Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, assistant professor, was appointed to the Specialization Academy of Content Experts of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and to the board of directors of FOCUS, Families of Children Under Stress.

Dr. Ann Lucado, assistant professor, received a grant for $15,000 for “The effect of scapular muscle strengthening on functional recovery in lateral epicondylalgia: A pilot study” from the American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedic Section Grant. She was appointed to the board of directors of the American Society of Hand Therapists Director Research Division for 2015-2017. Dr. Lucado and Hank Heard, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Lateral and Medial Elbow Epicondylitis: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines” in Western Schools Continuing Education. Brockton, MA: SC Publishing; 2015.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, assistant professor, received a sub-award of $65,755 for “Device to mechanically interrogate tissue and skin across research environments” with Columbia University New York Morningside from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. James Eric (Jay) Black, Schumann Endowed Professor in Writing for the Media and assistant director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism, served as executive producer, writer and performer for a documentary, titled The Red Label, that has been accepted by both Roku and Dish Network's on-demand Indie Digital Channel. It is slated to be available later this year.

Craig Byron, associate professor of biology, co-authored “Pedal grasping in an arboreal rodent relates to above-branch locomotion on slender substrates,” which was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Zoology.

Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, had an undergraduate student under his direction, Kirsten Brown, present a poster, titled “Computational and experimental approaches to investigate substrate binding of the enzyme OGA,” at the National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Denver, Colorado, in March.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, published the essay “The Irony of Southern Modernism” in the Journal of American Studies.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, delivered a paper, titled “Maritain's Role in the American Civil Rights Movement,” at the annual conference of the American Maritain Association at the University of San Francisco on Feb. 27. He was invited to preach at Central Chinese American Baptist Church in Byron on March 15. Dr. Dunaway organized an interdisciplinary colloquium on the torture issue, titled “Faith, Duty, and Temptation in Intelligence-Gathering.” The March 19 event featured talks by retired Brig. Gen. David R. Irvine, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life Dr. David P. Gushee, and Dr. Dunaway. As well as affording an opportunity to explore a compelling current issue, the event served to promote the forthcoming publication of Dunaway's translation of Vladimir Volkoff's 2006 novel about the Algerian War, The Torturer (Le Tortionnaire), coming out in the fall of this year.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history and director of the Center for Southern Studies, delivered an invited lecture, “Shame of the Southland: The Selling of the Visceral South,” at the Porter Fortune Jr. History Symposium on Southern Religion and Culture at the University of Mississippi on Feb. 27.

Dr. David R. Goode, associate professor of chemistry, gave two talks at the National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Denver, Colorado, in March. The first presentation was titled “Design and implementation of a multi-method enzyme kinetics project for a junior-level studio laboratory,” and the second presentation was titled “Integrative and exploratory junior-level studio laboratory for student-centered learning and scientific growth.” Both talks were in support of a recently funded National Science Foundation – Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (NSF-TUES) grant.

Dr. Keith Howard, chair and professor of mathematics, was selected as Outstanding TRIO Achiever for the state at the Georgia-Florida-South Carolina TRIO TriState conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on March 11. Nominated by Dr. Michelle Currie, Mercer TRIO director, Dr. Howard is an alumnus of Mercer's Upward Bound Program. He was selected by the Georgia Association of Special Programs Personnel. Mercer TRIO Programs include Upward Bound, Student Support Services and the Educational Opportunity Center.

Dr. Adam M. Kiefer, associate professor of chemistry, gave two talks at the National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Denver, Colorado, in March.The first presentation was titled “Developing a curriculum for an international service learning (ISL) program in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities.” The second presentation was titled “Monitoring metal contamination from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities in Ecuador Part I: Mercury emissions to air,” and it directly relates to his work with Mercer On Mission (MOM) and to the University's new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). In addition, two undergraduate students under the direction of Dr. Kiefer, Kirsten Brown and Jeffrey Mimbs, presented a poster, titled “Brewing alcoholic beverages as a means of incorporating writing instruction into an existing junior-level laboratory capstone course,” which was selected for the Sci-Mix poster session and supports a recently funded National Science Foundation – Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (NSF-TUES) grant.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre, served as fight director for the world premier of the musical Tuck Everlasting at the Alliance Theatre. The work was directed and choreographed by Casey Nichlaw, who won 2011 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his work as co-director of The Book of Mormon.

