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 (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.




Friday, November 15 

Jonathan M. (Jon) Marks, Ph.D.
Professor -- Department of Anthropology
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Topic: "Where Did Race Come From?"

I am going to discuss patterns of human variation and how they differ from our conceptions of race. Over the course of the 20th century alone, it had three very different meanings within the scholarly community. The rigorous empirical study of how human differences are patterned, however, matched none of them. Humans group themselves meaningfully in all kinds of ways, some of which may correlate with biological differences, but it is a mistake to think of those patterns as biological or natural when they are actually produced by history, not microevolution.  Finally, I will discuss what this all means for making sense of DNA ancestry tests.

Dr. Jonathan Marks is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with primary interests in human diversity and human origins, and in the history of scientific investigations into those questions.

He was trained initially in evolutionary molecular genetics, but has since developed far more eclectic research interests. Professor Marks has been published in scholarly journals ranging from American Anthropologist to Zygon. He is the author of several books, most recently Is Science Racist? (Polity, 2017). Two of his books published by The University of California Press are called What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee and Why I Am Not A Scientist, although paradoxically he is actually about 98% scientist, and not a chimpanzee.

Professor Marks has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the ESRC Genomics Institute in Edinburgh and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. In 2013-2014 he was an Inaugural Templeton Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, and has just returned from a second stint there as a Director’s Fellow.

His work has been awarded the J. I. Staley Prize from the School of American Research and the W. W. Howells Prize from the American Anthropological Association. He received the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal from UNC-Charlotte in 2011.


Human evolution; critical, historical, and social studies of human genetics, genomics, evolution, and variation; anthropology of science; general biological anthropology; general anthropology.


Ph. D., Anthropology.            The University of Arizona, Tucson (1984).
M. A., Anthropology.             The University of Arizona, Tucson (1979).
M. S., Genetics.                    The University of Arizona, Tucson (1977).
B. A., Natural Sciences.        The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1975).


Assistant/Associate/Full Professor, UNC-Charlotte (2000-present)
[Visiting Affiliate Faculty, UCB/UCSF Medical Anthropology Program (1999-2000)]
Visiting Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley (1997-2000)
[Assistant Professor (joint), Dept. of Biology, Yale University (1988-1992)]
Assistant/Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Yale University (1987-1997)
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Genetics, UC-Davis, Laboratory of Dr.


Editorial Board, Anthropological Theory (2014- ).
Nominations Committee, American Anthropological Association (2011-2014).
Editorial Board, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, UK (2010-2013).
Executive Program Committee, American Anthropological Association (2009, 2011).


Director’s Fellowship, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, 2019.
Distinguished Lecture, General Anthropology Division, American Anthropological Association, 2015.
Recipient of grant to establish The Spinoza Fund at UNCC, 2014.
Templeton Fellow, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, 2013-2014.
General Anthropology Division Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship, 2012.
University Marshal, UNCC, 2012.




Friday, November 22 

Speaker Details Coming Soon!





 Friday, October 25 

Joan Higginbotham

Electrical Engineer, NASA Astronaut (retired), Motivational Speaker

Joan Higginbotham was born in Chicago, IL, and enjoys motivational speaking, working out, and a variety of music genres. 


She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU-C), a Master of Science Degree in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), a Master of Science Degree in Space Systems from FIT, an Honorary Doctorate in Aerospace Science from SIU-C, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the University of New Orleans. 


COLLINS AEROSPACE EXPERIENCE:  In November 2018, UTC Aerospace Systems acquired Rockwell Collins and the integrated company was renamed Collins Aerospace.  Ms. Higginbotham was assigned to the Customer and Account Management function where she manages the relationships with governmental agencies and human exploration companies. 


UTC AEROSPACE SYSTEMS EXPERIENCE:  Joan joined UTC Aerospace Systems on October 2, 2017, as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  She worked closely with strategic stakeholders and executive leadership across UTC Aerospace Systems’ business units and functions to ensure alignment and coordination of all internal and external community programs, focusing on creating a stronger corporate social responsibility identity that delivered social impact in key markets around the world.  


