Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Dr. Diane M. Clark, counseling program coordinator and assistant professor, was the keynote speaker at a “Lunch and Learn” held Jan. 27, sponsored by the Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health in Macon. Dr. Clark addressed an audience of Licensed Professional Counselors regarding state and federal legislation that affects the counseling profession. Topics of the presentation included the recent federal legislation that allows Licensed Professional Counselors to participate in services for veterans and Tricare patients; Department of Defense rulings regarding Licensed Professional Counselors; Georgia H.B. 258, which would allow Licensed Professional Counselors to sign legal documents for involuntary commitment, and the recent developments in licensure proposed by the Secretary of State’s office. Dr. Clark was present at the State Senate hearing on Feb. 21 concerning the proposed licensure changes in order to voice concerns regarding the proposal and its effect on the profession of counseling.

Dr. Lynn Tankersley, assistant professor of criminal justice in the Department of Leadership Studies, presented a practice session, titled “Engagement: Strategies for Engaging the Adult Learner in Interdisciplinary Writing Courses,” at the 4th annual conference on Higher Education Pedagogy held in Blacksburg, Va., on Feb. 8. 

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Craig Byron, assistant professor, is a co-author on a paper recently published in The Journal of Human Evolution.

Dr. David A. Davis, assistant professor of English, published the review “Death in Knoxville” on Dianne C. Luce’s Reading the World Cormac McCarthy’s Tennessee Period and Hugh Davis’s The Making of James Agee in the Southern Literary Journal 44.1 (Fall 2011): 151-154.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor of French and interdisciplinary studies, organized the 8th Annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium held Feb. 9-10. The event featured Dr. Bill J. Leonard of Wake Forest University Divinity School as keynote speaker. Other featured speakers included Dr. Chester J. Fontenot Jr., professor and chair of the Africana Studies Department, and Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics. More than 150 local pastors, faculty, staff and students attended the event. Dunaway also organized a workshop for the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Mentoring Initiative along with Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, assistant professor of Christianity. Dr. Peter C. Brown, professor of philosophy, spoke about Mercer’s history of transformational interdisciplinary teaching and Dr. Kevin Bucholtz, associate professor of biology, spoke about opportunities and support for research. The mentoring initiative is supported by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program.

Dr. Anya Silver, associate professor, had her publication “New Dress” and “Dresses and Skirts” published in Five Points Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 121-122. “New Dress” was also featured on Poetry Daily Jan. 16 and her poem “Leaving the Hospital” was published in Ted Kooser’s syndicated American Life in Poetry column on Feb 20.

Dr. Margaret Symington, associate professor of mathematics, wrote the article titled “Euclid Makes The Cut,” that appeared in Mathematics Magazine, a publication of mathematical exposition aimed at undergraduate students.

Dr. Charlotte Thomas, professor, delivered an invited lecture on Feb. 9 at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., titled “The Boundaries of Human Dignity in Homer’s Epics.” 

Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, assistant professor of Christianity, presented a paper titled “The University as Home for Baptist Dissenters: The Example of Mercer University,” at the Christian Life and Witness: From the Academy to the Church, the inaugural event of Georgetown College’s Center for Christian Discernment and Academic Leadership, on Jan. 23.

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor; Dr. Leslie F. Taylor, professor; and Anushree K. Herwadkar, Ph.D. student, co-authored “Low frequency sonophoresis mediated transdermal and intradermal delivery of ketoprofen” in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2012; 423(2):289-96. Dr. Banga was also appointed to the editorial board of Research and Reports in Transdermal Drug Delivery.

Dr. Joseph T. Dye, assistant professor, was appointed to the 2012-2013 Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Program Planning and Development Committee.

Dr. Pamela M. Moye, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Acute care clinical

pharmacy practice: unit- versus service-based models” in Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 2012; 32(2):35-44.

Dr. Vanthida Huang, associate professor, and Dr. Phillip S. Owen, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections,” in Pharmacotherapy Self Assessment Program, 7th ed. Lenexa, Kan., Infectious Diseases: American College of Clinical Pharmacy, 2012:139-156. Editors Richardson MM, Chant C, Chessman KH, et al.

