Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Karyn Allee-Herndon, assistant professor, Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor, Dr. Felicia Baiden, assistant professor, Dr. Justin Ballenger, assistant professor, Dr. Susan Cannon, assistant professor, Dr. Rebecca Grunzke, instructor, Dr. Sharon Augustine, associate professor, Dr. Carol Isaac, associate professor, Dr. Pamela Larde, associate professor, Dr. Robbie Marsh, assistant professor, Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor, Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor, Dr. Wynnetta Scott-Simmons, associate professor, Sheila Thompson, instructor, Dr. N. Jean Walker, assistant professor, and Ph.D. student Michael Champion, organized a virtual conference on July 23 on “Courageous Conversations for Educators” to discuss how to deal with racism, privilege, bias and systemic oppression in education birth-12th grade at multiple levels. Almost 400 educators across the country registered to attend, and organizers are planning a more comprehensive two-day follow-up event.

Dr. Carol Isaac, associate professor, Dr. Arla Bernstein, assistant professor of communication in the College of Professional Advancement, had their manuscript, titled “From Gentrification to Regeneration: A Grounded Theory Study of Community Leadership in Southwest Atlanta,” accepted for publication in The Qualitative Report, Vol. 25, No. 9 in September.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, was invited to participate in the National Coalition of Girls Schools Virtual Conference “Stand Up, Speak Up” keynote panel discussion, titled “Correcting the Archive: Historical Empathy and Inclusivity in the Social Studies Classroom Through the Lens of Woman Suffrage.”

Dr. Clemmie Whatley, associate professor emerita of education, researched and published a book on the history of her family, titled The Chubbs: A Free Black Family’s Journey from the Antebellum Era to the mid-1900s, through Oxford Southern in May.

Dr. Jeffrey Ebert, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, Dr. Jeannette Anderson, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, co-authored a manuscript, titled “Enhancing reflective practice of student physical therapists through video-assisted self and peer-assessment: A pilot study,” published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, associate professor of physical therapy, co-authored a manuscript on “Integumentary considerations for the older adult: Age-related changes, common problems, and impact of prevention,” published as a monograph in the American Physical Therapy Association’s series “Physical Therapy and the Aging Adult.” She also authored a manuscript, titled “The use of Tinkertoys® for teaching hip anatomy and alignment,” published in the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, gave the presentation “Faulkner’s War Stories” at the online Faulkner in the United Kingdom Colloquium. He was also quoted in an article, titled “U.S. Presidential Election: Battle for the Soul of the Nation – Statues are Bad Sources for a History Lesson,” in the Dutch newsmagazine Die Groene Amsterdammer.

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science, served as a reader and grader for the AP Computer Science A Exam offered June 19-25. A total of 342 teachers from universities and high schools were selected by the College Board to help grade 71,000 exams this year. Both the exam and grading were done online.

Dr. Abigail P. Dowling, assistant professor of history, published a co-edited volume, with Richard Keyser of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, titled Conservation’s Roots: Managing for Sustainability in Preindustrial Europe, 1100–1800, through Berghahn Press in June.

Dr. Matt Harper, associate professor of history and Africana studies, was awarded a visiting fellowship from the Eccles Center for American Studies in London. He will use the fellowship to visit the British Library’s collections related to North America in order to continue his research on Black religion before and after Jamaica’s 1831 Baptist War, one of the largest uprisings of enslaved people in the Americas.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of creative writing and English, has a chapbook of poems, titled Durable Goods, under contract to be published by Finishing Line Press in February 2021 and a collection of poems, titled Scaring the Bears, under contract to be published by Mercer University Press in March 2021.

Dr. Riku Kawaguchi, assistant professor of sociology, published “Syllabus for (Online) Social Research Methods with Discussions” in TRAILS, an online peer-reviewed library of high-quality teaching resources, maintained and managed by the American Sociological Association.

