Center for the Study of Narrative to Host Third Annual Showcase of Research and Service


ATLANTA – Mercer University's Center for the Study of Narrative will host its third annual showcase of faculty and student research and community service on April 13, 5 p.m., in the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center auditorium.

As part of the event, Dr. William Randall, professor of gerontology at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada, will deliver the keynote address, titled “In Our Stories Is Our Strength: Narrative Theory, Research, and Service.”

Dr. Randall is founder and director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative. He is a world-renowned expert in the field of narrative gerontology, which views aging as a creative process of fashioning meaning and wisdom from the stories of our lives.

Dr. Randall has authored or co-authored five books, published in numerous academic periodicals and presented in Canada and abroad. He serves as co-editor of the online, peer-reviewed journal Narrative Works: Issues, Investigations and Interventions, and has been a principal co-organizer of the Narrative Matters Conference – an international gathering of researchers, practitioners and artists – in 2002, 2004 and 2010.

His research interests include the positive potential of aging with respect to wisdom and spirituality, the narrative complexity of autobiographical memory, the impact of narrative environment on the shaping of individual identity, the articulation of “a narrative theology of aging” and the practice of narrative care with older adults.

Dr. Randall earned his Bachelor of Arts at Harvard University, Master of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary as well as his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto. He is also a member of Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, where he studied from 1976-1977. He was a minister with the United Church of Canada, serving pastorates in Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick from 1979-1990.

Additionally, students in Penfield College's doctoral program in counselor education and supervision, master's program in clinical mental health counseling and master's program in rehabilitation counseling will share and discuss narrative-themed dissertation research or community service projects from the past academic year.

Doctoral students in counselor education and supervision will discuss mixed-method and qualitative research on siblings of individuals with disabilities, acculturation and employment barriers of international students, formerly homeless students and veterans dealing with PTSD.

Master's students will share narrative interviews and/or completed community service activities with several populations, including formerly homeless young adults transitioning to independent living, children and adolescents who have suffered the death of a parent, and immigrant and refugee stories.  

The event, which includes dinner, is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required and may be made by emailing Dr. Don Redmond, associate professor of counseling and director of the Center for the Study of Narrative, at

The interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Narrative, housed within Penfield College, calls upon communication, psychology, sociology, human services, literary studies and writing, and historical studies to study the lives of individuals and cultures, giving students practical education while promoting community outreach and service. The Center was launched in the fall of 2013 under the leadership of Dr. Redmond, with a generous grant from the Georgia Compassion Project.

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, human services, human resources, informatics, criminal justice leadership, nursing preparation, liberal studies, psychology, communication, homeland security and emergency management, and healthcare leadership. Programs are offered on Mercer's campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as multiple regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County and Newnan, and online. To learn more, visit