Center for the Study of Narrative Receives $85,000 Grant from Georgia Compassion Project


ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Center for the Study of Narrative (CSN) has received an $85,000 grant from the Georgia Compassion Project (GCP) to further the work of the multidisciplinary service and research initiative housed within Penfield College’s Department of Counseling and Human Sciences.

“We’re very grateful for the continued generosity of GCP and the strong support and response CSN has received both within the Mercer community – including students, faculty and administration – and in the broader Atlanta community and beyond,” said Dr. Don Redmond, assistant professor of counseling and director of the CSN. “Through graduate research, service-learning and community service, we continue to be impressed with the fascinating complexities of human experience and the benefits derived from listening – for the interviewer and interviewee alike.”

Launched earlier this year, the CSN draws from a variety of academic disciplines – including communication, psychology, sociology, human services, literary studies and writing, historical studies, and counseling – and uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to study the lives of individuals and cultures, giving students practical education while promoting community outreach and service.

From January to July, students in the CSN completed 81 in-person narrative interviews in the Atlanta area, as well as the Center’s first two narrative group outreach trainings, where participants created stories of positive memories about their loved ones and the future. A total of 106 students participated in CRN-related activities and received $29,500 of funding.

This latest funding will allow the Center to offer a total of $60,000 toward student outreach and support activities – including graduate fellowships, doctoral dissertation scholarships, narrative interviewer student positions and narrative theory travel grants – for the 2014-2015 academic year.

“I am extremely grateful to the Georgia Compassion Project for recognizing and supporting the good work of Dr. Redmond and our students,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of Penfield College. “This increase in funding will allow us to widen significantly the impact of the Center over the course of its second year of existence.”

The Georgia Compassion Project is a private, nonprofit granting organization.

About Penfield College of Mercer University

Penfield College of Mercer University, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving non-traditional learners and currently enrolls more than 1,300 students. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to working adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Educational programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary programs that integrate theory and practice. The College offers general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer. Another initiative called the Bridge program transitions students enrolled in Mercer’s English Language Institute and other international students to undergraduate programs throughout the University. Areas of study include organizational leadership, counseling, school counseling, human services, human resources, informatics, public safety leadership, nursing preparation, liberal studies, psychology and communication. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as multiple regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County, Newnan and Eastman, and online. To learn more, visit

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​