Dr. Kathryn Kloepper, associate professor of chemistry and vice provost of engaged learning, presented the breakout session “Student communication: Promotion of engagement with their peers, instructors, and course content” at the Royal Society of Chemistry Supporting University Students conference held online July 17. Data discussed as part of this presentation was from a collaboration with Dr. Laura Simon, assistant professor of sociology, and College of Education undergraduate student Laurel Genova, as well as Marcia Owens Kloepper, an instructional media specialist in the Center for Digital Learning at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Frank Macke, professor of communication studies, recently published a book chapter, titled “Understanding Merleau-Ponty’s Concept of Dehiscence in the Context of Precarity: Reflections on the Vulnerability of Self and Subjectivity,” in Precaritized Society: Social Transformation of the Welfare State, edited by Rolf Dieter-Hepp, David Kergel and Robert Riesinger and published by Springer, pp. 123-133.

Dr. Clara Mengolini, assistant professor of Spanish literature, was the recipient of this year’s Innovations in Teaching Award, co-sponsored by the Vulcan Materials Company and Mercer. The award annually recognizes the efforts of an undergraduate faculty member who successfully provides student engagement learning opportunities in and outside the classroom.

Dr. Vasile Stanescu, associate professor of communication studies and director of debate, was invited to join the editorial advisory board of the Animal Publics book series published by Sydney University Press.

Dr. Carolyn Yackel, professor of mathematics, served as program chair and regular papers editor for the international Bridges Conference, which was to take place in Helsinki, Finland, at Aalto University on Aug. 1-5. The online proceedings comprise 554 pages, and the virtual presentations will be online soon. Together with collaborator Laura Taalman, she had an independently peer-reviewed paper, titled “Wallpaper Patterns for Lattice Designs,” accepted to the Bridges Conference proceedings for which the authors submitted an online presentation.

Marian Zielinski, professor emerita of theatre, received the Venue Award for her artwork “Mutual Life of the Universe” in the Professional Art Quilters’ Alliance virtual exhibition, titled “Insight,” held May 6-July 3. Another of her pieces, “Ancestry,” was published in Exploring Art Quilts with Studio Art Quilt Associates, Vol. 1: New Directions by Schiffer Publishing, p. 134. Additionally, she is one of four artists featured in the “Painting with Fabric” exhibit at Artisans in the Square in Greenville, Georgia, which runs through Aug. 29.

Dr. Seongkum Heo, professor and Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair, co-authored the following journal articles: “Psychometric testing of the Korean version of the Attitudes Toward the Advance Directives in low-income chronically ill older adults” in Healthcare, 8(1), 62; “Changes in the Physical function and psychological distress from pre-implant to 1-, 6-, and to 12-month post-implant in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy” in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(2), 307; “Prediction of heart failure symptoms and health-related quality of life at 12 months from baseline modifiable factors in patients with heart failure” in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 35(2), 116-125; “Modifiable factors associated with the completion of advance treatment directives in hematologic malignancy: A patient-caregiver dyadic analysis” in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, 23(5), 611-618; “Associations of Advance Directive Knowledge, Attitudes, and Barriers/Benefits with Preferences for Advance Treatment Directives among Patients with Heart Failure and their Caregivers” in the Journal of Cardiac Failure, 26(1), 61-69; “Factors associated with nurses’ acceptance of eICU®” in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, 41(1), 46-54; and “Attitudes toward advance directives and prognosis in patients with heart failure: A pilot study” for the Korean Association of Internal Medicine, 35(1), 109-118.

Dr. Justus Randolph, professor, co-authored “The tip of the iceberg of colorectal perforation from enema: A systematic review and meta-analysis” in Techniques in Coloproctology and “Surgical wound closure by staples or sutures? Systematic review” in Medicine.

Dr. Clinton Canal, assistant professor, received funding in the amount of $18,372 from NIH/NIDA via a sub-award with the University of Florida for the project “Opioid Use Disorders: UF Pharmacy Medications Discovery and Development.” Dr. Canal was also appointed grant reviewer for the USAMRMC Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) – Autism Research Program.

Dr. Joshua D. Kinsey, clinical assistant professor, Dr. Leslie K. Harris, clinical associate professor, and others presented “The Alphabet Soup of LGBTQ+; Faculty Development in Superior Skills for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” at the annual American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy meeting held virtually this year.