Dr. Gina J. Ryan, clinical associate professor, and Dr. Kathryn M. Momary, assistant professor, received a $67,212 research grant for “Preliminary analysis of lipoprotein subclasses, apoprotein levels and genetic architecture of African-American males with type 2 diabetes” from Merck.

Dr. Chad M. VanDenBerg, clinical associate professor, and Dr. Vanthida Huang, associate professor, received a $122,172 grant for “A randomized, controlled, crossover study evaluating the effects of snack product formulations on afternoon slump” from Cognitive Research Corp.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Lanell Bellury, associate professor, was elected to chair-elect of the Metro Atlanta Oncology Nursing Society.

Lana Chase, clinical assistant professor and Ann C. Keeley, clinical associate professor, wrote an article titled “The Effect of Mental Illness on the Family: Experiential Family Assessment to Promote Students’ Affective Learning” that was published in the February 2012 issue of Journal of Nursing Education.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, presented a workshop on Feb. 11 titled “The Dramas of Grief” at the annual education seminar for FOCUS, or Families of Children Under Stress.

Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, was elected to serve on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Grassroots Political Committee and Sigma Theta Tau International, Region 7, Communications Task Force.

School of Engineering

Dr. Behnam Kamali, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, presented a poster article titled “Selection of WiMAX Physical Layer Protocols for Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications Systems (AeroMACS)” at the Georgia Aerospace Technology Forum, held at Georgia Institute of Technology on Jan. 26. The article reflected part of Dr. Kamali’s research work in aerospace communications at NASA.  

Dr. Paul E. MacNeil, associate professor and director of the Master of Science in Software Engineering and Software Systems Program, wrote a paper titled “A Technique for Generating Approximate Solutions and It’s Application to Coulomb Interactions” that has been accepted for presentation at the SoutheastCon 2012 conference in Orlando, Fla., March 15-18. SoutheastCon is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Dr. Scott Schultz, associate professor of industrial engineering, Paul Fithian, MERC, and Paul Wojdac, Robins Air Force Base, presented a poster, titled “Reducing Depot Maintenance Flow Days by Determining ‘Optimal’ Resource Pool,” at the 2012 Georgia Aerospace Research Forum in Atlanta.

School of Medicine

Dr. Kerry L. Coburn, professor, and Dr. Ali S. Gonul recently published a paper relating anatomical changes in a deep brain structure to one type of schizophrenia titled “Reduced left uncinate fasciculus fractional anisotropy in deficit schizophrenia but not in nondeficit schizophrenia” in the Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, published online in January. They also have had a paper accepted for publication assessing the use of brain scans to aid in the diagnosis Alzheimer’s, titled “Computer Based classification of MR scans in living Alzheimer patients,” in Current Alzheimer Research. 

Dr. Ashley Horner, assistant professor of pharmacology, along with Yamiece E. Gilbert, a recent Mercer Master of Public Health graduate, and Mercer undergraduates John C. Hebbard, Anna S. Logan and Golda A. Vanchipurakel recently published a paper, titled “Activation of mu opioid receptors in the striatum differentially augments methamphetamine-induced gene expression and enhances stereotypic behavior,” in the Journal of Neurochemistry (J Neurochem 2012 March; 120: 779-794).

Dr. Harold P. Katner, professor of internal medicine and chief of infectious diseases, presented an HIV prevention program at the Friendship Baptist Church in Macon on Feb. 18.

Dr. Edward C. Lauterbach, professor, recently co-authored a paper, titled “The neuroprotective disease – modifying potential of psychotropics in Parkinson’s disease,” in the journal Parkinson’s Disease 2012;2012:753548.”

Dr. Mike U. Smith, director of AIDS education and research and professor of medical education, co-authored a paper, titled “Native STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions): Evaluating a school-based sexual risk reduction intervention in Indian boarding schools,” in Health Education Monographs 28:67-74.

Dr. Melton Strozier, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Steve Hobbs, program director of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Medical Psychology, attended the annual conference of the Southeastern Psychological Association Feb. 14–17. Dr. Strozier presented a workshop titled “Understanding PTSD: Etiology and Evidenced Based Treatment from the Biopsychosocial Perspective.” Dr. Hobbs and Dr. Strozier presented a conversation hour for psychology students titled “Doctoral Training in Clinical Medical/Health Psychology: Current Status.”

