Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Dr. Ilknur Eginli, assistant professor of liberal studies and Bridge Program Advisor, presented a research paper, titled “The Mediating Role of Efficacy Beliefs on Teacher Job Satisfaction, at the CCPS Atlanta Research Conference, on April 14.

Dr. Kenyon Knapp, assistant dean of graduate programs, and Ph.D. student Mayi Dixon, presented at the national Marriage America Conference in Orlando, Fla., on April 13. Their presentation was on “Childhood Sexual Abuse and Marital Attachment.” Dr. Knapp served as chairman of the Atlanta Research Conference on April 14. The Atlanta Conference included a combined total of 45 faculty and student presenters from the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Tift College of Education and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences who shared innovative and interesting information about many research agendas.

Dr. Don Redmond, assistant professor of counseling and human sciences, presented “Techniques for Preventing Negative and Harmful Supervision Experiences: Risk Reduction through Strength Enhancement,” at the American Counseling Association Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on March 25.

Dr. Zipangani M. Vokhiwa, assistant professor, has been selected to serve as a volunteer Grand Awards Judge in the Environmental Management category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2012. The fair is to be held May 15-18 in Pittsburgh, Penn. Intel ISEF is a premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12 that provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions and territories to display their independent research.

Dr. Sabrina L. Walthall, assistant professor of science, was inducted in the Mercer Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society at the annual spring banquet held April 16.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. David A. Davis, assistant professor of English, presented the paper “Helping of Hindering: Reading Transgressive Relationships in the Kitchen” at the Society for the Study of Southern Literature biennial conference at Vanderbilt University, March 29–April 1. He also published the spring issue of the Society for the Study of Literature newsletter, http://www.mercer.edu/sst/ssslnewsletter.html.

Dr. John Dunaway, professor of French and interdisciplinary studies, spoke to the annual Great Books Junior-Senior Banquet on Senegalese poet/statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor and Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3. Dunaway also attended the annual Colloquy of the American Simone Weil Society at the University of Notre Dame March 23-25, where he assisted the local host faculty with logistical arrangements for the conference. Dunaway, along with Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, associate professor of Christianity, organized a workshop for the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Mentoring Initiative on March 16. The group traveled to Old Penfield, where Emeritus Professor Michael Cass spoke on the history of transformational learning at Mercer. The mentoring Initiative is supported by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program.

Dr. Kathryn D. Kloepper, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Garland L. Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, were inducted in the Mercer Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, at the annual spring banquet in a brief ceremony held April 16 at the Woodruff House.

Dr. Achim Kopp, professor of foreign languages and literatures, visited four universities in China to identify short-term and long-term study abroad opportunities for Mercer’s Chinese language students. His destinations included the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, the Institute for International Students at Nanjing University in Nanjing, Jiansu province; the College of Chinese Language and Culture at Qingdao University in Qingdao, Shandong province, and the School of International Studies at Ludong University in Yantai, Shandong province. During his visit to Hong Kong Baptist University, Dr. Kopp visited Mercer students Drew Wildes and Branden Ryan, who are currently completing a year-long exchange program. As part of his consultations, Dr. Kopp gave two guest lectures on his research in Pennsylvania German Studies, one to the students and faculty of the German Department at Nanjing University and a second one to the School of Foreign Languages at Ludong University. 

Dr. Paul Lewis, associate professor of Christianity, has had an article published in the UK-based Journal of Moral Education. “In Defense of Aristotle on Character:  Toward a Synthesis of Recent Psychology, Neuroscience, and the Thought of Michael Polanyi” has already appeared in electronic form and will appear in the next print edition of the journal.