Robert Lamb, director of finance and administration, accepted an invitation to serve on the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Finance and Investment Committees. His service on these committees will include advisement to the association’s executive vice president on budget development throughout the year.

Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, Dr. Diane Nykamp, professor, and Dr. Kathryn Momary, associate professor, co-authored “Evaluating Practice Readiness of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Students Using the Core Entrustable Professional Activities: A Pilot Project,” published online in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education in June.

Dr. Sweta Patel, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “The Impact of a Pharmacist-Designed Mobile Application on Blood Pressure Control and Medication Adherence in Patients with Hypertension,” published online in the Journal of American College Clinical Pharmacy on July 5.

Dr. Renee Hayslett Rowe, associate professor, Dr. Sanchita Sen, clinical associate professor, Dr. Jill M. Augustine, assistant professor, Dr. Candace W. Barnett, professor, Dr. Christine M. Klein, clinical associate professor, Dr. Nicole L. Metzger, clinical associate professor, Dr. Reid C. Proctor, clinical associate professor, Dr. J. Grady Strom, associate professor emeritus, and students Urouge Akhtar and Savannah Cunningham presented the abstract “Creating Curricular Threads Using Backwards Design” at the annual American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy meeting held virtually this year.

Dr. Awatef A. Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of mathematics, science and informatics, presented as a primary investigator and a co-investigator with three capstone students in Mercer’s Atlanta Research Conference held in March. The title of her presentation as a primary investigator was “Assessment of Health and Digital Literacy Amongst First-Generation Somali Immigrants.” The titles of the co-investigator poster presentations were “Patient Satisfaction and Wellness Before, During and After Invisalign,” “Barriers to Access of Electronic Health Record Data by Public Health Organizations,” and “Pharmacovigilance Analysis of Drug-Drug Interactions in the FDA Adverse Event Report System.” Dr. Ben Ramadan was nominated by her students for the College of Professional Advancement’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and received a formal recognition letter from the dean on May 26 regarding the nomination. Dr. Ben Ramadan also developed two COVID-19-related surveys targeting Mercer students. The first survey was titled “Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Survey about COVID-19 and Telehealth and Virtual Medicine Services of Mercer Students during June 2020,” and the second survey was titled “Assessment of Mercer University Students’ perceptions and Attitudes about the University’s Sudden Transfer to the Total Online Learning Environment due to COVID-19 Pandemic.” She is working to submit these research proposals to the IRB office. Dr. Ben Ramadan also submitted a manuscript, tilted “Assessment of Civic Learning Knowledge amongst Informatics Faculty and Undergraduate Students’ Attendees of Civic Workshops at Mercer University,” to AAC&U’s peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education.

Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision graduate Dr. Keith J. Myers, published Counseling Veterans: A Practical Guide through Cognella Academic Publishing of San Diego, California, in July. The book is a textbook/guide for therapists who work with or hope to work with veteran populations. Dr. Lane also participated in a series of three webinars on May 6,  June 3 and July 1 for families of active duty service members and veterans, titled “Coping in the time of COVID-19.” The webinars were part of an education program developed by Warrior 2 Citizen, a nationwide veteran service organization based in Atlanta.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, reviewed the following manuscripts: “A Higher Education Approach to Active Shooter Incidents: Evidence from 40 United States University Campuses” and “Assessing the Emerging Trends of Crimes in Houses of Worship” for the Law Enforcement Executive Forum, as well as “Design Warnings About Addiction on the Patient Information Leaflet of Over-the-Counter Codeine Sold in the United Kingdom to English University Students” and “A Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Digital Intervention to Improve Sedentary Behaviour Across Multiple Workplace Settings” for the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Dr. C. Peeper McDonald, assistant professor of counseling, served as a guest panelist for “Put Your Counselor Hat On: Learning Strategies for Culturally-Responsive Counseling During the Double-Pandemic of COVID-19 and Racial Injustices,” sponsored by the Georgia State Chi Epsilon chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the International Counseling Honor Society, on July 13. She was invited to serve on the American Counseling Association’s Antiracist Taskforce, a group of about 30 members across the country and across the 19 divisions of the American Counseling Association, to create outcome-based responses to the current social and racial unrest. The group first convened on June 26 and meets weekly. Dr. McDonald and Dr. Catherine Chang presented a session, titled “Addressing Multicultural Ruptures and Microaggressions in Supervision,” at the 14th annual International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision on July 30. Dr. McDonald also authored a chapter, titled “When Worlds Collide: Culturally Responsive Practices for Multiracial Students and Families,” in Implementing Culturally Responsive Practices in Education, published by IGI Global in June.

