Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Beth Collier, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, co-authored a chapter, titled “A three-dimensional model for developing clinical reasoning across the continuum of physical therapist education,” in Clinical Reasoning and Decision-Making: Facilitation, Assessment, and Implementation, Musolino GM, Jenson GM, eds., Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc. 2019.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, was selected by the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Board of Trustees to receive a $40,000 Pediatric Research Grant for her proposal, titled “Estimation of intervention effectiveness to improve adaptive behavior in infants with cerebral palsy.”

Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Craig Marker, associate professor of clinical psychology, co-authored a manuscript, titled “Chair-based exercise on biopsychosocial outcomes in older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis,”  published in Holistic Nursing Practice 2019;33(6):321-326.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, associate professor of physical therapy, Dr. Ann Lucado, associate professor of physical therapy, Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, professor in Mercer’s College of Nursing, co-authored “A survey study of health promotion, wellness, and prevention in would management environments,” electronically published in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy on Dec. 2. DOI 10.1097/JAT. 0000000000000124.

Dr. Jonathan Addleton, adjunct professor of international and global studies, was featured on the cover of the popular Mongolian language magazine Golden News. The article, titled “I Have Always Felt Connected to Mongolia,” includes an interview soliciting Dr. Addleton’s views on Mongolia’s foreign policy. Also, Dr. Addleton was quoted at length in a post on the internet blog howstuffworks for an article on “Eight Wild and Sprawling Things About Mongolia.”

Dr. Sylvia Bridges, senior lecturer of chemistry, and Dr. Adam Kiefer, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, presented “Incorporating an unexpected procedural flaw in a traditional undergraduate organic laboratory into a discovery-based laboratory experience” Oct. 22 at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Savannah.

Dr. Jamie H. Cockfield, professor emeritus of history, received the Award for Excellence in Documenting Georgia’s History from the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia System for his biography of U.S. Senator Walter F. George, titled A Giant from Georgia: The Life of U.S. Senator Walter F. George, 1884-1957 (Mercer University Press, 2019).

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, advised the selection on William Faulkner in Short Story Criticism, Vol. 280.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, was appointed to the advisory board for Book Traces, a collaborative web project aimed at discovering, cataloging and preserving unique copies of 19th- and early 20th-century books on library shelves.

Dr. Frank Macke, professor of communication studies, presented a paper, titled “Laughing, Crying, and the Limits of Experience: The Life-World of Emotion in the Philosophies of Georges Bataille and Helmuth Plessner,” at the annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America (SSA) Oct. 9-13 in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Macke served as conference planner and chair of the Planning Committee. At the meeting, he was named the 45th president of SSA to serve a one-year term in 2020. He will deliver the presidential address at the annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in October. SSA is a transdisciplinary intellectual organization that promotes research and inquiry into the nature and function of language and sign systems. Theories of representation (which involve the elements of signs, symbols, indexes, and icons) that occupy scholars of philosophy, literature, communication, theology, psychology/psychoanalysis, film (and new media), and music bring lively academic discussion to our annual meetings.  Distinguished keynote speakers from past conferences have included Julia Kristeva, George Lakoff, Umberto Eco and Kelly Oliver. Past presidents have included Thomas Sebeok, Robert Scholes, Allen Walker Read, Linda Waugh and Jonathan Culler.

Dr. Randall Peters, professor emeritus of physics, published an article, titled “Tennis-ball popper – an example of metastable catastrophes,” in the Seismological Association of Australia Inc. Newsletter No. 15, pgs. 8-18.

Dr. Caryn S. Seney, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Adam M. Kiefer, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, published “Determination of mercury solvation during cyanidation of artisanal and small-scale gold mining tailings via inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy in comparison to direct mercury analysis” in the International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry.

Dr. Martin Qiang Zhao, associate professor of computer science, received a National Science Foundation grant with Dr. Qian Wang of Texas A&M University College of Dentistry (formerly of Mercer’s School of Medicine) and two other collaborators from Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University. The collaborative project, titled “A Skeletal Study to Determine Environmental and Familial Effects on Health and Life Expectancy of Rhesus Monkeys from Cayo Santiago,” aims to build a database based on the Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico derived skeletal collection housed at the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) and New York University. This database will help provide a powerful non-human model to determine the influences of familial and environmental effects on health and make the data accessible to the research community. Two student teams in Dr. Zhao’s Database and Software Engineering classes this fall have been involved in related pilot studies while the formal paperwork between CPRC and participating institutions is still underway. Summer research and site visits will also be supported for selected students in the next four years.

Dr. Ajay Banga, professor, authored “Fabrication and Characterization of Hyaluronic Acid Microneedles to Enhance Delivery of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate into Skin” in Biomedical Microdevices, 2019; 21(4), 104.

Dr. Nader Moniri, professor, published “The β2-adrenergic Receptor-ROS Signaling Axis: An Overlooked Component of β2AR Function?” in Biochemical Pharmacology, 2020; 171, 113690.

