HPU Welcomes New Faculty to College of Arts and Sciences

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 20, 2017 – High Point University welcomes 10 new faculty members to the David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Beth Carter, Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese

Carter teaches beginner and intermediate Japanese language courses as well as First Year Seminars examining Samurai and premodern Japanese literature. She is an expert in Japanese literature between 1000 and 1333 C.E., with a particular focus on scenes of mourning. In her courses, she likes to connect modern manga and anime with their roots in premodern Japanese tales.

Carter has taught courses on Japanese language, literature and culture since 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania, North Central College and Nagoya University in Japan. During her graduate and doctoral studies, she received several awards for graduate research and foreign language fellowships. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship in 2013 and 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She earned a Master of Arts in East Asian humanities and a Ph.D. in East Asian languages and civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania.



Dr. Margaret Chrusciel, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Chrusciel teaches Victimology and Women in Crime. She is also working on several research projects in her areas of expertise, which include the impacts of drug use and law enforcement in school safety. This is a newly created position.

“Criminal justice impacts us on a daily basis, sometimes without us even realizing it,” she says. “I hope to help students learn about the ways they interact with the system, knowingly or otherwise. I’m also excited to add to their perspective on diversity in terms of gender, race, class and thought. My classes challenge students to think about what they know and find conviction in their beliefs.”

Chrusciel has relocated to High Point from Columbia, South Carolina, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science, as well as a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of South Carolina. During her doctoral studies, she taught courses and was part of a grant-funded research team. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was president of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association and acted as panel chair at multiple national criminology conferences, where she also presented research.


Dr. Denis Dépinoy, Assistant Professor of French

Dépinoy teaches all levels of French language, literature and culture courses. He also advises the HPU French Club. His research interests range from medieval travel literature to Belgian comic books with a primary research focus on the relationships between images and reality in contemporary French literature.

“I hope that as students take my literature or culture courses they not only develop linguistic skills, but also learn, reflect and discuss social, cultural and political issues in France and in the Francophone world,” he says. “I strongly believe in reconciling the learning of a language to the contexts of its uses.”

Dépinoy comes to HPU from the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he taught courses and led a study abroad trip. He also taught at the nonprofit Alliance Française of Minneapolis. He has a master’s degree in Français Langue Etrangère from the Université de Poitiers, a Master of Science in French with an emphasis on pedagogy from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a doctorate in French literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a certified Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française examiner/scorer.


Dr. Marco Cabrera Geserick, Instructor of Latin American History

Cabrera Geserick teaches courses on topics such as Latin American civilization, colonial Latin America, the history of Mexico, revolutionaries and dictators, and native peoples of Latin America.

“As a Latin American, I bring a nuanced version of the history of the region and a strong cultural background that helps to explain its context,” he says. “I intend to help my students understand Latin America outside of the traditional stereotypes used in the United States, so they can discover a vibrant, diverse and dynamic region that continues to be an influential actor in the world.”

Cabrera Geserick, who was born in Berlin, Germany, and lived in Costa Rica most of his life, has expertise in both colonial and modern Latin America. His research focuses on nation building and the formation of national identity and national narratives before and after wars of independence. He also has an interest in memory studies, an approach that looks at how events are remembered through literature, art, commemorations, and statues and monuments. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in history, and a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University, where he also received a teaching award in 2011.




Dr. Elizabeth Hupfer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Hupfer teaches Business Ethics and Social Ethics. Her research interests include social and political philosophy as well as normative and applied ethics. She is especially interested in issues of justice and poverty studies.

“I hope to get students at HPU excited about questioning the world around them and learning critical thinking skills that they can apply to any field of study,” she says.

Hupfer, who moved to High Point from Massachusetts, has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Furman University, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Virginia Tech University, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Rice University.





Dr. Sumeyye Pakdil, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

Pakdil teaches Introduction to Islam and Sacred Experiences. Originally from Turkey, her expertise is in the relationship between gender, sexuality and Islam, women in Islam, and political Islam. She has several years of university teaching experience and also worked at a think tank in her native country.

“Since Islam is one of the Abrahamic religions and fastest growing religion, it would help students to have an understanding of politics and gender relations of the Muslim world, the Muslim world’s relations with Islam and with other parts of the world in depth.”

Pakdil has a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Kansas and Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Iowa.



Dr. Will Suchan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Suchan teaches the Web Development and Introduction to Programming courses. This is a newly created position. Suchan’s expertise is in information assurance, and he has published numerous papers on digital privacy, security and IT education.

“I was inspired to study information security years ago when my family’s electronic medical records were stolen,” he says. “In today’s world, rarely a day goes by without hearing about electronic crime, ransomware, threats to the power grid, denial-of-service attacks, and on and on and on. I look forward to preparing students to become IT professionals who can develop strategic solutions to these problems.”

Suchan joins the faculty after working in a staff position with HPU’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies for the past four years. Previously, he taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for 13 years as part of a 30-year career in the Army. He held the ranks of instructor, assistant professor and academy professor and served in the roles of course director, program director and deputy department head during that time. Within the Army, Suchan served in multiple locations with jobs in communications, personnel, operations, logistics and command. He has earned numerous military awards with the highest being the Legion of Merit. He has a bachelor’s degree from West Point, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from Arizona State University.


Dr. Erin Trauth, Assistant Professor of English

Trauth teaches College Writing and Public Life and is helping with the expansion and promotion of a new minor in public and professional writing, as well as courses in professional and technical writing. She also conducts research in professional, technical and public health communication.

“Written communication skills are important and powerful,” she says. “These classes will help HPU students strengthen their professional writing skills and improve their future job prospects and performance.”

Before joining HPU, Trauth worked as the associate director of composition at the University of South Florida. She has taught professional writing, technical writing and composition courses at several universities and has experience as a journalist and technical editor. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications-journalism from the University of North Florida, a master’s degree in English from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University. She received an award for her dissertation from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.


Dr. Matthew Weidenfeld, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

Weidenfeld teaches courses in American politics and political theory. This is a newly created position. His research interests look at how political judgments are made, as well as tools for learning within political theory, including role-immersive tools and designing simulations.

“Most of my courses feature a series of role-immersive simulations known as Reacting to the Past, which engage students in the ideas and history we discuss,” he says. “Students are assigned roles informed by classic texts, and then they run our class sessions. In my classes, they don’t just study history and ideas – they live by them. It’s a lot of fun and hard work.”

Previously, Weidenfeld was an assistant professor at Elon University and Washington State University, where he received fellowships and awards for his research and undergraduate teaching excellence. He has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from New College of Florida and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota.



Dr. Kale Yu, Instructor of Religion

Yu teaches Introduction to Christianity and Biblical Themes. He also works with students interested in ministry and leadership. Yu’s research focuses on world Christianity, church history, American religious history, East Asian Christianity and Asian American Christianity. He has received several grants and awards for his work, including the United Methodist Racial/Ethnic History Research Grant, David M. Stowe Fund for Mission Research from Yale Divinity School, Women in United Methodist History Research Grant, Columbia University Library Research Award, and Harvard-Yenching Library Grant.

“The religious dynamics in our world today are a driving force for many of the most important topics that we are facing,” he says. “To become a global leader, students must be literate and versed in the ways religious impulses influence social and political movements, economics and business, and, of course, religious worldviews.”

Yu has a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has a Master of Philosophy and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is ordained in the United Methodist Church.

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