Dr. Caryn S. Seney, professor of chemistry, gave three talks at the National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Denver, Colorado, in March. The first presentation, titled “Investigation of the surface effects of Ag nanoparticles in solution as a result of a NSF-TUES related funding opportunity,” and the second talk, titled “Synthesis and exploration of Au nanoparticles in an open-ended junior-level capstone lab,” were both in support of a recently funded National Science Foundation – Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (NSF-TUES) grant. The third presentation, titled “Monitoring metal contamination from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities in Ecuador Part II: Analysis of water, soil, and tailings,” directly relates to the work of Dr. Adam Kiefer and Dr. Kevin Drace, associate professor or biology, with Mercer On Mission (MOM) and relates to the University's new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). In addition, an undergraduate student under the direction of Dr. Seney, Jeffrey Mimbs, presented a poster, titled “Investigation of the stability of Ag nanoparticles in solution by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and zeta-potential measurements,” which supports the NSF-TUES grant, as well.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, published two poems, “To my Body” and “Leaving the Hospital,” in Poetry and Medicine, eds. Michael Salcman and Michael Collier, Persea Press, 2015.

Steve Simmerman, assistant professor of art, had artwork accepted in “Common Goods,” a juried exhibition featuring works that either utilize everyday items as their media or focus on them as content. Jurors were Jonathan Brilliant, Joyce Watkins King and Matt McConnell. This exhibition will be installed in VAE's Main Gallery space in Raleigh, North Carolina, throughout April. Simmerman also recently attended the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) conference held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Tammy Crutchfield, professor of marketing, led a group of senior capstone marketing teams to form for-profit and not-for-profit “businesses” to help put an end to sex trafficking in Middle Georgia. Traffick Jam educates and empowers middle and high school students, who are the most vulnerable age group for sex trafficking according to research. Traffick Jam educated 80 students last year and is on track to educate approximately 300 local teens this year. Decoding Freedom supports the work of anti-sex trafficking missions and organizations in Middle Georgia by holding events and selling objects of value to those who care about this social issue. They are selling anti-sex trafficking T-shirts and lounge-wear pants from a rescue mission in Uganda and will be hosting a community education and fundraising event, called “Shine Out Sex Trafficking,” as well as a Mercer dodgeball tournament, called “Dodging Traffick.” Both projects will be sustained and carried on from year to year by senior marketing students.

Dr. Steven McClung, associate dean and associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Ania Rynarzewska, assistant professor of sports business, had a consumer behavior manuscript, titled “Purchase intention behind Mercer University's inaugural football team,” accepted for publication in the International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing.

Dr. Faye Sisk, professor of management, presented a paper on global business, titled “Economics and Epidemics: An Expansion of Risk and Enhanced Accountability,” at the MBAA International Conference on March 27 in Chicago, Illinois.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Tammy Barbé, assistant professor, had a manuscript accepted by Nursing Education Perspectives.

Mary Beerman, clinical associate professor, was selected as the first Daisy Faculty Award recipient.

Dr. Tara Bertulfo, clinical assistant professor, had a manuscript accepted for publication in the upcoming August edition of Women's Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

Susan Estes, clinical associate professor, was co-leader with Baptist Collegiate Minister Paul Millarc on a spring mission trip to Savannah. The group provided a health fair for the congregation of Suk Hope Baptist Church, held a campus ministry at Armstrong Atlantic University and volunteered at Living Vune Maternity Home.

Dr. Susan S. Gunby, professor, was selected as a reviewer for the Journal of Professional Nursing. She served as keynote speaker for Northside Hospital's Certified Nurses Ceremony on March 19. She was appointed to a two-year term on the Nursing Education Committee of the Georgia Board of Nursing. Dr. Gunby served as an abstract reviewer for the Sigma Theta Tau International 43rd biennial convention. Additionally, she served as an abstract reviewer for the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Congress.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, presented a seminar for Developmental Disabilities Ministries of Georgia on March 21. The topic was “Developing a Ministry for Those with Special Needs.”

Dr. Helen Hodges, professor, provided a half-day workshop, titled “Using Evidence to Inform Teaching and Clinical Practice,” for Northside Hospital (main, Cherokee and Forsyth) clinical educators. This workshop will be repeated early May for other educators. She also had a manuscript on the topic of interprofessional education, co-authored with Dr. Ann Massey, accepted and in press in the Journal of Nursing Education.