NASA EXPERIENCE:  Joan Higginbotham began her career in 1987 at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, as a Payload Electrical Engineer in the Electrical and Telecommunications Systems Division. Within six months she became the lead for the Orbiter Experiments (OEX) on OV-102, the Space Shuttle Columbia. She later worked on the shuttle payload bay reconfiguration for all shuttle missions and conducted electrical compatibility tests for all payloads flown aboard the shuttle. She was tasked by KSC management to undertake several special assignments where she served as the Executive Staff Assistant to the Director of Shuttle Operations and Management, led a team of engineers in performing critical analysis for the space shuttle flow in support of a simulation model tool, and worked on an interactive display detailing the space shuttle processing procedures at Spaceport USA (Kennedy Space Center’s Visitors Center). Higginbotham then served as backup orbiter project engineer for OV-104, Space Shuttle Atlantis, where she participated in the integration of the orbiter docking station (ODS) into the space shuttle used during Shuttle/Mir docking missions. Two years later, she was promoted to lead orbiter project engineer for OV-102, Space Shuttle Columbia. In this position, she held the technical lead government engineering position in the firing room where she supported and managed the integration of vehicle testing and troubleshooting. She actively participated in 53 space shuttle launches during her 9-year tenure at Kennedy Space Center.


Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Joan reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. She was assigned technical duties in the Payloads & Habitability Branch, the Shuttle Avionics & Integration Laboratory, the Kennedy Space Center Operations Support Branch, where she tested various modules of the International Space Station for operability, compatibility, and functionality prior to launch, the Astronaut Office CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) Branch in the startup and support of numerous space station missions and space shuttle missions, the Robotics Branch, and Lead for the International Space Station Systems Crew Interfaces Section. Joan has logged over 308 hours in space having completed her first mission with the crew of STS-116 where her primary task was to operate the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) aka the robotic arm.

Joan was assigned to the STS-126 mission targeted for launch in September 2008; however, in November 2007, she retired from 20-year distinguished career with NASA in order to pursue a career at Marathon Oil Company.


SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE:  STS-116 Discovery (December 9-22, 2006).  The seven-member crew on this nearly 13-day mission continued construction of the ISS outpost by adding the P5 spacer truss segment during the first of four spacewalks. The next two spacewalks rewired the station’s power system, preparing it to support the addition of European and Japanese science modules by future shuttle crews. The fourth spacewalk was added to allow the crew to coax and retract a stubborn solar panel to fold up accordion-style into its box. Discovery also delivered a new crew member and more than two tons of equipment and supplies to the station. Almost two tons of items no longer needed on the station returned to Earth on STS-116. Mission duration was 12 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes.



•       Association of Space Explorers (ASE), Life Member

•       Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

•       Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC)

•       Johnson C. Smith University, Board of Visitors

•       The Links, Incorporated, Crown Jewels Chapter



•       AT&T Heritage Calendar Honoree

•       Charlotte’s 50 Most Influential Women

•       Inductee National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s History Hall of Fame

•       St. Augustine University’s Heritage Award Recipient

•       Savoy Magazine’s 2012 Top Influential Women in Corporate America

•       Featured in the ‘America I Am: The African American Imprint’ Exhibit, Harvey Gantt Center for African

        American Arts & Culture,    Charlotte, NC

•       Honored with displays at the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, IL, and the Buffalo

        Soldier Museum in Houston, TX

•       World Who’s Who of Women

•       Who’s Who in Black Houston

•       Appeared in Alicia Key’s ‘Superwoman’ video

•       More Magazine/Wilhelmina Model Search Semi-finalist

•       Honored by President George W. Bush at the 81st White House Black History Month Celebration

•       Women of Color in Technology Career Achievement Award Recipient

•       National Technical Association’s Technical Achiever (Engineer)

•       National Space Medal

•       Essence Magazine’s Top 50 Women of 2004

•       Southern Illinois University’s Distinguished Alumni

October 25 - Lunch Bunch -

See BG Metzler and Ruth McDevitt

at the Lunch Bunch table




Friday, November 1 


Joseph B. Kuhns III, Ph.D.
Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Topic: Homicide Causes and Correlates: Exploring the Available Scientific Evidence

This presentation will examine the primary causes and correlates associated with homicide trends in Charlotte and elsewhere. Much of the presentation will draw attention to the role of drugs and alcohol in faciliating homicide offending and victimization. 


