Faculty and Staff Notables

Statue of Jesse Mercer on the Mercer campus.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Alyssa L. Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, authored “The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF): Focusing on Environment” in the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices Monograph Series No. 2 2016; 10-32.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science, served as a session presider at the 30th annual Consortium for Computing Sciences Southeastern Conference Nov. 4-5 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He also served as director of the programming contest held in conjunction with the conference.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history and director of the Center for Southern Studies, has been named co-editor, along with Dr. Jonathan Daniel Wells of the University of Michigan, of Print Culture in the American South, a new book series by the University of Georgia Press.

Dr. Keegan Greenier, associate professor of psychology, gave a presentation on his research, titled “The relationship between personality and schadenfreude in hypothetical and live situations,” at the 39th annual meeting of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists Nov. 5 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Dr. Elizabeth Harper, assistant professor of English, presented a paper, titled “MS Longleat 4 and Female Literary Patronage,” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Medieval Association Oct. 6 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Harper also gave a lunchtime talk on the literary background of the medieval morality play Everyman Nov. 10 at Columbus State University in conjunction with the Theatre Department's November production of the play.

Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion, participated in a panel responding both to Matthew B. Crawford's book The World Beyond Your Head and his plenary presentation “Students and Teachers” at the annual meeting of the Polanyi Society in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Lewis also made presentations on “Moral Hygiene” as part of the Ethics, Leadership, and Service minor's observance of Global Ethics Day and “Ethical Leadership” for this year's Leadership Mercer cohort.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre, choreographed violence and swordplay for Theatre Emory's Romeo and Juliet. He also adjudicated skills proficiency tests for the Society of American Fight Directors at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California. At Mercer, Mann directed She Kills Monsters at the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. 

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, gave poetry readings Nov. 7 at Georgia Tech and Oct. 8 at the Lost Keys Festival. She published “The Empty Tomb,” “A Boy Stands Up During Supper” and “Paul Klee, 'The Saint of Inner Light'” in Terminus, Issue 13 (2016) 21-23. She also published “Grackles” in Poet Lore Vol. 11.3/4 (fall/winter 2016) 41. Her poem “No, It's Not” was also republished in Inspired Georgia, ed. Judson Mitcham et. al. (Athens: UGA Press, 2016) 111.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Briana Sell Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, wrote an article, titled “Scientists Working Outside Their Fields Are More Likely to Become Entrepreneurs,” which was published Oct. 31 by the Harvard Business Review.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Thomas B. Slater, professor of New Testament language and literature, was elected to membership in Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, the Society for New Testament Studies (SNTS), an elite learned body of international biblical scholars, at its annual meeting in August in Montreal, Canada. 

Penfield College

Dr. Aria G. Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, had a session proposal, titled “Critical Thinking Criteria for Evaluating Online Discussion,” accepted for the 2017 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy Feb. 15-17 at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Tim Craker, associate professor of comparative literature and philosophy, gave a presentation, titled “Assessing Assessment,” at the annual conference of the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum Consortium Oct. 21-22 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of criminal justice and public safety, reviewed an article, titled “The Impact of the Environmental Documentary Movies on Preservice German Teachers' Environmental Attitudes,” in November for the Journal of Education and Training Studies. Dr. Martin also had an article, titled “Soft targets are easy targets: Increasing incidents of terrorist attacks, preparation, and prevention,” accepted for publication in the Forensic Research and Criminology International Journal.

School of Law

Mark L. Jones, professor of law, helped organize and moderated a panel on “The Immigration Debate: Confronting Our Fears” Nov. 2 at Mercer Law School. Two law faculty members, two law students and two outside legal experts addressed the fear of crime, the fear of unemployment, the fear of deportation and the fear of terrorism. The panel was the third event in the Perspectives in Law series and was co-sponsored by the Mercer International Law Students Association, the Hispanic Law Students Association, the Asian Pacific Law Students Association and the National Security Law Society. The Law School's Perspectives in Law series is intended to promote and model informative and civil conversation on challenging subjects. The previous two events in the series, held during academic year 2015-16, concerned religious freedom in a diverse society and gun control legislation in Georgia.

Dr. David Ritchie, professor of law and philosophy and director of international programs, traveled to Rio de Janeiro Brazil with Dr. Michael Dean, assistant vice president, to further develop Mercer's programmatic relationship with the Universidade Estacio de Sa. While in Rio, Dr. Ritchie gave several lectures and presentations. The first, titled “The Moribund Nature of U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence: 1990-2016,” was delivered at the Fluminense Federal University. The second lecture, titled “Economic Constitutionalism in Asia,” was delivered at Veiga de Almeida University. Dr. Ritchie later met with graduate students at Estacio to discuss studying law in the U.S. Additionally, he presented a workshop on “American Legal Reasoning” at the University of Virginia. 

School of Medicine

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, assistant professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, received news that her Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning will be utilized as a primary outcomes measure in a study assessing caregiving environment in HIV-affected and unaffected Ugandan children.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of internal medicine residency, served as the first author in the literature review of “Role of Cannabis in Digestive Disorders” in the October edition of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Dr. Melissa Kling, director of the Animal Care Facility and Macon campus attending veterinarian, was appointed to the Small Mammal Scientific Committee for the 2017 International Conference on Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine in Venice, Italy. This is the third time Dr. Kling has been appointed to serve on this committee. Dr. Kling was also appointed co-chair of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians annual conference to be held in September 2017.