Dr. Don Redmond, associate professor of counseling, made a virtual presentation, titled “Personal and Global Identity in a Time of Crisis – A Developmental Crossroads?,” on May 28 for the Psychology of Global Crises conference hosted by the American University of Paris. He was on a panel titled “Quarantine, Global Identity, and Critique.”

Dr. V. Lynn Tankersley, associate professor of criminal justice, was featured as an expert panelist for WalletHub’s article on the safest states in America.

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, served as the commenter on a paper, titled “Techno-Futurism in Play: Privacy, Surveillance, and Innovation at Disney,” at the 2020 Privacy Law Scholars Conference in June. His most recent article, “Protection for ‘Inferences Drawn’: A Comparison Between the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act,” was published in the Global Privacy Law Review.

Dr. Allen K. Lynch, professor of economics, recently achieved a milestone when his article “An Economic Model of the College Football Recruiting Process,” published in the Journal of Sports Economics and co-authored by J. Michael Dumond and Jennifer Platania, was cited for the 100th time by other academics conducting research in the area. This article, which examines the factors that help to explain the college choices of high school football players, was featured in a three part story in Sports Illustrated soon after it was published.

Dr. Antonio Saravia, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for the Study of Economics and Liberty, presented his paper “Does College Move You to the Left? Evidence from Latin America,” co-authored with Dr. Andrés Marroquín, associate professor of economics, on July 27 at the XI Bolivian Conference on Development Economics. Dr. Saravia was also interviewed by 41NBC Macon on the budget effect of purchasing masks for low-income families and by Radio Líder on the pervasive effects of over-regulating the economy after lockdowns and quarantines.

Dr. Arash Afshar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and undergraduate student Roy Wood authored the article “Development of Weather-Resistant 3D Printed Structures by Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing” in the Journal of Composites Science, Vol. 4, in July.

Sharon Bradley, digital and scholarly resources librarian, presented “What the Swedes, the Japanese, and the Minimalists Can Teach Us About Instruction” at the American Association of Law Libraries virtual conference.    

Cathy Cox, dean and professor of law, was quoted on July 18 in “Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Sued to Block Atlanta’s Face Mask Ordinance. Here’s What to Know” in TIME. She was also quoted on July 14 in Diploma Privilege’ Temporary License Spice Up Bar Exam Prep This Summer and July 20 in “Virus Forces Georgia Bar Exam to Shift In-Person to Online,” both in the Daily Report.

Tim Floyd, Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy and director of experiential education, was quoted on July 13 in “Ga. House hearings begin to consider changes to citizen’s arrest law” in Georgia Recorder.

David Hricik, professor of law, and Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law, authored three columns in their ongoing series, “Writing Matters,” for the Georgia Bar Journal. The articles were titled “Avoiding the Very Obvious (Almost Glaring) Problem of Intensifiers,” “Getting Good at the New Norm: Writing Briefs and Motions for Screen Readers” and “The 10 Principles of Plain English.” Hricik presented “Ethical Issues from Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 3D Printing” to the Dallas Bar Association. He also gave a presentation, titled “Ethical Issues from using (or not) AI and Big Data,” to the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Law Association. In addition, he gave a presentation, titled “Hidden Risks of Unenforceability from the Different Duties of Candor and Prosecution Bars,” to the Intellectual Property Owners Association.  Finally, he was quoted in the American Bar Association Journal in an article, titled “Prosecutorial ethics are in the spotlight after the death of Ahmaud Arbery.” 