Dr. Wei-Hsiung Yang, assistant professor of physiology, and Chiung-Min Wang, published a mini-review, titled “Recent Progress of DeSUMOylation in Biological Processes: A Mini Review,” in The North American Journal of Medicine and Science on Feb. 16.

Staff and Administration

Stephanie Mooring, assistant director of the academic resource center, co-presented with peer tutors Gloria Ananing and Mercedes Mixon on “Identifying and Addressing Study Skills Needs through Tutoring: Sharing Tacit Knowledge” at the Georgia Tutoring Association Conference on Feb. 18 in Macon. Almost 50 tutoring coordinators and tutors attended the session.

Dr. Eric Spears, director of International Education and assistant professor of geography, presented a paper in November at the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers titled “Spatial Politics and Environmental Barriers: Conceptualizing the ‘Nature’ of Scale and Development on Jekyll Island.” His paper was included in a special session on coastal geography at the Savannah meeting. He also presented in February at the Mercer Asian Faculty Development Workshop on “Fractured Geographies in Korea: Political and Urban Realms.” This presentation was sponsored by the sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and coordinated by the Asian Initiatives Committee. Dr. Spears also presented at the Association of International Educators of America on “International Education in a Transforming South Korea.”  Dr. Spears was a co-panelist with Kibong Lee (educational attaché for the Embassy of the Republic of Korea), Dr. Anne Schiller (George Mason University), Dr. Min Park (George Mason University), and Adam Steckler (North Carolina State University).  The annual meeting was held in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Zimmerman, director of the academic resource center, co-presented with Dr. Melanie Pavich, assistant professor of interdisciplinary and historical studies and writing coordinator for the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, and professional writing tutors Jamie Brown and Cheyenne Warnock on “Forming Our Way to a Student/Writing Tutor/Instructor Collaboration” at the Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference on Feb. 17 in Richmond, Ky.

Tift College of Education

Elaine M. Artman, associate professor, presented at the Southern Association Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers on Feb. 14 about what faculty can do, are willing to do, able to do to support strategic enrollment management.

Theodorea Regina Berry, assistant professor and qualitative research methodologist, recently released an edited volume, titled The Evolving Significance of Race: Living, Learning, and Teaching, co-edited with Sherick Hughes and published with Peter Lang.

Anthony J. Harris, professor of education, published a book titled Gifts of Moments: Being Somebody to Somebody.

Dr. Ron Knorr, assistant professor, presented a paper, titled “Using Cultural Historical Activity Theory as a Phenomenology Lens,” at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association Feb 17 at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Dr. Knorr also published a paper “Pre-Service Teacher Cohorts: Characteristics and Issues” in the spring 2012 issue of The Southeastern Region Association of Teacher Educators Journal.

Dr. Mary McNeese, associate professor, along with others from the University of Southern Mississippi, were the first place recipients of the Return On Investment (ROI) Institute’s 2011 award for Best Published Case Study for “A Learning Intervention for Work Engagement,” which was published recently in the book Measuring ROI in Learning and Development: Case Studies from Global Organizations.

Townsend School of Music

Amy Schwartz Moretti,
associate professor and director of the McDuffie Center for Strings, was a guest artist for seven performances at the Winter Festival of the Seattle Chamber Music Society at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 2-5. She collaborated with artists James Ehnes, Richard O’Neill, Robert deMaine, Edward Arron, William Wolfram, Erin Keefe and Roberto Diaz performing string quartets by Bartók, Brahms, and Suk, as well as a Mozart piano quartet and Brahms string quintet.

Walter F. George School of Law

David Ritchie, associate professor, spoke on a panel, titled “Law as a Discourse Community: Critical Perspectives on Legal Discourse” on Jan. 6 at the AALS Annual meeting in Washington, D.C.  The panel was the program for the Law and Interpretation Section, which Ritchie chaired for the last 18 months. The panel was co-sponsored by the section on legal research, reasoning and writing. Other speakers included Teresa Godwin Phelps from American University, Teri McMurtry-Chubb from Laverne University and David Caudill from Villanova University. Papers from this panel, and additional commentaries to be produced by scholars in the field, will be published in book form by Carolina Academic Press later this year. Ritchie is currently on sabbatical, and is doing research in Brazil.