Dr. Shawn Loht, senior lecturer, had an article, titled “Heidegger’s Phenomenology of the Greek Gods,” accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Philosophy Today. The article is scheduled to appear in the Fall 2012 issue. Dr. Loht also wrote a book review of the title “Plato’s Cratylus: A Commentary,” for Journal of the History of Philosophy, to appear in the Summer/Fall 2012 issue. Dr. Loht presented a paper, titled “Does Heraclitus Understand Body as Distinct from Soul?,” at the spring meeting of the Georgia Philosophical Society held March 24 at Morehouse College. He presented a paper, titled “On the Concept of the Human Body in Heraclitus,” at the annual meeting of the North Texas Philosophical Association on April 13 at the University of North Texas.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre, will be choreographing violence, gunplay and stunts for the world premier of “Ghost Brothers of Darkling County.” Stephen King writes the blockbuster musical, with music by John Melloncamp, and music direction by T. Bone Burnett. Mann directed “A Little Night Music,” co-produced by Mercer Opera and Mercer Theatre, presented at the Grand Opera House in April. Mann served as an instructor for the Virginia Beach Stage Combat Workshop at Regent University, where he taught master classes in choreographing and performing action for film and television. A recognized fight master with the Society of American Fight Directors, Mann adjudicated a Skills Proficiency Test for Regent University in March.

Olu Q. Menjay, assistant professor, was elected president of the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention on March 17. Menjay is the principal and CAO of the Ricks Institute, a K-12 boarding school near Monrovia, Liberia. He also is a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance and chair of the BWA Peace and Justice Commission.

Dr. Deneen Senasi, assistant professor of English, presented a paper, titled “Beyond Recognition: Mutilation, Marginalia, and the Vicissitudes of Reading” in a seminar on “Matter, Perception, and Cognition in the Renaissance” at the Shakespeare Association of America 40th Annual Meeting, April 5-7. Dr. Senasi has also been awarded a 2012-2013 Research Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., for her project, “Companionate Reading, Coincidental Inscription, and the Associated Name: George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, and the Works of Shakespeare.”

Dr. Anya Silver, associate professor, published her poems, “Honey Salvation” in Saint Katherine Review, Vol. 2., No. 1, p. 9, “Owl Maiden” and “Strawberries in Snow” in Bellevue Literary Review,  Vol. 12, No. 1, pgs 132-133, and “Junior Assembly” and “Doing Laundry in Budapest” in Poet Lore, Vol. 107, No 1-2, pgs. 12-77. She also had a poetry reading at White Space Art Gallery in Atlanta on April 19.

Dr. Charlotte Thomas, professor of philosophy, presented “Teaching the History of Economic Thought Using Primary Texts and Seminar Pedagogies” at the annual meeting of the Association for Private Enterprise Education, April 1-4 in Las Vegas, Nev. Students Mark Benfield and Adam Lewis gave related presentations in the same session. Thomas also directed the fifth annual Conference for Great Books and Ideas on Mercer’s Macon campus March 28-30. This year’s topic was the Essays of Michel de Montaigne. Seven visiting scholars and four Mercer students presented papers or gave lectures, many of which will be collected in a volume to be published by Mercer University Press.  Thomas served as discussion leader for “Virtues and the Market,” a conference sponsored by Liberty Fund, March 1-4, in Indianapolis, Ind.

Dr. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry, presented an oral session “Community-Based Partnerships in Undergraduate Biochemistry Education” at the Gulf South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education. The Gulf South Summit is the annual conference on service-learning and was hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi in March.

Dr. Amy Wiles, assistant professor of biology, and two students, Belsy Garcia and Tiet Hoang, attended the 19th annual Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting Feb. 24-26 in Atlanta. Garcia and Hoang presented a poster, titled “Competition assay between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe developed for mathematical biology classroom use.” The project was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jeff Denny, associate professor of mathematics and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Richard F. Wilson, Columbus Roberts Professor of Christian Theology and chair of the Roberts Department of Christianity, participated as a member of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program selection committee in Indianapolis, Ind., held April 13-15. The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is a nationally competitive scholarship under the auspices of the Lilly Fellows Program housed at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Carolyn Yackel, associate professor of mathematics, attended the invitation only conference Gathering 4 Gardner X, where she presented a talk and exhibited two pieces of art. She then gave an invited lecture at Kennesaw State University on mathematics and art followed by a mathematically rich workshop on making temari balls.

Dr. Marian Zielinski, professor of theatre, has a fiber art work, titled “55 Worlds,” accepted in the national juried show, The Artist As Quiltmaker XV, the 15th biennial exhibition of contemporary quilts, the second-longest-running art-quilt exhibition in the world, at the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin, Ohio, May 13-July 29.