Linda Jellum, associate dean for faculty research and development and Ellison Capers Palmer Sr. Professor of Tax Law, was invited to join the academic consultative group to the Administrative Conference of the United States‘ new Council on Federal Agency Adjudication. She will work with other leading administrative law scholars to share relevant research with the council and help identify subjects for discussion and further study.

Anne G. Johnson, adjunct professor and assistant director of academic success, was selected as the 2020-21 chair of the Assessment Committee for the Association of Academic Support Educators. The association provides academic support professionals from around the country the opportunity to collaborate and work collectively to develop and implement research-based teaching methods and design programs that enhance student learning to enable students to succeed.

Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law, published “More than IRAC: Acronyms to Support the Writing Process” in 28 No. 1 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing 26 (Spring 2020). She was a panelist on July 14 for the American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, July Professors’ Corner, titled “Wills in the Twenty-First Century: Towards Sensible Application of Formalities.” She also accepted an invitation to become an editorial board member for the Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series for Vol. 10 and 11.

Pam Wilkins, associate professor of law, was selected to serve on the editorial board of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the theory, substance and pedagogy of legal writing.

Dr. Mohammed Abdelsaid, assistant professor of pharmacology, co-authored “Increased Ephrin-B2 expression in pericytes contributes to retinal vascular death in rodents,” published in Vascular Pharmacology, doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2020.106761.

Dr. Keisha R. Callins, Joy McCann Endowed Professor, authored “Why resilience matters more than ever,” in MAG Journal, the journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Vol. 109, Issue 2.

Dr. Brian H. Childs, professor of bioethics and professionalism and director of ethics education, published a special issue of international peer-reviewed medical ethic journal the HEC Forum. He edited the issue and invited Nasser Rizvi, one of his medical students on the Savannah campus, to co-edit. The topic of the issue is teaching medical ethics in undergraduate medical education when confronted with the hidden curriculum.

Dr. Melissa A. Kling, director of the Animal Care Facility and attending veterinarian, was appointed to the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee, as well as to the Development Committee of Vital Ground, the only land trust dedicated to large-landscape conservation for the benefit of grizzly bears, other wildlife and people.

Dr. Jean Sumner, dean, received the Ralph O. Claypoole Sr. Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians (ACP), a national organization of internists and the largest medical specialty organization in the U.S. Dr. Sumner is the first Georgian to receive the prestigious award, established by ACP’s Board of Regents in 1979.

Dr. Bowden Templeton, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, and Dr. Susan Cline, professor and director of the M.S. in Preclinical Sciences, were recognized by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for exemplary annual assessment reports. The office is providing this recognition for the third year, focusing on the 2018-19 assessment cycle. These reports were vetted by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness as well as by members of the University Assessment Council and were chosen based on the commendable clarity of their outcomes and methods, meaningful results and analysis of data, and notably reflective updates and future plans based on results. The reports will be posted on the OIE website under “Assessment,” “Assessment Calendar” in the section on “Annual Peer Review of Assessment Reports.”

Dr. Jacob Warren, Rufus Harris Endowed Chair and director of the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, and Dr. Bryant Smalley, associate dean for research, received a $20,000 grant from the Commonwealth Fund to create guidance on ensuring COVID-19 efforts are responsive to both the ongoing mental health needs of residents and the unique mental health needs that emerge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coordinated by the School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, the grant will fund the creation of a series of guidance pieces drawing upon existing best practices as well as highlighting innovative strategies being employed by states during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Angela N. Parker, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, published her essay “And the word became… Gossip? Unhinging the Samaritan Woman in the age of #MeToo” in the May issue of Review & Expositor: An International Baptist Journal, Vol. 117, Issue 2.

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, was interviewed by Religion News Service for a June 5 article, titled “Activists call for justice, equal remembrance of Breonna Taylor on her 27th birthday.”

Laura M. Botts, assistant dean for archives and digital initiatives, was elected treasurer of the Academy of Certified Archivists by its membership. She began her two-year term of service in August.