Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Sara E. Luke, assistant professor of special education, authored “Using technology to support teaming with families that are culturally and linguistically diverse” in Division for Early Childhood of Council for Exceptional Children Recommended Practices monograph series no.6.

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, co-authored “The children come full: From high leverage to humanizing and culturally sustaining literacy practices in urban schools” in Teachers College Record and “You have to do something new: Learning teaching as an interpretive process” for the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students. Dr. Panther also co-presented “Dumbling: Teacher agency and activism in humanizing research” and “What are we sustaining? White researchers and culturally sustaining pedagogies as a theoretical framework” at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference in Indian Hills, California.

Dr. Bill Holcomb, professor and program director for the Master of Athletic Training program, received the 2018 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award, awarded annually by the United States Sports Academy to an individual who contributes to the growth and development of sports medicine through practice or research.

Dr. Joseph Donnelly, clinical professor of physical therapy, was elected president of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. His three-year term, leading the largest academy within the American Physical Therapy Association, began Jan. 26.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, co-authored three manuscripts published in January. “Longitudinal trajectories of physical activity and walking performance by Gross Motor Function Classification System Level for children with cerebral palsy” was electronically published ahead of print in Disability and Rehabilitation. “Developmental trajectories and reference percentiles for range of motion, endurance, and muscle strength of children with cerebral palsy” was also published ahead of print in Physical Therapy.  “Developmental trajectories and percentile graphs for the 6-minute walk test for children with cerebral palsy” was published in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Dr. Fiss also co-presented, “Big data: Burden or Joy?” and “Relationships of Rehabilitation Services to Children’s Development of Balance, Endurance, Self-Care Activities, and Participation in Family and Recreational Activities” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on Jan. 23-26 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ann Lucado, associate professor of physical therapy, presented “Unlocking the Mysteries of Elbow Pain” and co-presented “The Effect of Scapular Muscle Strengthening on Functional Recovery in Patients with Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy” and “Joint Mobilizations and Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting Jan. 23-26 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Niamh Tunney, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, co-authored “Impact of LSVT-BIG on function in Parkinson’s disease: a case study,” published in GeriNotes.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Rehabilitation For A Patient With Bilateral Transfemoral Amputations Undergoing Incremental Increase In Pylon Length: A Case Report” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting Jan. 23-26 in Washington, D.C. Also, at that conference, in collaboration with Dr. Ann Lucado, associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. David Taylor, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, she presented “A Survey Study of Health Promotion, Wellness, and Prevention in Wound Care Environments” and “Lifestyle Behaviors in Physical Therapists Practicing in Wound Care Environments.”

Dr. Jonathan Addleton, adjunct professor of international and global studies, published an article, titled “Transforming the Agricultural Bank of Mongolia,” in the January/February issue of The Foreign Service Journal.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, presented “Faulkner’s War Stories: World War I and the Emergence of Yoknapatawpha” and “Reading Southern Food” at the Modern Language Association Conference Jan. 3-6 in Chicago.

Dr. Abigail P. Dowling, assistant professor of history, participated in a workshop on premodern environment and presented a paper, titled “What is good cultivation?”: Views of nature and natural resource management in Ancient Rome, 200 B.C.E – 500 C.E,” Dec. 6-7 at the Environmental Humanities conference hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, spoke to Faculty/Staff Christian Fellowship Nov. 13 about a new book on the late philosopher Dallas Willard. Dr. Dunaway also was recently elected chair of the board of directors of My Vision for Refugees Inc., the 501(c)3 organization through which Samuel Johnson, CLA ’13, has established an orphanage, Home of Hope, in N’Zérékoré, Guinea.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, presented “‘A Half-Abolitionist Herself’: Rebecca Harding Davis and the Limits of Emancipation” Jan. 3-6 at the Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago. Dr. Gardner gave a public lecture, “The World the Reviewers Made,” Jan. 28 at the University of Alabama, sponsored by the Frances J. Summersell Center for the Study of the South. She also conducted a workshop on grants and fellowships for graduate students in history at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Anita Olson Gustafson, dean, published her latest book, Swedish Chicago: The Shaping of an Immigrant Community, 1880–1920, with Northern Illinois University Press in December.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program, was awarded a six-day writing residency for March at the Lillian Smith Center near Clayton, Georgia. Dr. Johnston’s essay “Receiving” will appear in the next issue of Still: The Journal.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre, served as a master instructor of combat for the Movement and Combat Education Company for the Winter Wonderland Stage Combat Conference in Chicago. He headed classes in theatrical swordplay and choreography for stage and film. In London, he taught the Theatrical Firearms Safety Course for the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat and supervised the certification of two new instructors.

Dr. Erin McClenathan, assistant professor of art history, published “Displaced Maneuvers:  Tactile Surrealism in VVV’s Handheld Cinema” in a special issue of The Space Between, titled Dada and Surrealism: Transatlantic Aliens on American Shores, 1914–1945.”

Dr. Doug Thompson, associate professor of history and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies, authored “Economic equality: Martin Luther King Jr.’s other dream” for the “Made by History” section of the Washington Post on MLK Day.

Todd Wilson, technical director for Mercer Theatre and an ESPN play-by-play announcer for Mercer Athletics, will be returning to the stage in Macon Little Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in The Park.” This is Wilson’s 33rd production, in which he will be performing the role of Victor Velasco in this classic stage comedy. Show dates are Feb. 1-2 and 6-9 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 3 and 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor of nursing, co-authored “Transperitoneal versus retroperitoneal laparoscopic adrenalectomy for adrenal tumours in adults (Review)” in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Dr. Randolph also published “Is it possible to identify inguinal nerves during hernioplasty? A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis of cadaveric and surgical studies” in Hernia.

Tina Athiyal Varghese, clinical skills coordinator, graduated in December with her Master of Divinity from Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology.

Nick Hatcher, senior mechanical engineer, presented “Sortie Code Based IAT for the TH-1H Helicopter” at the 34th Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Conference. MERC developed Sortie Code based Individual Aircraft Tracking (IAT) to help the USAF Rotary Wing SPO better track usage of the TH-1H fleet. This method uses statistical analysis of flight records to assign a usage to individual flights. This has shown to be more accurate than the current method of assuming the fleet average usage. The implementation of Sortie Code Based IAT will allow the USAF to more accurately track TH-1H usage.

Dr. Awatef Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of health informatics, attended and presented in the 2018 Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference from Nov. 8-10 along with four other faculty from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Informatics. The panel discussed the high impact practices (HIPs) they have used to enhance the learning environment of their students. Dr. Ben Ramadan presented the results of the class survey she conducted. She also authored “Usability Assessment of the Missouri Cancer Registry’s Published Interactive Mapping Reports: Round Two,” which will be published in the next issue of the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics.

Dr. Melissa M. Cruz, assistant professor and program coordinator for undergraduate leadership studies, authored “Graduate Online Recruitment and Retention” in Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly.

Dr. Feng Liu, associate professor of informatics, sat on a panel Jan. 25 with Caryn Musil, AAC&U vice president, on civic learning in the major. The presentation resulted from the AAC&U mini-grant supported by the Endeavor Foundation that Penfield College received to begin to incorporate civic learning into the informatics major.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of public safety, completed a book review of Critical infrastructure protection in homeland security: Defending a networked nation (2nd ed.) by Ted Lewis for Wiley and Sons publishers. Dr. Martin also completed the following articles as a peer reviewer for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: “The Effect of the Exposure to Work-related Potentially Traumatic Events on Work Limitations among Firefighters: a Cross-sectional Study” Jan. 14 and “Desired improvements of working conditions among medical assistants in Germany: a cross-sectional study” Nov. 29.

Dr. Merrin Oliver, assistant professor of psychology, wrote a methods-based article on “Using a Classroom-Based Deese Roediger McDermott Paradigm to Assess the Effects of Imagery on False Memories” in November for the Journal of Visualized Experiments at jove.com. The JoVE team created an accompanying video featuring interviews with Dr. Oliver and Dr. Cameron Miller, assistant professor of psychology, and footage of students completing an experiment on the Atlanta campus.

Dr. Hollis Phelps, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, published two articles in the Palgrave Handbook of Radical Theology, edited by Christopher Rodkey and Jordan Miller: “Harvey Cox” and “Play Theology. With co-author Jordan Miller, Dr. Phelps published the article “Trumpism is a State of Affairs” in Doing Theology in the Age of Trump, edited by Jeffrey Robbins and Clayton Crockett. Dr. Phelps also published the article “The Problem with the Latest Predictions for ‘the Rise of the Religious Left’” at Religion Dispatches.

Dr. Dina M. Schwam, assistant professor of psychology and human services, presented her accepted proposal in November on “Self-regulated Learning in College Students Attending Online Courses” at the 2018 Meeting for the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research International. Dr. Schwam was invited to participate in the conference’s annual “Great Debate” on the topic of “Student evaluations and rating as a reliable indicator of faculty teaching performance” and was listed in the program as a featured speaker. Dr. Schwam’s position was to argue for the motion, and her opponent, Dr. Julian V. Heilig, professor of educational leadership and policy studies and director of the doctorate in educational leadership at California State University Sacramento, was asked to argue against the motion. The debate took place on the first day of the conference Nov. 6 during the conference luncheon.

Dr. Tyler Wilkinson, assistant professor of counseling, had a manuscript published in the Journal of Counseling and Development, the counseling profession’s top-tier national, peer-reviewed journal. The title of the manuscript is “Trends in ethics complaints leading to professional counseling licensing boards disciplinary actions.” Dr. Wilkinson co-authored this with two counseling doctoral students, Dannielle Smith and Ramona Wimberly.