Sarah Holden, clinical instructor, received a grant to attend the Teaching Professor Conference in May to further her faculty development project, titled “Innovative Integration of Nursing Informatics in the BSN Curriculum.”

Dr. Laura P. Kimble, professor and Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair in Nursing, co-authored a manuscript that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She also had an abstract accepted for presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in July.

Dr. Karen Maxwell, clinical assistant professor, had an abstract accepted for presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in July. She also had an abstract accepted for presentation at QSEN National Forum in San Diego, California, in May.

Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, was selected to receive the 2015 Leader of Leaders Award. The award is sponsored by Elsevier, publisher of Mosby and Saunders nursing titles, and will be presented at the National Student Nurses Association 63rd Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 8-12.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation, delivered the 2015 Baptist Heritage Series Lectures at Campbellsville University on March 3.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, conducted a five-week sessions on the Pentateuch on Wednesday evenings during February at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta. She contributed articles on Psalms 98, 118, 130, and 133 to the Center for Biblical Preaching in January, and she chaired a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Substantive Change Committee site visit to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans from March 17-19.

Dr. Brett Younger, associate professor of preaching, recently passed two milestones. He has published more than 100 columns in Baptists Today and 100 sermons in Lectionary Homiletics.

Penfield College

Dr. David Purnell, assistant professor of communication, had an article, titled “Corporal Hauntings: (Re)membering Father in Departures,” accepted for publication in Critical Qualitative Research.

Dr. Charles H. Roberts, association professor of mathematics, and Dr. Greg Baugher, assistant professor of mathematics, made a presentation at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning STEM conference. The presentation was titled “Academic enhancement and retention efforts in mathematics designed to support and promote enhanced STEM education for adult learners at Mercer University.” The conference was held March 5-6 on the campus of Georgia Southern University. Dr. Roberts also made a presentation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities conference on “Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Assessing and Advancing Inclusive Excellence.” The title was “Designing Programs for Equitable and High Quality Learning for All Participants.” The conference was held March 26-28 in San Diego, California.

Dr. Kathy D. Robinson, assistant professor of counseling, will serve as program director for the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training program. Mercer received a $6,500 grant from the Pittulloch Foundation to implement this training for faculty and staff across the University.

Dr. Zipangani Vokhiwa, associate professor of science in Penfield College, was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to be a reviewer for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program (DDRA) – Africa Panel II for fiscal year 2014. A total of 27 applications were reviewed in four days. This program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students to conduct research in other countries in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months. DDRA holds an annual competition. The fiscal year 2015 competition is currently open and will close on April 28. Doctoral candidates ready to carry out their research may apply. Dr. Vokhiwa was selected to be a poster judge at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which took place in San Jose, California, Feb. 11-16. There, he reviewed six scientific posters. Dr. Vokhiwa volunteered to serve as a reviewer with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2015 Conference and Expo, which will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Oct. 25-28. He reviewed 22 applications that he submitted to the conference organizers on March 23. The theme for the AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo is “Transforming Sustainability Education.” The conference aims to bring together and engage campus change agents to lead the global sustainability movement. Registration will open in April.

School of Medicine

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of pathology and director of the Biomedical Problems Program, and Dr. Rick Mitchell of Harvard University authored the second edition of the Robbins and Cotran Pathology Flash Cards, one of a series of learning resources used worldwide in medical education.

Alisha Miles, assistant director for public services, was invited to serve as a member of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Strategic Priorities Task Force. She completed certification for “Lean Green Belt for Healthcare,” which was sponsored by Navicent Health in February. Miles was elected vice president of the board for Centenary Community Ministries Inc. (CCMI) in January. CCMI is a 501(c)(3) organization that runs a transitional house for men getting out of homelessness and working on self-sufficiency. Outside of the transitional house, CCMI works with partners in the community through the Macon Coalition to End Homelessness to address the high amount of homelessness in Macon-Bibb County.

Dr. Paul Seale, professor of family medicine and director of research, served as a guest speaker at the South African Department of Science and Technology Research Seminar Series event, titled “Substance Abuse, Harm Prevention and Harm Reduction: Setting a Research Agenda,” on March 2 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education and director of AIDS education and research, co-authored “Genetics and Genomics: HPS–Informed Research and Pedagogy in the 21st Century” in the International Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Science Teaching. M. Matthews (Ed.). Springer: New York.

