Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Sheena D. Brown, clinical assistant professor of physician assistant studies, authored “Changing the Face of Health Care Providers, One Student at a Time” in the Dec. 7 issue of the Physician Assistant Education Association Networker.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Elaina Behounek, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, was interviewed by WMAZ in Macon on Dec. 9 regarding police shootings.

Dr. Jonathan C. Glance, Benjamin W. Griffith Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of English, presented a paper, titled “'The Roxane Complex': The Process of Adaptation in John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975),” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association's annual conference Nov. 4 in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Glance presented the paper as part of a series of panels sponsored by the Association of Adaptation Studies.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, was appointed to the planning committee for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. citywide breakfast.

Dr. Linda Hensel, professor of biology, and Dr. David Goode, associate professor and director of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, had three undergraduate researchers, Christina Bure, Shawn Canavan and Caroline Jackson, present at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference on Anti-Microbial Development Dec. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. The two posters, “Synthesis and Efficacy Testing of Novel Anti-biofilm Lead Compounds–Authentic Research in an Undergraduate Classroom” and “Efficacy Testing of Novel Anti-biofilm Lead Compounds,” described both student learning outcomes as well as novel lead-compounds that the undergraduates had discovered. Bure received an ASM student/postdoc travel grant of $500 to attend the conference.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre, was elected president of the Society of American Fight Directors, the largest stage combat/theatre movement training and choreography organization in the world. He also adjudicated skills proficiency tests with the Society of American Fight Directors for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Additionally, Mann directed and choreographed violence for Mercer Theatre's production of “She Kills Monsters.”

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Tammy Barbé, assistant professor, will present “Instilling APRN Advocacy: A Three-Pronged Approach” at Teaching Health Policy in Graduate Nursing Education: Giving Wings to Innovation, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborative conference, on Jan. 17.

Dr. Lanell Bellury, associate professor, Dr. Laura Kimble, professor, Dr. Tammy Barbé, assistant professor, and Dr. Cynthia Rubenstein, associate dean and associate professor, presented a poster, titled “Predicting BSN Program Attrition using Social Determinants: Implications for a Diverse Nursing Workforce,” Nov. 17 at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Baccalaureate Conference.

Dr. Maura Schlairet, associate professor, had an article, titled “Moving toward heutagogical learning: Illuminating undergraduate nursing students' experiences in a flipped classroom,” accepted for publication in the February issue of Nurse Education Today, vol. 49, pgs. 122–128.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, was an invited attendee at the 2016 Faith Table, a gathering of 75 national Christian leaders who met to discuss the intersections of faith and social issues.

Mercer Engineering Research Center

Kelly Maddox, assistant facility security officer, was awarded the Chapter Spotlight Award for NCMS Georgia Chapter 16, the professional organization for defense security professionals, for contributions to the goals and functions of the chapter for the past year. Maddox established an Insider Threat Working Group, both locally and in Augusta, to help with the changing Defense Security Service requirements and to develop a peer network of security professionals in these areas.

Penfield College

Dr. Arla G. Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, and several of her students recently participated in a service-learning project, titled “Community Gardens Matter,” at the Dunwoody Community Garden. The students prepared PowerPoint presentations on why and how community gardens matter and shared them with the Dunwoody Community Garden Board.

Dr. Kenyon C. Knapp, associate professor of counseling and coordinator of the Counselor Education and Supervision Doctoral Program, was recognized by the Human Trafficking State Task Force with a certificate of appreciation for his activities on Work Group 1-Community Awareness and Education. This past year, the group created laminated posters in compliance with Georgia House Bill 141, which requires the posting of anti-human trafficking materials in hotel lobbies. Dr. Knapp traveled to a number of hotels identified as being in high human trafficking zones and delivered these posters and assisted in their posting. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Task Force Coordinator Michelle Anderson referred to Dr. Knapp's work an “outstanding contribution” and stated that he displayed an “exceptional commitment” to helping end human trafficking in Georgia.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, recently reviewed an article, titled “A Thematic-Based Meta Analytic Study Regarding the Effect of Creativity on Academic Success and Learning Retention,” for the December issue of the Journal of Education and Training Studies.