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, co-authored an article, titled “Predictability for Privacy in Data Driven Government,” published in the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology.

Dr. Susan Gilbert, dean, was keynote speaker at a Jan. 20 event, titled “Is the Ivy League for you?,” at Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Norcross for students and parents making their college choices.

Dr. Antonio Saravia, associate professor of economics and director of the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, was interviewed by CNN Jan. 7 regarding the economics of the border wall between Mexico and the U.S.

Dr. Lane Wakefield, assistant professor of sports marketing and analytics, served as a podcast guest for MarketScale on the episode “The 5 Goals of Social Media Marketing.”

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor of law, participated in an interview with Ozan Varol for his website.

Dr. Mohammed Abdelsaid, assistant professor of pharmacology, and his research team was awarded the first-place Basic Science Poster Award in the Student Abstract Competition at Medical Association of Georgia meeting in October. The poster was titled “Obesity induces vascular remodeling and deteriorates cognitive function in mice. Role of Pericytes.” The team includes Kunal Patel, Payton Prins, Gabrielle A. Dalessandro, Amy C. Barrett and Dr. Abdelsaid. The research team also published an article, titled “Inhibition of Ephrin-B2 in brain pericytes decreases cerebral pathological neovascularization in diabetic rats.”

Dr. S. Marshall Angle, assistant professor of medical education and director of program evaluation and medical education research, was a contributing author for “A Review of Continuous Quality Improvement Processes at Ten Medical Schools,” published Jan.17 in Medical Science Educator.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, associate professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, recently published “Evaluation of Maternal Functioning in Mothers of Infants Admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit” in the Journal of Women’s Health.

Dr. Susan Cline, associate professor of biomedical sciences, gave an invited talk, titled “The Evolution of Science Instruction in MD Programs,” Jan. 19 at the annual meeting of the Association of Graduate and Medical Departments of Biochemistry in Kauai, Hawaii.

Dr. James Colquitt, assistant professor and medical simulationist, recently published “Applying the Pit Crew Resuscitation Model to the Inpatient Care Setting” in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. The work was in collaboration with Medical Center Navicent Health and utilized in situ simulation to train hospital first responders on care for cardiac arrest events.

Carolann Curry, library assistant professor, published a resource review on Jan. 1 on the Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) in the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

Dr. Larry Nichols, professor and interim chair of pathology, Dr. Keisha Callins, assistant professor of community medicine, and student Ashley Reavis McNeal co-authored “A Psychiatrist with Postoperative Anxiety After Hysterectomy: How Could This Be Fatal?” in Cureus.

Dr. G. Allen Tindol Jr., associate professor of medicine, had an article, titled “Predatory Journals: ‘Fake News’ in Medicine and Science,” published in the Medical Ethics section of the most recent Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Vol. 107, Issue 4.

Dr. Wei-Hsiung Yang, associate professor of physiology, authored a peer-reviewed article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences titled “FOXP3 activates SUMO-conjugating UBC9 gene in human MCF7 breast cancer cells.” Dr. Yang also co-authored a peer-reviewed article in Cancer Research titled “Losses of Foxp3 and Tsc1 accelerate prostate cancer progression through a synergistic transcriptional and post-translational regulation of c-MYC.”

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music and director of instrumental ensembles, was invited to present a clinic Jan. 25 at the annual Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference held at the Classic Center in Athens. His topic was “So Your Student Wants To Be a Music Major….” The clinic focused on providing the orchestra, choir and band directors in attendance with materials to better prepare students who desire to major in music at the university level.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, guest-lectured in Carson Newman University’s Master of Arts in Applied Theology class Oct. 27 on the subject of “The Pentateuch.” She also presented a paper on “Feminist Interpretations of the Songs of Ascents (Psalms 120-134)” Nov. 16 to Lemadim Olam, an Old Testament reading group, in Denver, Colorado. She presented a review of Dennis Tucker and Jamie Grant’s Zondervan NIV Application Commentary on Psalms 73-150 and Susan Gillingham’s Reception History of Psalms 1-72 Nov. 17 at the Society of Biblical Literature’s Book of Psalms Section in Denver.  In December, she contributed commentaries on Psalms 126 and 150 to the Center for Biblical Preaching’s website, Working Preacher.

Dr. Ansley Booker, interim director of the Educational Opportunity Center, Tracy Artis, executive director of TRIO programs and minority affairs, and Ken Blair, interim academic coordinator and minority mentor program advisor for Upward Bound, were recognized Jan. 15 with 2019 Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Awards.

Laura Botts, assistant dean for archives and digital initiatives, was elected secretary of the Archives Council of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education in November at the group’s meeting. She also served as a guest lecturer for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.