Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Boot Camp for Students and New Professionals: Preparing for a Career in Pediatrics” and “What We've Done and Where We're Going: Education Summit II and the Journey Toward Excellence in Pediatric Physical Therapy Education” at the American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy annual conference Nov. 17-19 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Jonathan Addleton, adjunct professor of international and global studies, participated in a nonfiction panel discussion at the Milton Literary Festival on Nov. 11, speaking about his book The Dust of Kandahar. The panel was moderated by Dr. William Rawlings whose most recent book, The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution, was published by Mercer University Press. Jonathan Jordan, author of American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory on World War II, also participated.

Dr. Elaina Behounek, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice, presented a paper, titled “Regulating Motherhood: Family Law Mediation as a Form of Social Control,” at the 2017 American Society of Criminology annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in November.

Dr. Heather Bowman Cutway, associate professor of biology, authored “Effects of Long-Term Manual Invasive Plant Removal on Forest Understory Composition,” published in the October issue of Natural Areas Journal. This article is the culmination of 10 years of ecological research at the Ocmulgee National Monument.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History, published “'I am a Fighter by Nature': Father Gleb Yakunin and the Defense of Religious Liberty” in The Dangerous God: Christianity and the Soviet Experiment, edited by Dominic Erdozain, DeKalb, Illinois, 74-96, Northern Illinois University Press, 2017.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, co-wrote the introduction to The Routledge History of the American South, and he also contributed an essay on southern foodways to the collection. He gave a talk, “A Good Mayonnaise is Hard to Find: Flannery O'Connor and Culinary Codependency,” at the University of Alabama on Nov. 16.

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science, served as director of the 20th Annual Southeastern Programming Contest Nov. 3-4 on the campus of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. The contest was part of the Consortium for Computing Sciences and Colleges annual fall conference held in the Southeast. A total of 26 teams participated in this two-day event.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, presented “Infirmity, Reading, and Suicide” at the meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association Nov. 9-12 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also gave an invited book talk Nov. 15 at The University of the South. She was an invited participant in the Book Traces Symposium, held Nov. 16-17 at the University of Virginia. Her essay “Literature and Culture in the Post-War Era” was published this month in The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America. Her review of Keywords for Southern Studies (University of Georgia Press) appeared in the most recent issue of The Journal of Southern History.

Dr. Chris Grant, professor and chair of political science, had a monograph, titled “Georgia Politics – No Longer Ruled By Rustics,” published by CQ/SAGE. It is the second in a series of monographs being published on state politics in the United States.

Dr. Elizabeth Harper, assistant professor of English, attended the Southeastern Medieval Association's annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. At the conference, she organized and presided over a special session, titled “Experiential Learning and the Medieval Studies Classroom.” The panel covered topics of pedagogy and digital humanities, social justice, service learning and manuscript study.

Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion, attended the annual meeting of the Polanyi Society in Boston, Massachusetts, where he convened a session on “Polanyian Perspectives: New Voices,” featuring work by graduate students on biological reductionism, Thomas Aquinas and science, and neo-liberal economics. He also responded to Jon Fennell's paper, “Can Alasdair MacIntyre Relieve Grene's Polanyian Regret?” and participated in a workshop on the contemporary relevance of Polanyi's early work in economics. In addition, he traveled to Northampton to visit Jonathan Edwards sites.

Dr. Creighton Rosental, associate professor of philosophy, presented “Machines and Minds: Theories of Thinking from 1637 to the Present” at the 2017 Mind and Brain Annual Conference, hosted by the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics and the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint in September.

Dr. Douglas E. Thompson, director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies and associate professor of history, served as commentator on the panel “Race, Religion, and the Republic: Effects of Transatlantic Influence on Proslavery Southern Philosophies” at the Southern Historical Association meeting Nov. 9-12 in Dallas, Texas.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Nader Moniri, associate professor and dean for research, led a study alongside other researchers in the College of Pharmacy that identified a new avenue in which the omega-3 fatty acid receptor known as free-fatty acid receptor-4, or FFA4, reduces inflammation. The study was published Nov. 27 in Biochemical Pharmacology and funded by the National Institutes of Health. Chronic inflammation can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, among other diseases, but drugs that activate FFA4 in immune cells have been shown to reverse insulin resistance and promote anti-diabetic effects. Dr. Moniri's research group found that drugs that activate FFA4 in macrophages also produce a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species, or ROS. ROS are natural byproducts of oxygen metabolism, but high levels can cause inflammation and oxidative stress.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, represented the Academy of Legal Studies in Business as its president at the Southeastern Academy of Legal Studies in Business Annual Conference in Atlanta. He moderated a paper session on “Sports Law” at the conference.

Dr. Carol Cagle, assistant professor of management, Dr. Faye A. Sisk, professor of management, and Dr. Arthur “Buddy” Rutledge, professor of management, presented their research, titled “Health Care Supply Chain Management: A Hybrid Approach,” to the Decision Science Institute Nov. 20 in Washington D.C. Their presentation was a continuation of their stream of research centered on the evolving and complex field of healthcare supply chain management. Dr. Cagle also was interviewed by WABE in Atlanta on the new Amazon Fulfillment Center coming to Macon in 2018. She discussed the geographical and economic benefits to hosting the fulfillment center in Middle Georgia.

Dr. Ania Izabela Rynarzewska, professor of sports marketing and analytics, presented her papers, “Unethical Consumer: An exploration of Amazon's incentivized reviewers' community through a netnography” and “Redefining recruitment strategy: Projecting the Likelihood of a New Residential Student at an Access College with Pre-Enrollment Data,” at a Society for Marketing Advances conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The second paper was co-authored with Nikolaos Hutto, a former Mercer student who graduated with a Master of Science in business analytics from the Stetson School of Business and Economics in Atlanta.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Suzanne Applegate, clinical assistant professor, was selected by Lippincott as a reviewer of DocuCare cases.

Dr. Kathy Davis, clinical assistant professor, published an article, titled “Oska Pulse: A new method of pain management,” in the Journal of Pain Management.

Fran Kamp, clinical associate professor, co-authored an article, titled “Activities designed to simultaneously meet discipline-specific course objectives and interprofessional education competencies,” in the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice.

Dr. Natasha Laibhen-Parkes, clinical assistant professor, authored a manuscript, titled “An adaptation of the original Fresno test to measure evidence-based practice competence in pediatric bedside nurses,” that was recently accepted for publication in Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing.

Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, professor, and Dr. Humberto Reinoso, assistant professor, had an article, titled “Trends in holistic nursing research,” accepted in the Journal of Holistic Nursing.

Dr. Cynthia Rubenstein, professor, and Grace Lewis, clinical associate professor, presented “Development of a Center to Promote Retention of BSN Students” at the 2017 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Baccalaureate Education Conference in Atlanta in November.

Dr. Maura Schlairet, associate professor, had her grant proposal on “Cancer Survivorship” accepted by JP Barnes/Daisy Grant.

Dr. Linda A. Streit, professor and dean, was appointed to Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing's board of directors. She was also invited to speak at the first national Graduate Nursing Student Academy Conference held Feb. 22-24 in Atlanta.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, presented a paper, titled “The Embodied Praise of God in the Songs of Ascents,” in the Book of Psalms Section at the annual Society of Biblical Literature Meeting held Nov. 18-21 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, presented papers based upon her forthcoming book on racial reconciliation at the UGA Women and Girls in Georgia Conference and the American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. She also served as a respondent for the panel “Wholistic Self-Care: Mining the Depths, Challenges, and Stigmas of Communal and Private Mental Health from Womanist Perspectives” at the AAR annual meeting.

Penfield College

Dr. Arla G. Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, was accepted for presentation at the Southern States Communication Association 88th Annual Convention April 4-8 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her submission, titled “Musings about Critical Thinking in Evaluating Online Discussion,” was co-authored by Dr. Carol Isaac, assistant professor of research, in Mercer's Tift College of Education.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, was appointed to the 2018 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Research Advisory Committee (RAC). Dr. Martin had a manuscript, titled “Preferred Caribbean Commissioners Recruit Attributes for Successful Police Training and Careers,” accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Law Enforcement Executive Forum. Dr. Martin also reviewed the following articles: “Suicide Ideation in Female Juvenile Offenders With a History of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'Ecstasy') Consumption” for the Forensic Research and Criminology International Journal; “The Social Vocation of the Law and Criteria of its Legitimacy” for the Journal of Forensic Science and Addiction Research; “Impulsive Traits of In-Jail Female with Selling Substance Crime” for the Journal of Forensic Science and Addiction Research; “Suicides and Alcohol Consumption in Russia, 1959-2013” for the Journal of Forensic Research and Criminology International; “Developmental Crime Prevention: Theoretical Background and Perspectives” for the Journal of Forensic Research and Criminology International; “CRISPR Cas9: A Revolutionizing Genome Editing Technology” for the Journal of Forensic Research and Criminology International; and “Staff Perspectives of the Four-Day School Week: A New Analysis of Compressed School Schedules” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies.

Dr. Hollis Phelps, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, published a review article, titled “Indebted to Asceticism” of Elettra Stimilli's The Debt of the Living, in Religious Theory,” in November. He also collaborated with Jordan Miller of Wheaton College on a paper, titled “Trumpism is a State of Affairs,” which was presented at the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, in November.

School of Engineering

Dr. Paul E. MacNeil, associate professor of software engineering and director of the software engineering master's degree program, presented his research at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society Nov. 16 in Milledgeville. This presentation, titled “Where Is The Equation Solved?,” addressed the application of computational intelligence techniques to computational physics issues.

School of Law

Anne G. Johnson, adjunct professor of law, published a lesson, titled “Print Looseleafs, E-Looseleafs and Subject Specific Resource Centers,” through CALI.org in May.

School of Medicine

Dr. Mohammed Abdelsaid, assistant professor of pharmacology, published “Peroxynitrite-Induced Tyrosine Nitration Contributes to Matrix Metalloprotease-3 Activation: Relevance to Hyperglycemic Ischemic Brain Injury and Tissue Plasminogen Activator” in Neurochemical Research. He will also present “Inhibition of EphrinB2 expression in Pericytes decreases Cerebrovascular Pathological Neovascularization in Diabetes” at the International Stroke Conference 2018 held Jan. 23-28 in Los Angeles, California.

Carolann Curry, library assistant professor and reference and outreach librarian, and Anna Krampl, library assistant professor and head of public services for Skelton Medical Library in Macon, delivered a two-part continuing education webinar on Oct. 12 and Oct. 30 to the Medical Library Association community. The three-hour course was titled “Distinguishing the Questionable from the Trustworthy in Open Access Resources” and provided guidance of best practices in open access scholarly publishing.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of internal medicine residency, served as the primary author of “Prognostic value of admission red blood cell distribution width in acute pancreatitis: a systematic review,” which was published in the September issue of Annals of Translational Medicine.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of biomedical sciences, provided a workshop, titled “Information Technologies Supporting Education Methods and Programs,” sponsored by the Association for Pathologic Informatics, on Sept. 8 at the national meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Melissa Kling, director of the Animal Care Facility and Macon campus attending veterinarian, was elected to her second term as treasurer of the Association of Exotic Mammals at its recent annual conference in Frisco, Texas, and she will serve as finance committee chairperson. She was also appointed 2018 annual conference co-chair.

Kim Meeks, library assistant professor and director of the Skelton Medical Libraries, and Dr. Marie Dent, associate professor and associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development, attended a three-day retreat in Maryland on “Faculty Training in Mind-Body Medicine.” The program equips faculty from health professional schools with the skills and knowledge to lead mind-body medicine groups for students.

Dr. Jacob Warren, Rufus C. Harris Endowed Chair, director of the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities and associate professor of community medicine, was recently elected a section councilor within the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Dr. Warren will play a role in setting and acting on section policies and procedures, preparing resolutions and policy statements related to medical care, advising on the publication of papers and reports and advising the APHA Executive Board regarding boards, councils, task forces and standing committees. The nationally elected position carries a three-year term.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Geri Collins, associate professor of education, and Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, presented “Social Studies Problems used in STEM Education” at the annual conference of the Association for Middle Level Education held Nov. 6-8 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Vicki Luther, associate professor of education, presented at the National Co-teaching Conference, held Oct. 24-27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her two presentations were titled “Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Strategies for Successful Co-teaching Between Teacher and Candidate” and “Creating Powerful Partnerships: Professional Development Needs of Educators in Co-teaching Settings.” Dr. Luther also recently co-authored an article, titled “Examining Preservice Teachers' Attitudes and Insights Regarding Poverty and Education,” in Transitions in Global Education.

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music, published an article in the recently released book, The Conductor's Companion 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes, and Facts, compiled and edited by Gary Stith, Meredith Music Publications. Dr. Hill's article, “The One-Two-Three Method,” was designed to assist students learn instrumental parts independently. The creation in skills of self-reliance and musical independence within each student mastering this method will reap steady rewards while the student is in rehearsal and performance settings. Dr. Hill and co-conductor Lloyd McDonald of the newly formed Middle Georgia Youth Wind Ensemble will present their first concert at The Assembly in Byron on Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. Admission is free of charge. Hill will also perform at the Vineville United Methodist Church's Christmas cantata on Dec. 17 with Townsend School of Music faculty member Dr. Jeffery Seeley, associate professor of church music, conducting the performance.

University Libraries

Laura M. Botts, associate professor and assistant dean, was named 2017 Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists at the group's annual meeting Nov. 2 in Young Harris. The award “recognizes outstanding contributions to the preservation of Georgia's documentary heritage” and honors the recipient's impact on the Georgia archival community.

Denise Rogers, executive director of IT Client Support Services, and Scott Gillies, associate dean of university library, presented a poster session, “IT and the Library: Partnering Together for Student Success,” at the Educause conference Nov. 1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jeremy Brown, assistant dean for technical services and systems, Gretchen Smith, licensed content librarian, and Scott Gillies, associate dean of university library, presented “Perfectly Parsing Proxy Patterns” at the Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisitions Nov. 9 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Daniel Williams, instructor and archivist, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, “The Baptist Frontier: Isaac McCoy, Indian Missions, and the Making of a Denomination,” Oct. 24 at Auburn University.