Dr. Kevin B. Williams, assistant professor of healthcare leadership, recently completed a certificate program in “Online Course Design and Delivery” through the Office of Distance Learning. The 15-hour certificate program consists of three levels of hands-on instruction in the use of the University's learning management system, the application of instructional design methodologies to content development and the implementation and delivery of learning through the use of online tools.

School of Engineering

Dr. Richard O. Mines, professor of environmental engineering and director of the Master of Science in Engineering and associated M.S. programs, Dr. André Butler, associate professor and chair of environmental engineering, and graduate students Matt Callier and Ben Drabek co-authored “Comparison of Oxygen Transfer Parameters and Oxygen Demands in Bioreactors Operated at Low and High Dissolved Oxygen Levels,” which was published Dec. 7 online in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A. The project was funded by the vice provost of research at Mercer through funding Seed Grant No. 227410.

School of Law

David Hricik, professor, recently gave presentations on ethical issues in patent practice in Texas, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia. In addition, LexisNexis published the 2016-17 edition of his book Patent Ethics: Litigation.

Scott Titshaw, associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs, was a panelist for a discussion, titled “The Immigration Debate: Confronting our Fears,” at Mercer Law School's Perspectives in Law Series in November. He was a discussion leader for “Life or Death: Immigration, Intersectionality, and What You Can Do to Help,” a national call-in panel co-sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in November. Additionally, he will participate as a discussion leader and panelist in a discussion, titled “Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Advocacy and Ethics,” at the American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia-Alabama Chapter's annual conference in Atlanta in February.

School of Medicine

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, assistant professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, was notified that the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning was licensed by Sage Therapeutics for use in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy and safety of an oral treatment for postpartum depression.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, co-authored “Adrenal Insufficiency as a Paraneoplastic Syndrome in Gastric Adenocarcinoma” in the December issue of the Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer.

Dr. Shi-Wen Jiang, professor of molecular biology and genetics, co-authored “Zinc Finger and X-Linked Factor (ZFX) Binds to Human SET Transcript 2 Promoter and Transactivates SET Expression” in the October issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences 17(10). He also co-authored “Pathologic significance of SET/I2PP2A-mediated PP2A and non-PP2A pathways in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)” in the November issue of Clinica Chimica Acta 464:155-159.

Dr. Jennifer Li, assistant professor of histology, and several colleagues published a review in the December issue of Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, titled “Physiopathological factors affecting the diagnostic value of serum HE4-test for gynecologic malignancies,” 16(12):1271-1282.

Dr. Richard O. McCann, associate professor of biochemistry and director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, along with Elisabeth A. Carter, a student in the MSBMS program, presented an early version of Carter's thesis research at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Dec. 3-7 in San Francisco, California. The title of the presentation was “Protein Interactions in the Core Adhesome and the Origins of Animal Multicellularity.” The ASCB is an international scientific organization of more than 6,000 cell biologists, attracting scientists and students from around the world to the annual meeting.

Kim Meeks, library assistant professor and medical library director, was accepted as an Association of American Medical Colleges 2017-2018 Leadership Education and Development fellow for the Southern Group on Education Affairs.

Dr. Bowden Templeton, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was elected president of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a state division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization with more than 20,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, including 700 members in Georgia, dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the marriage and family therapy profession. An initial one-year term as president-elect began in January and is followed by two years of service as president.

Staff and Administration

Tamar Perla, assistant director of the Academic Resource Center, was elected secretary of the Georgia Tutoring Association at the association's annual conference in October.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Wynnetta Scott-Simmons, associate professor, was sworn in Nov. 16 to serve a two-year, voluntary term on the Atlanta Commission on Women at the invitation of Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood. The Atlanta Commission on Women was established in 2000 by the Atlanta City Council, with the approval of the mayor, to support, bring awareness to and advocate for women's issues through research, the collection and dissemination of information vital to the protection and support of women in the City of Atlanta.