Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Dr. Cheryl Gaddis, assistant professor of practice, and Dr. Jimmie Smith, assistant professor, presented “An Assessment of Asthma Prevalence among School-Age Children and School Compliance with Senate Bill 472 in Central Georgia” at the 87th annual meeting of the Georgia Public Health Association.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Jay Black, associate professor of journalism, presented “New Chinese Press Restrictions under President Xi Jinping” at The Confucius Institute's convocation at Wesleyan College in Macon.

Luke Buffenmyer, assistant professor of art, exhibited collaborative paintings and drawings made with Megan McNaught at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences in a group exhibition, titled “Augmented,” Jan. 22-Feb. 21. A collaborative work from the series “Agglomeration” is currently on exhibit at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings through the end of the spring semester.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History, presented a paper, titled “Gleb Iakunin i russkii renassans” (Gleb Yakunin and the Russian Renaissance), at the conference on Gleb Yakunin, titled “Readings on Yakunin,” held in Moscow, Russia, on March 5.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, led a seminar on Georgia foodways at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University on March 8, 15 and 22. At the Society for the Study of Southern Literature conference in Boston, he gave a presentation about digital humanities and Southern literature, which described a project completed by his students, and he spoke on a roundtable about Confederate iconography in the wake of the Emmanuel A.M.E. massacre.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, organized and chaired the 12th annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium on Feb 25-26. Keynote speaker was legendary civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian. The opening banquet welcomed a capacity crowd in the Presidents Dining Room. His translation of “Le Chemin de la Croix,” the sequence of poems on the Stations of the Cross by French poet Paul Claudel, was read in a Lenten organ concert at Saint Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square in New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20.

Dr. Darlene Flaming, associate professor of Christianity, presented a paper, titled “Beginning with Abraham in Context,” at the meeting of the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion in Atlanta on March 7.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history, delivered “Reading Clotelle behind Enemy Lines” at the meeting of the African American Intellectual History Society at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on March 11. She delivered “Dime Novels and the Literature of Reconstruction” at the meeting of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature at Boston University on March 12.

Dr. Robert Good, associate professor of history, presented “Idealisms Entwined: The Fouillee-Guyau Household, 1865-1912” at the 62nd annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, hosted by Vanderbilt University on March 4-6.

Dr. Jeffrey Hugdahl, professor of chemistry, Dr. Carol Bokros, assistant director of pre-health professions, and Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, earned a perfect score at the Brainblast Variety Trivia competition held at Just Tap'd in Macon on Feb. 9.

Dr. Adam Kiefer, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, co-authored “Using a Carbide Lantern to Illustrate General Chemistry Concepts and Introduce Students to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining,” which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Education.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, gave a poetry reading at the Macon Arts Alliance on March 4.

Dr. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry and director of QEP, attended the Ashoka U Exchange in February. The Exchange is designed to connect campuses with students involved in social innovation programs, like Mercer's Visionary Student Panel initiative. She also led a workshop at the Campus Compact conference in March, along with Dr. Julia Metzger from Georgia College. Their workshop helped other community-engaged practitioners to envision institutional change centered on improving student learning.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Ashish A. Advani, clinical associate professor, published “The Computer: Today's Fountain of Youth”, online at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/dr-ashish-advani-pharmd/2016/03/the-computer-todays-fountain-of-youth.

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor and chair in pharmaceutical sciences, was awarded $16,270 from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for “Intradermal absorption enhancement for water soluble macromolecule.” Dr. Banga was also awarded $50,000 from Johnson and Johnson for “In vitro human skin permeation studies.” Dr. Banga co-authored “Development of disposal systems for deactivation of unused/residual/expired mediations” in Pharmaceutical Research, 33 (2016) 110-124, as well as “Formulation and evaluation of sublingual delivery of Piroxicam using thermosensitive polymer with novel inverted Franz diffusion cell” in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 68 (2016) 26-35.

Dr. Kendra R. Manigault, clinical assistant professor, was named a peer reviewer for abstracts submitted to the 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Dr. Manigault was also named an American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Poster Judge for the annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, co-authored “Treatment of Dry Eye Disease” in The Consultant Pharmacist February 2016; 31 (2): 96-106.

Dr. Hewitt W. “Ted” Matthews, dean, and Dr. Ashish Advani, clinical associate professor, on March 15 were guests on “Health Connect South,” a radio show that is part of Business RadioX and broadcasts out of Atlantic Station. “Health Connect South” is focused on healthcare innovations and collaborations. Dr. Matthews discussed interprofessional education and the Mercer Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Advani discussed InpharmD and what the technology means for healthcare delivery.

Dr. Nader H. Moniri, associate professor, and Dr. Kevin S. Murnane, assistant professor, were awarded $154,220 from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “FFAR4 and nigrostriatal function: A novel target treatment of PD?”

Dr. Maria M. Thurston, clinical assistant professor, was named an invited peer reviewer for the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Information Systems and Law, was an invited speaker for the Cecil B. Day Business Ethics Speaker Series at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business. His speech was titled “Legal and Ethical Show 'n Tell.” He also attended the Western Academy of Legal Studies in Business in Monterey, California, representing the Academy of Legal Studies in Business as its vice president.

Dr. Susan Gilbert, dean, authored “Entrepreneurs for Hire,” featured on www.Evolllution.com, describing a new MBA program for innovators.

Dr. Faye Sisk, professor, and Dr. Carol Cagle, assistant professor, facilitated the “Supply Chain Awareness Forum” on March 10 on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. The event enhanced the understanding of supply chain management and provided an opportunity to connect graduate and undergraduate business students with industry leaders and to interview with firms including Ryder Inc., Cognizant Consulting and Genuine Parts.

Georgia Baptist School of Nursing

Desireé Clement, clinical instructor, gave a podium presentation on “Understanding Breast Composition and Assessment” at the Mammographer's Society of Georgia spring state conference.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Brett Younger, associate professor of preaching, preached at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church in Manhattan on Feb. 28. He and his wife, Carol, led a marriage enrichment retreat for couples from First Baptist Church, Rome, on March 4-6.

Penfield College

Dr. Tim Craker, associate professor of comparative literature and philosophy, presented a paper, titled “Mapping, Reading, and Creation in the Popul Vuh,” in the session on “Hemispheric Approaches to Literature and Cartography of the Americas” during the American Comparative Literature Association conference at Harvard University on March 17-20.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of public safety and criminal justice, reviewed “Positionalities, Personal Epistemologies, and Instruction: An Analysis” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies.

Dr. David Purnell, assistant professor of communication, had a manuscript, titled “Familial Abuse According to Deleuze and Guattari,” selected for presentation at the Critical Autoethnography Conference in Melbourne, Australia, in July.

Dr. Sanaz Rezaei, adjunct instructor, and Dr. Theresa Reese, associate professor and coordinator of clinical rehabilitation counseling, presented the paper “Psychological well-being of Middle-Eastern Muslim women who live in the United States” at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on March 23. This paper was a representation of Dr. Rezaei's dissertation. 

School of Engineering

Dr. Susan Codone, associate professor of technical communication and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, was selected for a Fulbright Specialist grant and will serve at the Central University of the East (UCE) in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Donald Ekong, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded a 10-week summer research fellowship to serve as a visiting scientist at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications' Research Program in Medical Informatics in Bethesda, Maryland. He will be a part of the research team and collaborate with senior members of the research staff at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Scott Schultz, associate dean and associate professor of industrial engineering, served as the 2015-16 president of the American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern Section (ASEE-SE). Dr. Schultz presided over the 2016 ASEE-SE conference held March 3-5 at the University of Alabama. Dr. Schultz also presented the paper “When Opportunity Knocks – An alternative Summer Engineering Experience” with co-authors Nicole Baker, international student advisor and scholar services coordinator, and Dr. Pablo Biswas, assistant professor of industrial engineering. The paper described the 2015 Mercer Summer Engineering Experience (MeSEE) program, which provided credit-bearing engineering experience for 95 students and had a local economic impact of nearly $500,000.

School of Medicine

Michelle Damron, clinical research coordinator, passed her certification for research with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine, served as the first author on “Differences in severity and outcomes between hypertriglyceridemia and alcohol-induced pancreatitis” in the February issue of the North American Journal of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Richard O. McCann, associate professor of biochemistry and director of the graduate program in biomedical sciences, presented a poster, titled “Origins of the Metazoa: Functional Constraints and Sequence Conservation in Coevolution of Proteins of the Core Adhesome,” and gave an invited talk on “Cell Heredity: On the Road to Animal Multicellularity with Proteins of the Core Adhesome” at the inaugural Ctenopalooza held March 14-15 at the Whitney Laboratory of Marine Bioscience of the University of Florida in St. Augustine, Florida. Ctenopalooza is an international meeting of biologists who study ctenophores, or “comb jellies,” which are likely to be the first animals to emerge during the evolution of life on earth.

Dr. Toni L. McCullough, clinical assistant professor of dermatology, is serving as president of the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. McCullough planned the annual meeting for the society, which takes place June 3-5 at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Florida. Physicians, residents, physician assistants and nurse practitioners will attend the meeting to sharpen dermatologic knowledge and skills.

Dr. James Paul Seale, professor and director of research, co-authored “Development and Evaluation of Two Instruments for Assessing SBIRT Competency,” published on Taylor and Francis Online on March 23 and in the Journal of Substance Abuse.