Dr. Kevin Murnane, assistant professor, authored “The Acute Toxic and Neurotoxic Effects of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine are More Pronounced in Adolescent than Adult Mice” in Behavioural Brain Research, 2020; 380, 112413. Dr. Murnane, Dr. Jill Augustine, assistant professor, Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, and Dr. Grady Strom, associate professor, published “A Classroom Activity to Increase Student Pharmacists Confidence in Dealing with the Opioid Epidemic” in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2019; 83 (9) Article 7199.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, reviewed two manuscripts, “Restorative Justice: Juvenile Drug Courts and Substance Abuse” for the Law Enforcement Executive Forum and “Ethylene Oxide Exposure Attribution and Emissions Quantification Based on Ambient Air Measurements near a Sterilization Facility” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. He also had two manuscripts published, “Police chiefs’ comparisons of ratings of preferred attributes of police recruits for successful careers: Surveys of Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio police chief association members” in Law Enforcement Executive Forum, 20(1), and “Choosing police recruits for job longevity and successful careers in policing: Preferred attributes of police chiefs” in E-Cronicon Psychology and Psychiatry, 8(10).

Natasha Patel, adjunct professor, was named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of eight playwrights to watch in 2020.

Brandon Anderson, mechanical engineer, presented a project that successfully modeled the fatigue effects of gunfire blast wave propagation along the AC-130W gunship flaps at the 2019 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program Conference. The analysis highlighted the importance of considering the transient effects of high-magnitude, impulse loads on structural fatigue life, as well as the effects of considering stress wave propagation in the fatigue spectra. The results of this analysis provided AFSOC engineers with the tools to properly evaluate the risk associated with 105mm gunfire at various shot elevations and the impact to the life of the flaps.

Dr. Agnieszka Shepard, assistant professor of management, had two conference papers accepted to the largest and most prestigious conference for industrial/organizational (or work) psychology, the Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, to be held in April in Austin, Texas. The papers are titled “The Effect of Desire for Revenge and Negative Reciprocity on Customer-Directed Counterproductive Work Behaviors” and “Forced citizenship and broken contracts lead to counterproductive work behavior.” The former was co-authored by Mercer student Lilah Donnelly.

Dr. Michael MacCarthy, assistant professor of environmental and civil engineering, co-led workshops on global self-supply water systems at the University of Oklahoma International Water Conference in September and at the University of North Carolina Water and Health Conference in October. Additionally, at the University of Oklahoma conference, he chaired a session on “Innovative Mountain Groundwater Systems” and co-authored five oral presentations, three of which were presented by Mercer students.

Dr. Dorina Marta Mihut, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Arash Afshar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, published a paper, titled “Study of electrically conductive structures consisting of copper thin films deposited on water filter papers and their antibacterial activity,” in the Society of Vacuum Coaters conference proceedings. The paper was selected as the featured article for the Society of Vacuum Coaters Bulletin.

Dr. Richard O. Mines Jr., professor of environmental and civil engineering and civil engineering startup coordinator, published a manuscript, titled “Oxygen Transfer Parameters and Oxygen Uptake Rates Revisited,” in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health-Part A, Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering. The online version was posted on Nov. 28.

Cathy Cox, dean, participated as a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army in December on behalf of the Macon Rotary Club.

Jessica Feinberg, professor, published “Restructuring Rebuttal of the Marital Presumption for the Modern” in 104 Minnesota Law Review 243.

Sarah Gerwig, associate dean for academic affairs and professor, presented “Justice for Juveniles” Oct. 24 at the University of Georgia Law Review Symposium.

David Hricik, professor, was one of eight elected as a Fellow of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and was also appointed by its president to serve on the Committee on the Profession. He also moderated a panel on ethical issues in e-discovery at the Chief Justice’s Committee on Professionalism in Atlanta.

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor, presented “What Does the Public Really Think About Insider Trading?” Nov. 23 at the Southern Economic Association annual meetings.

Michael Sabbath, SBLI/W. Homer Drake Jr. Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy Law and professor, served as a panelist at the Consumer and Business Bankruptcy Institute, co-sponsored by the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. The panel’s topic was “Aging Gracefully? Trending Issues Related to the Increase in Seniors Filing Consumer Bankruptcies.” The institute was held at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds on Lake Oconee on Dec. 12.

Elizabeth Sherowski, visiting assistant professor, presented “Mastering the Model Answer” Nov. 13 at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop at Pennsylvania State Dickinson College of Law.

Karen J. Sneddon, professor, and David Hricik, professor, co-authored “Tackling Block Quotes” in 25 No. 3 Georgia Bar Journal 60.

Scott Titshaw, associate professor, published “ART, Surrogacy, Federalism, and Jus Sanguinis Citizenship in the U.S., Australia, and Canada” in 3 Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law 144. He also presented on “Family and Immigration” at the ninth annual AILA Rocky Mountain Fall Conference Oct. 11 in Denver, Colorado, and presented “Hot Topics, Citizenship, and Immigration, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” at the Stonewall Bar of Georgia and State Bar of Georgia ICLE in October in Atlanta.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, associate professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, testified before the Georgia House of Representatives Study Committee on Maternal Mortality on Nov. 18. She discussed the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning and advocated for increased perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) training for all frontline providers and for universal PMADs screening.

Dr. Sarah Rotschafer, assistant professor of neuroscience, received a grant from the Eppley Foundation for Research for “Neuromodulator expression along the auditory tract in fragile X syndrome.”

Dr. Nathan Myrick, assistant professor of church music, was notified on Dec. 1 that his application for a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship to study music and human flourishing in Christian communities through ethnographic inquiry was funded by the Lilly Endowment. The grant funding will run from March 1-June 1, 2021. A portion of the grant will allow him to fund two music students as research assistants for the fieldwork portion of the project.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaisse-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Studies, attended the Society of Biblical Literature Meeting in San Diego, California, Nov. 23-26, and presented a paper, titled “The Role of Psalms 135-137 in the Shape and Shaping of Book Five of the Hebrew Psalter,” in the Book of Psalms Section.