2000 PhD. - Criminology, University of Albany

1990 M.A. - Criminology, University of South Florida (Thesis)

1986 B.A. - Criminal Justice, University of South Florida



JULY 2016 Full Professor University of North Carolina at Charlotte / Criminal Justice & Criminology

2010 - 2016 Associate Professor (Graduate Coordinator - 2010-2012) University of North Carolina at Charlotte / Criminal Justice & Criminology

2003 - 2010 Assistant Professor University of North Carolina at Charlotte / Criminal Justice & Criminology

1995 - 2003 Senior Policy Analyst (GS-14); Social Science Analyst (GS-13) United States Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services



(* indicates projects with current / former students) Kuhns, Joseph B. (2018). Preventing burglaries at self-storage facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina. A chapter in Scott, M. & Clarke, R. (Eds); Successful POP Case Studies, New York, NY: Routledge



(* indicates projects with current / former students) Johnson, D. Maguire, E.R. & Kuhns, Joseph B. (2018). Can community policing reduce perceived disorder: Findings from a quasi-experiment in Trinidad and Tobago; Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2



Google Scholar Link (* indicates publications with current / former students) Research Gate Link Books, Edited Books and Peer Reviewed Technical Reports and Monographs


2018 * Kuhns, Joseph B., Cambareri, Josie, Messer, Shannon & Stephens, Darrel. Independent Investigations of Officer - Involved Shootings: Current Practices and Recommendations from Law Enforcement Leaders in the United States and Canada; www.mcca.org: https://www.majorcitieschiefs.com; Major Cities Chiefs Association (https://www.majorcitieschiefs.com/)


2016 * Kuhns, Joseph., Doliver, Diana, Bent, Emily & Maguire, Edward R. Understanding firearms assaults against law enforcement officers in the United States. Washington DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Bureau of Justice Assistance


2015 Kuhns, Joseph B., Maguire, Edward R & Leach, Nancy R. Health, safety and wellness program case studies in law enforcement. Washington DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services


Link to Home Page




Friday, November 8 


Major General Kate Leahy
Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET), Charlotte

Topic: "The Role Of The United States Army Reserve
In The Community Since 9-11"


Major General Kate Leahy graduated from Providence College, Rhode Island, in 1985 and was commissioned as a Military Intelligence officer.

During her first assignment with the 7th Infantry Division (Light) at Fort Ord, California, MG Leahy served as a collection platoon leader; S-4 Logistics Officer; Battalion S-1; and Chief, Technical Control and Analysis Element, with the 107th Military Intelligence Battalion.

In 1991, Major General Leahy left active duty and was assigned to the Military Intelligence Group-Europe, Heidelberg, Germany, as a Troop Program Unit Soldier. She deployed in support of Operation Provide Promise to Naples, Italy; was later mobilized in support of Operation Joint Endeavor; and served with the 7th Army Reserve in Schwetzingen, Germany.

In 1997, Major General Leahy was accessed into the Active Guard Reserve Program, and assigned as an assistant professor of military science at the University of Rhode Island. Subsequent assignments included Unit Training Officer for the 96th Regional Support Command, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Operations Officer, Office of the Chief Army Reserve, Washington DC. In 2004, she was selected for deputy command of the 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, Korea. Following Korea, she served as the Reserve Advisor to the U.S. Army Forces Command G-2, and then returned to OCAR as the Secretary of the General Staff.

In 2008, Major General Leahy deployed to Baghdad as the Chief of the Joint Document Exploitation Center-Iraq. Upon her return, she was selected for inspector general duty and served as the Army Reserve Command IG. In April 2012, she assumed brigade command of the Military Intelligence Readiness Command's Training Support Command, where she served for two years. In Sept. 2014, MG Leahy was promoted to her current rank, and assigned as the Deputy Commander of the 81st Regional Support Command, headquartered at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She was subsequently assigned as the Director of Intelligence (J-2), U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Florida, from 2015-2017.

From Miami, MG Leahy was assigned as the Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs and Director of the Army Reserve Engagement Cell in Wiesbaden, Germany from August 2017 until her most recent selection to command the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), headquartered in Charlotte, NC.

Major General Leahy's military education includes the Military Intelligence Basic and Advanced courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. Her awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster; Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Department of the Army Staff Badge; the Knowlton Award and Army Parachutist Badge.