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor, co-authored “An update on the application of physical technologies to enhance intradermal and transdermal drug delivery” with Ph.D. student Anushree K. Herwadkar in Therapeutic Delivery 2012; 3(3): 339-355. Dr. Banga also co-authored “Evaluation of acyclovir cream and gel formulations for transdermal iontophoretic delivery” in Therapeutic Delivery 2012; 3(3): 327-338.

Dr. Kendra R. Manigault, clinical assistant professor, was selected to attend the Georgia Pharmacy Foundation New Practitioner Leadership Conference.

Dr. Leisa L. Marshall, clinical professor, published “Case study: gastrointestinal bleeding and possible hypothyroidism” in The Consultant Pharmacist 2012; 27(3):180-188.

Dr. Hailing Zhang, assistant professor, and Ph.D. students Delaram Moshkelani, Colby S. Shemesh and Doctor of Pharmacy student David Luc published “Near-infrared image-guided delivery and controlled release using optimized thermosensitive liposomes” in the online journal Pharmaceutical Research 2012; doi: 10.1007/s11095-012-0738-0.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Jody Blanke, professor of computer information systems and law, presented at and moderated a panel discussion of “Understanding Copyright and Fair Use: What Should I Know?  Why Should I Care?” at the Monroe F. Swilley Library in Atlanta as part of its celebration of National Library Week.

Dr. Linda L. Brennan, professor of management, with Dr. Cheryl Tibus Clark, received the “Distinguished Research Award” from the Academy of Entrepreneurship for their work on “Entrepreneurship with Social Value: A Conceptual Model for Performance Measurement.” This paper is forthcoming in the Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Laura Kim Baraona, clinical instructor, presented a poster “Reducing Risk of Low Birth Weight: An Educational Tobacco Cessation Intervention for Obstetrical Practices” at the Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Research Day on the Atlanta Campus March 28.

Dr. Lanell Bellury, associate professor, had her manuscript, “The Effect of Aging & Cancer on the Symptom Experience & Physical Function of Older Breast Cancer Survivors,” accepted for publication in the journal Cancer.

Freida Fuller, professor, presented a poster “Upright: An Opportunity for Interprofessional Student Collaboration to Prevent Falls in the Elderly,” at the 38th  Annual Meeting of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Conference in Charleston, S.C., on April 14. Fuller and Brenda Rowe, associate professor, presented “Interdisciplinary Work and Cultural Awareness during a Medical Mission Experience in Vietnam” at the Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Research Day on the Atlanta Campus March 28.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, presented “It Isn’t Easy Being Green,” the keynote address at Piedmont HealthCare System Medical Surgical Conference. Harris and Ann Keeley, clinical associate professor, presented “Therapeutic Communication in Times of Death, Dying, and Bereavement” at Hospice Atlanta Clergy Education Initiative.

Karen Maxwell, clinical assistant professor, was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society of Education at the University of Alabama.

Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, presented “Ventilators, Nutrition, and Advanced Directives” at Hospice Atlanta Clergy Education Initiative on April 11.


Peter Bryant, manager of Electronic Systems Division, taught a short course he developed, titled “Introduction to Geolocation,” at the 37th Annual Dixie Crow Symposium, held March 18-22.  The theme of this year’s symposium was Countering the Threat through EW and ISR Collaboration.

School of Engineering

Dr. Susan Codone, associate professor, presented a paper, titled “Building Quality into E-Learning: Four Methods for Quality Assurance,” at the Society for Applied Learning Technology Conference in Orlando, Fla., in February.

Dr. Behnam Kamali, professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented and published a joint article, titled “Application of Multihop Relay for Performance Enhancement of AeroMACS Networks,” at the IEEE ICNS 2012 conference held in Herndon, Va., April 23-26.  The article reflects Dr. Kamali’s most recent research results in airport surface communication systems and was co-authored by Dr. Jeffrey Wilson and Robert Kerczewski of NASA Glenn Research Center.

Dr. Philip T. McCreanor, associate professor and Director of the Engineering Honors Program, received the 2012 American Society for Engineering Educators Southeastern Sections (ASEE-SE) 2012 Mid-Career Teaching Award for his sustained outstanding service through innovation in environmental engineering course development and assessment, introduction of on-line interactive video materials, service learning using community projects, a dedicated Senior Environmental Engineering Laboratory, promotion of student research through participation in ASEE conferences and the design and construction of a unique Engineering Honors Program. He was also the faculty advisor for 10 award-winning entries in the Student Poster Competition at the ASEE-SE 2012 Annual Conference. He co-advised two of the projects with Dr. Laura Lackey, chair of the Environmental Engineering Department.

School of Medicine

Dr. Daniel Hagan, professor of physiology, and student Gerald N. Blaney III presented a poster, titled “Update on Human Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis): They are not just for dogs and cats anymore,” at the 76th annual meeting of the Georgia Entomological Society on April 5 in Statesboro.  

Dr. Harold P. Katner, professor, gave a lecture at the Mercer Atlanta Research Conference titled, “Evidence for a non-African Origin of HIV/AIDS” on April 14. He also received a state public health award called the Jules S. Terry award that was presented at the Georgia Public Health Association meeting in Atlanta on April 13.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor, gave a seminar titled “Online Exams: Opportunities and Challenges” on April 10, for the Spring 2012 Webcast Audio Seminar Series, “Promises and Challenges of Virtual Learning Environment,” sponsored by the International Association of Medical Science Educators.

Dr. Ritu Kumar, assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease in conjunction with Mercer Medicine, opened her new Travel Clinic located at 707 Pine St. in Macon.

Dr. Laura Silo-Suh, assistant professor of microbiology; Dr. Christy C. Bridges, assistant professor of histology, and Dr. Pad Rengasamy, professor of anatomy, were inducted in the Mercer Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, at the annual spring banquet in a brief ceremony held April 16 at the Woodruff House.

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor, presented two invited papers, titled “Enhancing Evolution Education: The Role of Assessment” and “How can science educators improve evolution in American and the world?,” at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Indianapolis, Ind., held in March. Dr. Smith was a member of a National Science Foundation-funded research group that recently developed a website for science educators and members of the public who are interested in evolution education:  www.evolutionchallenges.org. He also served as a reviewer for a special issue of American Indian and Alaskan Native Mental Health Research, which was themed on reproductive health programs for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. Dr. Smith was an invited lecturer for a Ph.D. seminar in science education related to evolution and nature of science instruction at the College of William & Mary. He also served as the chair for a Special Emphasis Panel (FOA: RFA-PS-11-0010201SUPP12), titled National HIV Behavioral Surveillance For Young Men Who Have Sex With Men, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Atlanta. Dr. Smith was interviewed by Heather Duncan of the Macon Telegraph.  The interview was published Jan. 9. He has the invited article, titled “Junk DNA” in the Encyclopedia of Genetics, which in press with Elsevier, Science, Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Melton Strozier, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Dr. Yudan Wei, associate professor of community medicine, and Gerald Blaney III, a Master of Public Health student, gave a presentation on the research project Blaney has conducted, titled “Disparities in Arsenic Exposure in Children and Adolescents in the United States,” at the Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities Conference held at Emory University on April 2. The Break the Cycle Program is a collaborative effort from several universities in the nation, led by Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at Emory University, to reduce environmental health disparities in vulnerable children.

Staff and Administration

Dr. Heather I. Ricks-Scott, Douglas County Center coordinator, was an invited guest speaker at the University of West Georgia for the Department of Mass Communications’ “Spotlight on Campus Safety Symposium” held on March 29.

Tift College of Education

Sharon Murphy Augustine, assistant professor of education, presented a co-authored paper with Amy Davis Sanford, EDU ’91, at the American Educational Research Association’s annual spring conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, titled “Composing Assemblage as Method of Analysis.”

Dr. Theodorea Regina Berry, assistant professor, presented a research paper, titled “Internationalization, Internalization, and Intersectionality of Identity: A Critical Race Feminist Re-Imagines Curriculum,” at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies in Vancouver, B.C., held April 10-13. Dr. Berry recently released a co-edited volume with Sherick Hughes, University of Maryland College Park, titled The Evolving Significance of Race: Living, Learning, and Teaching, published by Peter Lang Press.

Dr. Anne Hathaway, professor of education, received training at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission March 18-23 to be a chair of Board of Examiners Teams for review and accreditation of teacher education programs. Dr. Hathaway has served as a Board of Examiners team member for several years.

Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, presented “Standards-Based Electronic Portfolios in Mathematics Teacher Education” at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, held in April in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Lacefield visited the British Recording Industry Trust School for the Performing Arts in London, England, in March. While there, he taught a lesson in a secondary mathematics class of 16-year-olds. He also met with several secondary students who are involved in an ongoing collaborative project with a local primary school. Through this project, for which Dr. Lacefield developed and delivered training during fall 2011, the secondary students meet with primary pupils (5- and 6-year-olds) regularly and tutor them in mathematics and literacy. Dr. Lacefield was an invited speaker at the annual conference of the United Kingdom’s Association of Teachers of Mathematics, where he presented “Many Ways to Multiply:  Moving Beyond Traditional Algorithms.” At the same conference, Dr. Lacefield and Ms. Cathy Costello, head of mathematics at the British Recording Industry Trust School for the Performing Arts, presented “Tangrams for Beginners.” The conference was held in April at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales. Dr. Lacefield also developed and implemented the curriculum for Clayton County’s Elementary Mathematics Academy in February. The Academy provided professional development focusing on geometry and problem solving for teachers of grades three, four and five.

Dr. Barbara Rascoe, science educator and assistant professor, presented a paper, titled “Structure of Black Male Students’ Academic Achievement in Science,” at the 2012 International Journal of Arts and Sciences European Conference for Academic Disciplines in Gottenheim, Germany, April 8. The paper’s co-author was Dr. Catherine Lange, science educator and assistant professor, at State University of New York at Buffalo.

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music and director of instrumental ensembles and undergraduate studies, recently returned from conducting the National Concierto Band of Costa Rica in San Jose at the National Museum on March 25. While in residence, Hill was invited to present two conducting master classes to the graduate students in the University of Costa Rica’s School of Music in its newly formed master’s degree program in band conducting. In addition, he guest conducted the wind ensemble at the university in preparation for their upcoming concert in San Jose. On May 4-5, Hill will adjudicate bands, jazz ensembles and orchestras from several states at the Festival of Music to be held at Douglasville High School. As a member of the Colony IV Brass Quintet, Hill recently performed as part of the “Organ and Brass” concert at St. Joseph Church during Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival on March 23. The Mercer Faculty Brass Quintet performed a clinic/concert at McIntosh High School on March 12.  Members include adjunct professors:  Tom Gibson-trombone, Eric Bubacz-tuba, Jonathan Swygert– trumpet and Jay Hanselman-horn.

University Libraries

Beth Hammond, dean of University Libraries, participated in “Leading Change and Organizational Renewal,” March 18-23, an executive education program at the Harvard Business School. Hammond attended as part of a leadership team from LYRASIS, the nation’s largest membership organization serving libraries and information professionals. Hammond currently serves at chair of the LYRASIS Board of Trustees. 

Julie Poole, assistant professor and coordinator of center library services, attended the 15th Distance Library Services Conference held April 18-20 in Memphis, Tenn. This international conference brings together librarians, administrators and educators to discuss, demonstrate and champion the techniques and theories of providing library services to students and faculty participating in instruction either away from a main campus or in the online environment.

Walter F. George School of Law

Jim Fleissner, professor, made a two-hour presentation on April 10 to federal prosecutors for the Middle District of Georgia titled “Supreme Court Update: Criminal Law and Procedure,” which provided a briefing on decisions and undecided cases on the court’s docket from the beginning of October Term 2010 to present.

Ismael Gullon, associate law librarian for collections and technical services at the Furman Smith Law Library, co-presented “Federal Tax Materials Collections Essentials,” at the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Clearwater, Fla., on March 22. He is also served as the SEAALL Nominations Committee chair.

Mark L. Jones, professor, will have two articles published in the spring edition of Mercer Law Review: “Introducing a Surprising Conversation about Conversation,” “Fundamental Dimensions of Law and Legal Education: Perspectives on Curriculum Reform, Mercer Law School’s Woodruff Curriculum, and… ‘Perspectives.’”

David Ritchie, associate professor, published an article, titled “Assessing the Moral Status of State Immigration Actions” in Volume 5, Issue 2 of the John Marshall Law Review (Spring 2012).

Jennifer Sheppard, associate professor, published “What if the Big Bad Wolf in All Those Fairy Tales Was Just Misunderstood?: Techniques for Maintaining Narrative Rationality While Altering Stock Stories that Are Harmful to Your Case,” 34 Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal 187 (2012).