Dr. Robert J. Visalli, associate professor of microbiology, was appointed as one of only four national co-chairs to oversee that American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ASM-URF) Program. This program is the premier undergraduate research fellowship program for aspiring microbiologists in the U.S. Dr. Visalli also participated in Feb. 25-26 review of approximately 70-80 fellowship applications (F30, F31, and F32) related to pre-doctoral (MD/Ph.D., Ph.D.) and post-doctoral training, as well as applications for the NIH R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA). He was selected based on his broad expertise in immunology, vaccines, and virology, and for his experience in mentoring and as a previously funded R15 researcher.      

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, presented two research papers, titled “Para-dichlorobenzene exposure is associated with the alteration of thyroid function in US adults and adolescents” and “Geographic variations in female breast cancer incidence in association with emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” at the 55th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in New Orleans on March 13-17. The second paper was co-presented with Courtney Large, a second-year medical student who conducted research with Dr. Wei since last summer.

Staff and Administration

Dr. Carol Bokros, assistant director of pre-health professions, was elected as director of Region 3 of the national pre-health professions honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta.

Dr. Mary Alice Morgan, senior vice provost for service learning and professor, received the Lt. Randy Parker Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award from United Way of Central Georgia.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Lucy Bush, associate professor, Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor, Dr. Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor, and Dr. Wynnetta Scott-Simmons, associate professor, presented “Creating a 'Classroom of the Future' for P-12 Pre-service Teachers,” co-authored with Dr. Jon Saulson, assistant professor, at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education's annual conference held in Savannah.

Dr. Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor, presented a paper, titled “The State of STEM Education: An Analysis of State Initiatives to Improve STEM Pedagogical Practices,” co-authored with Dr. Cynthia Anderson, visiting assistant professor, Dr. Jane Metty, an independent consultant, Dr. Deb Rosenstein, associate professor, and Dr. Clemmie Whatley, associate professor, at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference held in Savannah. Dr. Hall, assistant professor, Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor, Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor, and Dr. Lucy Bush, associate professor, presented “The Impact of Online Modules for International Professional Development with Educators in the Dominican Republic” at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference held in Savannah.

Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, presented “Mathematics Teaching in the USA” at the London Teach Meet held in March at Watford Grammar School in Watford, England. While in England, Dr. Lacefield also participated in the British Festival of Science and Mathematics held at Kings College London, the London Secondary Mathematics Education Conference held at the Camden Learning Center and the Mayor of London's Education Conference held at London City Hall.

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music, presented band clinics at Jeff Davis High School in Hazelhurst on Feb. 25 and Wayne County High School in Jesup on March 3. Dr. Hill represented the School of Music at the Georgia Music Educators Association District XI Large Group Performance Evaluation at Peach County High School on March 12. As a charter member of the Colony IV Brass Quintet, Dr. Hill performed at the annual Cherry Blossom Organ and Brass Concert at St. Joseph Catholic Church on March 21, Easter services at Riverside United Methodist Church in Macon on March 27. Dr. Hill will conduct the Mercer University Brass Choir in the annual BEAR Day performance on April 8. Featured performances will include the commissioned trombone quartet “Mean Streets,” composed by Miami composer Alejandro Guardia with Hollie Lawing Pritchard, adjunct instructor of trombone.

Dr. Jack Mitchener, professor of organ, performed recent recitals in Massachusetts, New York and Dallas, Texas, where he played, at Christ the King Catholic Church, one of the inaugural recitals on an organ by Canadian builder Juget-Sinclair. In Dallas, he also gave a master class for students at Southern Methodist University.

Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, associate professor and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, performed an all-Beethoven concert with the Ehnes Quartet for the Da Camera Society's “Chamber Music in Historic Sites” series held at the Doheny Mansion Pompeian Room in Los Angeles, California, on March 5. Their program included Quartet No.2 (in G Op.18/2) and Quartet No.13 in B-flat (“Liebquartett”, Op. 130) along with its finale, the Große Fugue (Op. 133). Moretti served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for its all-Sibelius concerts with distinguished Finnish guest conductor and Sibelius expert Osmo Vänskä at Heintz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 11 and 13. The program included Finlandia, Opus 26, No. 7; Concerto in d minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 47; and Symphony No.2 in D Major, Opus 43. Moretti also conducted a chamber music master class for six student ensembles from the Intensive String Quartet Seminar of the Cleveland Institute of Music at Mixon Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 14. She also performed in the Cleveland Institute of Music Faculty Recital Concert Series in Kulas Hall on March 16, collaborating with the Cavani Quartet and additional artists Jinjoo Cho, violin; Yu Jin, viola; and Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello. The concert was broadcast live on WCLV 104.9 FM and wclv.org with support from Audio-Technica. The program included Shostakovich Prelude and Scherzo for String Octet, Op. 11 and Mendelssohn String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.

University Libraries

Beth Hammond, dean, served on a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Reaffirmation Committee March 22-24 at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Walter F. George School of Law

Dr. David Ritchie, professor, attended a faculty workshop convened by the Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at Oxford University. He also accompanied four Mercer Law students who participated in an Oxford Consortium for Human Rights workshop at Magdalen College, Oxford.