Details, and GQ; and appeared on television programs including the Today show, Entertainment Tonight, and Jeopardy! He’s also moonlighted as a game designer, a photographer, and a demolition derby driver. Gavin lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.






April 10, 2020

Spencer Merriweather, DA

Topic: The Fight Against Domestic Abuse

More details soon!





April 3, 2020

Willie Griffin, Levine Museum

Topic: History of Jim Crow & CSA Statues in the South

More details soon!



Friday, April 3, 2020

New Member Meet & Greet

Join us for coffee &/or tea 

Come early before the opening 10 AM bell, any meeting Friday, to enjoy coffee or hot tea, meet fellow scholars and make new friends who share common interests.

Organized by Carol Kesmodel