MC welcomes five new international faculty and staff members

MC welcomes five new international faculty and staff members

Aug. 31, 2016

This fall, Maryville College welcomes to its campus five new international faculty and staff members.

“A diverse faculty is important to our students’ success in the 21st Century,” said Kirsten Sheppard, director of international education at Maryville College. “We can’t ignore the fact that we are part of an interconnected world where we need to learn to work harmoniously with people different from ourselves. Maryville College students who actively interact with both international students and faculty are not only learning about foreign cultures but are also interacting with people who hold different interests, values or perspectives. This can lead to a broader knowledge of human cultures and the world, can help them develop intellectual and practical skills to help them in the workplace, and will provide many opportunities for personal growth. Our international students will also benefit by having role models and mentors from a diverse range of countries.”

Ahmed Abdelrahman, who is from Egypt, will join the Center for International Education staff as assistant director of international admissions on Sept. 1. He earned a bachelor of arts degree, with German as a major, from Ain Shams University-Faculty of Al-Alsun in Cairo, Egypt. He earned a master’s degree in German from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he is also completing a Ph.D. in modern foreign languages. His first concentration is German, and his second concentration is applied linguistics. His dissertation title is The Effects of Processing Instruction and Meaning-focused Output Instruction on the Acquisition of German Simple Past Morphology.

Previously, he was the director of the Office of Student Access at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, where he also served as alternate accountable property officer, technology administrator, computer labs and tutorial services coordinator in the Department of Special Programs, and temporary TRiO program coordinator. He was an adjunct German instructor at Maryville College and a graduate teaching associate at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He has also translated two books from German into Arabic.

Dr. Anna Engelsone, who is from Latvia, joins the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science as an assistant professor of mathematics. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics from Goshen College and a Ph.D. in operations research from North Carolina State University. Her thesis title is Solving Optimal Control Problems by Direct Transcription.

Most recently, she was a senior operations research scientist for JDA Software Inc. She was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland, and she has also served as a research assistant at North Carolina State University, where she designed and implemented numerical experiments with scientists from Boeing.

Dr. Wei Fu, who is from China, joins the Division of Social Sciences as an assistant professor of marketing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in computer and application from Kunming University of Science and Technology in Kunming, China. She earned a master of science in accounting degree with a concentration in business administration from East Tennessee State University and a Ph.D. in retail, hospitality and tourism management with a concentration in retail and consumer sciences from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Her dissertation title is Eco-fashion consumption: cognitive-experiential self-theory.

Previously, Fu was a visiting assistant professor of marketing in Gustavus Adolphus College’s Department of Economics and Management. She also taught in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her teaching interests include principles of marketing, marketing research, customer relationship management, consumer behavior, retail management, brand management, marketing strategy, principles of retailing, e-retailing and international marketing. Her research interests include societal marketing, Chinese-inspired products, consumer information process systems, customer value and hedonic consumption experiences.

Irene Guerinot, who is from Greece, joins the Division of Natural Sciences as a lecturer in physics. She is also serving on the College’s International Programming Committee during the 2016-17 academic year. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Guerinot has taught at Maryville College since 2008, serving as laboratory coordinator and Natural Sciences instructor. She has over 20 years of experience in scientific research and development that involve the physics of micro and nano-mechanical (MEMS/NEMS) systems, micro-mechanical physical and chemical sensors, the physics of electron transport and the development of uncooled MEMS IR detectors. She has more than 15 open literature publications and over 20 conference proceedings and presentations.

Dr. Lu Sun, who is from China, joins the Division of Humanities as a visiting instructor of history. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Anhui University in Hefei, China and a master’s degree in world history from Peking University in Beijing, China. She earned a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, where she is also completing a Ph.D. in United States history. Her dissertation title is Prisoners, Saboteurs, and Diplomats: A History of the Diplomacy of Captivity During and Following the Korean War.

Sun taught history and social sciences at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass., and she served as a teaching assistant in Vanderbilt University’s Department of History. Her research and teaching interests include modern East Asian history, modern Chinese history, global Cold War history, 20th century world history, 20th century U.S. history, U.S.-East Asian relations and history of New York City.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.