Dr. Ajay Srivastava, division chief of nephrology and assistant professor of medicine, gave an invited lecture on Feb. 27 regarding “The implications of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease” for the Wadell Barnes, M.D. Annual Day of Medicine Symposium at Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon. He gave an invited lecture on March 20 on “Overview of renal replacement modalities: Tailoring therapies to improve quality” for the American Nephrology Nurse Association's Annual Nephrology Nurse Exchange held at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Carol Isaac, assistant professor, recently co-authored two articles, “Impact of Reflective Writing Assignments on Dental Students' Views of Cultural Competence and Diversity” in the Journal of Dental Education, 79(3), 312-321, and “The effect of an intervention to break the gender bias habit for faculty at one institution: a cluster randomized, controlled trial” in Academic Medicine 90, 221-230. The first investigates the role of implicit bias and diversity in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM) education, while the second is one of the first faculty interventions done to mitigate implicit bias at a Research I institution.

Dr. Ron Knorr, assistant professor, was honored as the latest recipient of the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. He joins a select group of educators who have been recognized with this honor for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service to the profession.

Dr. Peter Ross, associate professor, and Dr. Bruce Sliger, professor, provided two presentations at this year's Eastern Education Research Association Conference. The first was titled “Performance-based teacher leadership program – lessons learned,” and the second was titled “Social validity of an evidence-based program for classroom management.”

Townsend School of Music

Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, associate professor and Caroline Paul King Strings Chair, was featured with Canadian violinist James Ehnes performing Bartók's “44 Duos for Two Violins” for the recording Bartók: Chamber Works for Violin, Vol. 3 (Chandos* Naxos), which was honored with the 2015 Juno Award for “Classical Album of the Year: Solo/Chamber Ensemble,” in Hamilton, Ontario, on March 15. Moretti was also featured as soloist in the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Valdosta Symphony directed by Dr. Howard Hsu, which was broadcast on Georgia Public Radio and streamed online during “Symphony Cast” on March 5 and 8. National Public Radio broadcast and streamed over the Internet on “Performance Today” a Seattle Chamber Music Society Winter Festival concert from January featuring Moretti, Efe Baltacigil and Luc Beausejour in Bach's “Sonata for Violin and Continuo in G Major, BWV 1021” on Friday, March 20, and continuing during the week that followed.

Walter F. George School of Law

Ted Blumoff, professor of law, authored the article “On Executing Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenics: Identity and the Construction of 'Synthetic' Competency” in 52 Criminal Law Bulletin (2015).

David Hricik, professor of law, gave a presentation at the 2015 Intellectual Property Law Section CLE Symposium and Annual Meeting on March 20 in Cary, North Carolina.

Linda Jellum, Ellison C. Palmer Professor of Tax Law, was quoted in a GPB story, titled “Looking for Clarity in Death Row Clemency: Pursuing Transparency in Georgia,” published on March 23.

Mark Jones, professor of law, spoke about the Mercer University Phronesis Project on a panel, titled “On the Study Methods of Our Time,” at a conference to honor Peter Brown on his retirement from Mercer. The conference, held March 20-21, on the Macon campus, was on the theme “Between the Disciplines: From Theory to Practice.”

Wallace Miller III, adjunct professor, co-authored Georgia Automobile Insurance Law Including Tort Law with Forms, 2014-2015 Edition, published by Thomson Reuters.

Dr. David Ritchie, director of international initiatives and professor of law and philosophy, accompanied a Mercer Law student to the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights (OCHR), which Dr. Ritchie helped form and coordinate. Participants stayed at Hertford College and held class sessions at Merton College, where Dr. Ritchie was a fellow in 2012. In future years, up to four Mercer students will participate in the program. During the program, Dr. Ritchie discussed, along with co-author Lyn Boyd-Judson from the University of Southern California, their article “For a Better Contribution of Universities to a Global Ethic.” The discussion was part of a faculty colloquium held at the OCHR.

Jack L. Sammons, Griffin B. Bell Professor Emeritus of Law, presented a paper, titled “Law as Art,” at the annual conference of the International Association of Law, Culture and Humanities held at Georgetown Law School on March 6-7. The paper was part of a panel on the “Meta-Aesthetics of Law and Justice.”

Rosalind Simson, adjunct professor, authored the article “What Does the Right to Life Really Entail? A Framework for Depolarizing the Abortion Debate” in 14 Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal 107 (2015).