Dr. Eric K. Shaw, associate professor of community medicine, co-led a workshop, titled “And now for something completely different: Moving beyond themes in primary care qualitative analyses,” at the North American Primary Care Research Group's annual conference Nov. 12-16 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education and director of AIDS education and research, co-authored “The GAENE–Generalized Acceptance of EvolutioN Evaluation: Development of a new measure of evolution acceptance” in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(9)577-582.

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, published a research article, titled “Para-dichlorobenzene exposure is associated with thyroid dysfunction in US adolescents,” in the Journal of Pediatrics (2016;177:238-243).

Staff and Administration

Dominique Johnson, academic coordinator for Upward Bound, was accepted into the Leadership Georgia Class of 2017.

Scott Mahone, assistant director of regional academic center operations, was honored as the Omega Citizen of the Year Nov. 19 by the Greater Atlanta Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Seventh District.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Jim Barta, dean, was appointed to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Committee of Global Diversity. This committee works to foster the development of quality teaching and professional education practices that promote diversity, equity and global perspectives that advance the preparation of world-class educators responsive to all learners.

Dr. Lucy Bush, associate professor, and Dr. Jeffrey Hall, associate professor, co-presented “An Evaluation of Spirituality among Graduate and Professional Degree Students: Year Four” Oct. 7 at the Georgia Educational Research Association Conference in Augusta. The presentation was developed in collaboration with other Mercer faculty, including Dr. Bobby Jacob, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice; Dr. Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Baptist Church Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation; Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor of nursing; Dr. Angela Shogbon, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice; and Dr. Wesley Barker, assistant professor of religious studies.

Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor, Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor, and Daniel Garvey, director de Secundaria de AL-UCE in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, presented at the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research in the United States of America Nov. 9 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The presentation was titled “Successes and Challenges in Implementing a Professional Learning Project with Dominican Republic Teachers.” In addition, Dr. Carr presented a research paper regarding her narrative inquiry, titled “It's All about Values: Dominican Republic Teachers' Beliefs about Teaching and Learning.”

Dr. Vicki Luther, associate professor, was appointed to the International Literacy Association's Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award Committee. This committee recommends for the award dissertations completed in reading or literacy, including studies using any research approach.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor, Dr. debra leigh walls rosenstein, associate professor, Stephen Michaels, research services librarian and social sciences coordinator for the Monroe F. Swilley Library, and postdoctoral researchers Anaya Bryson and Lakshmi Menon co-authored “Montessori education for improving academic and behavioral outcomes among elementary students (Protocol)” in Campbell Systematic Reviews.

Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor, and independent research Dr. Rebecca Grunzke presented on “An International Experience on Pre-Service Teachers' Sense of Efficacy” Oct. 7 at the 2016 Georgia Educational Research Association Conference in Augusta.

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music, recruited at the Bands of America Southern Regional Marching Band Contest that included 34 high school bands Oct. 29 at the Georgia Dome and the Lafayette Marching Classic in Fayetteville. He also conducted the Mercer Wind Ensemble in recruitment concerts at Warner Robins High School on Nov. 1 and Starr's Mill High School on Nov. 7. Dr. Hill performed in the Ocmulgee Brass for the annual Veterans Day recognition ceremony held Nov. 10 at Carlyle Place in Macon. Additionally, he will host the Mercer Student Brass Quintet performance on Dec. 4 at the Governor's Mansion Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and perform Dec. 11 on trumpet in the Vineville Baptist Church Chamber Orchestra's Annual Christmas Cantata.

Amy Schwartz Moretti, associate professor, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, gave the world premiere of “Fleeting Images,” a new work for violin, piano and percussion by American composer Margaret Brouwer, Nov. 1 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City. Tania León, founder of “Composers Now,” moderated the BAC Salon Series concert “Dialogues,” which included two additional composers, Esperanza Spalding and Du Yun, premiering their new works. The evening was “designed to showcase the diversity of living composers and create a forum for meaningful exchange among composers, performers, and audiences.” At the “50 years of Suzuki Learning Celebration” on Nov. 5, Moretti performed special music in honor of her childhood violin teacher Joanne Bath. Another former student of Bath, Caroline Shaw, who was winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, composed an original piece for the event at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Greenville, North Carolina. On tour with the Ehnes Quartet, Moretti performed string quartets by Mozart, Bartók, Dvo?ák and Tchaikovsky for the opening concert of the Chamber Soloists of Detroit Nov. 18 in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and the Maestro Foundation Chamber Music Society Nov. 19 in Santa Monica, California. The Ehnes Quartet then traveled during the Thanksgiving holidays to Liverpool, England, to perform Nov. 23 at St. George's Concert Hall for the Liverpool Philharmonic Chamber Music Series and Nov. 24 at the London Symphony Orchestra St. Luke's in London, before performing in Bilbao, Spain, Nov. 25 for Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao.