Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Liberal Arts

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, gave a talk, titled “You are Where You Eat: Foodways and the Construction of Southern Identity,” on April 20 at Oxford College of Emory University.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, organized the fourth biennial Beloved Community Paired Clergy Unity Service at Christ Episcopal Church in Macon on May 17. The featured preacher was Dr. Chester J. Fontenot Jr., Baptist Professor of English and director of Africana Studies in Mercer's College of Liberal Arts. SGA President Austin Harrison gave “The Occasion” and first-year student Shayna Waltower introduced Dr. Fontenot. Dr. Dunaway was invited to pray for the local educational institutions at the Macon Observance of the National Day of Prayer on May 14. He hosted a film screening of “Invictus” and discussion led by Dr. Shamani Shikwambi of Middle Georgia State College as part of annual Ethnic Awareness events on May 5. Dr. Dunaway was invited to preach at Central Chinese American Baptist Church in Byron on March 15 and April 26. He organized an interdisciplinary colloquium on the torture issue, titled “Faith, Duty, and Temptation in Intelligence-Gathering,” on March 19. The event featured talks by Brig. Gen. David R. Irvine (U.S. Army retired), Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer, and Dr. Dunaway. As well as affording an opportunity to explore a compelling current issue, the event promoted the forthcoming publication of Dunaway's translation of Vladimir Volkoff's 2006 novel about the Algerian War, The Torturer (Le Tortionnaire), coming out in the fall of this year. Additionally, Dr. Dunaway delivered a paper, titled “Maritain's Role in the American Civil Rights Movement,” at the annual conference of the American Maritain Association on Feb. 27 at the University of San Francisco.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history and director of the Center for Southern Studies, presented “History as Art: Woodward and the Triumph of the Master Narrative” at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians on April 16 in St. Louis.

Scot J. Mann, associate professor of communication and theatre arts, adjudicated skills proficiency tests for with the Society of American Fight Directors for Columbia University in Chicago, Cornish University in Seattle and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He also served as a guest lecturer for Alma College's stage combat symposium in Alma, Michigan, as well as teaching a master class in “Action for the Camera” at Michigan State University. At Mercer, he instructed the University's skills proficiency test, adjudicated by Fight Master Chuck Coyl, fight director for the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres in Chicago, as well as the Lyric Opera. The test resulted in Mercerians achieving a 100-percent pass rate with 60 percent achieving a superlative rating.

Dr. Charlotte Thomas, professor of philosophy and co-director of the McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles, served as discussion leader for “Liberty, Higher Education, and the Role of Trustees,” a conference of university trustees and administrators sponsored by Liberty Fund on Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Naples, Florida. She also served as discussion leader for “Seneca on Cruelty, Tyranny, and Liberty,” a conference sponsored by Liberty Fund on March 5-8 in La Jolla, California. Dr. Thomas presented “Plato's Cities in Speech: The Structures of The Republic, the Republic, and the republic” to the faculty and students of Mercer's Great Books Program on March 18. She co-directed the A.V. Elliott Conference on Great Books and Ideas, sponsored by the McDonald Center, on March 24-26 on Mercer's Macon campus. She served as external reviewer for the philosophy program at Roosevelt University on April 1-3, and represented Mercer's Great Books Program in the Qualitative Narrative Assessment project at the annual meeting of the Association for Core Texts and Courses on April 9-12 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Dr. Thomas presented “The City/Soul Analogy in Republic Book 5” at the annual meeting of the Association of Core Texts and Courses on April 9-12 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She attended the annual meeting of the Association for Private Enterprise Education as advisor to undergraduate researchers Anna Mae Kersey (CLA '15) and Precious Patterson (SSBE '15), who presented their research on April 12-15 in Cancun, Mexico. Additionally, Dr. Thomas directed “Brahman, Atman, and Dharma: Liberty and Indiviudal Responsibility in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita,” a conference sponsored by Liberty Fund on May 7-10 in La Jolla, California.

Dr. Bryan Whitfield, associate professor of Christianity, presented a paper, titled “Recent Scholarship on 'Christian Scholarship,'” at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion on May 20 at Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Susan P. Gilbert, dean, was featured in Georgia Trend magazine in an article, titled “Masters of Change.” She also authored an editorial for www.evolllution.com on disruptive innovation in higher education and was the keynote speaker at the Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce on Middle Georgia's economic outlook.

Dr. Geoff Ngene, assistant professor of finance, and Dr. Anitha Manohar, assistant professor of finance, led the inaugural chapter of the Mercer Financial Management Association (FMA) to the FMA Superior Chapter Award for the 2014-2015 academic year. This highly coveted designation is awarded to less than five percent of FMA chapters.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation, delivered a paper, titled “The Meeting of Saint and Sultan: The Symbolic Power for Peace in the Personal Encounter between Saint Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt,” on April 8-9 at the Peacebuilders Conference at Morehouse College, where he was also inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College.

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, presented a continuing education workshop on “Culturally Competent Practice with the StrongBlackWoman” at the annual meeting of the Georgia Psychological Association. She also participated in a panel discussion on “Leading Women: How Women Are Changing the Church” at the Alliance of Baptists annual meeting.

Dr. Brett Younger, associate professor of preaching, was the keynote speaker and preaching workshop leader for the New Baptist Covenant/Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma on April 24 in Oklahoma City.

Penfield College

Dr. Vikraman Baskaran, assistant professor of health informatics, published an article, titled “A Smartphone-Based Cloud Computing Tool for Managing Type 1 Diabetes in Ontarians,” in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes.

Dr. Greg Baugher, assistant professor of mathematics, and Dr. Charles Roberts, assistant professor of mathematics, presented completed and ongoing research in “Efforts to Help Struggling Students in Mathematics at Penfield” at the Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference in on April 12-14 in Charlotte, North Carolina. This event was sponsored by the John N. Gardner Institute.

Dr. Kenyon Knapp, associate professor of counseling and assistant coordinator of the doctoral program, led an international team of mental health professionals May 15-23 in a crisis and trauma counseling training in Bethlehem, Israel. His team trained 15 mental health professionals in the Bethlehem region in numerous evidence-based interventions.Prior to the training, trips to refugee camps and cultural briefings were conducted so that the training was adapted for the delicate social/political/religious environment. The team was well received and has already been requested to return for future trainings.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of criminal justice, completed a peer-review of an article, titled “The Effect of Difference of Skills Display Sequence in the Virtual Classroom Programs on Cognitive Achievement and Programming Skills for the First-year Secondary School Students,” in the May 20 edition of the Journal of Education and Training Studies.

Dr. David Purnell, assistant professor of communication, presented at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry on May 20-23 at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.

Dr. Kevin B. Williams, assistant professor of healthcare leadership, received an Outstanding Service Award from Morehouse School of Medicine National Alumni Association for living out the School's mission in both his professional and personal endeavors. The School, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, presented the award to Dr. Williams on May 16 at its Alumni Reunion Reception and Dinner at the Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter.

School of Engineering

Dr. Susan Codone, associate professor of technical communication and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, published an article in May in “Higher Education Tomorrow,” a blog managed by Patrick Blessinger, the director of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association. The article is titled “Brazilian Students Encounter Kindness in American Classrooms” and reports on the experiences of Brazilian students in Mercer's School of Engineering. Dr. Codone also presented “Going Deeper with Student Engagement” to the summer 2015 Governor's Teaching Fellows class at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. The Governor's Teaching Fellows class is composed of professors from institutions across the state. Dr. Codone was a member of the class of 2014 and continues to return as a speaker.

School of Medicine

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, assistant professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, was selected to serve on the review panel for the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing.

Dr. Susan Cline, associate professor of biochemistry, has been elected to the chair-elect position of the Association of Biochemistry Course Directors for 2015-2017 and will assume the role of chair for 2017-2019. The Association meets biennially and is composed of biochemistry educators from an international group of medical, pharmacy and dental schools.

Carolann Curry, library assistant professor and outreach and reference librarian for the Macon Medical Library, published a review of the book Visions and Revisions: Coming of Age in the Age of AIDS on March 15 in Library Journal, 140(5): 124. Curry, Anna Krampl, library assistant professor and clinical reference librarian, and Kim Meeks, library assistant professor and library director for the Medical Libraries, presented “Librarian(s) vs. Predatory Publishers” on March 25 at the annual meeting of the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association (GHSLA) in Macon.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of biomedical sciences and director of the Biomedical Problems Program, presented “Webpage Graphical Animations for Pathology Education” on May 7 at the Pathology Informatics Summit meeting of the Association for Pathology Informatics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Klatt also served as poster judge at the meeting.

Anna Krampl, library assistant professor and clinical reference librarian for the Macon Medical Library, was elected secretary of the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association for 2015.

Dr. Jennifer Li, assistant professor of histology, and several colleagues published their work on “Expression and diagnostic value of HE4 in pancreatic adenocarcinoma” in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2015, 16(2): 2956-70.

Kim Meeks, library assistant professor and library director for the Medical Libraries, was elected president of the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association for 2015.

University Libraries

Scott Gillies, associate dean of University Libraries and director of the Monroe F. Swilley Jr. Library, was elected chair of the Atlanta/Macon Private Academic Libraries (AMPALS) consortium.

Theresa Rhodes, associate director for public services and collections in the Jack Tarver Library, attended the Acquisitions Institute at Timberline Lodge on May 16-19. The Institute provides an opportunity for acquisitions and collections librarians, publishers, consultants and vendors to meet and discuss pertinent trends and issues for today and the foreseeable future.

Kathryn Blackburn Wright, instructor in the Division of Library Services and archivist in special collections at the Jack Tarver Library, presented “I Fall to Pieces: Picking up and Moving On,” which informed participants about what to ask and expect when working with conservators, at the annual meeting of The Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions. The meeting was hosted by the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archive on April 21-24 in Nashville, Tennessee. Wright also served on the audit committee.

Walter F. George School of Law

Linda Jellum, Ellison C. Palmer Professor of Tax Law, was quoted in an NPR story, titled “How Transparent Will Death Row Clemency Be?,” on May 3.

Dr. David Ritchie, professor of law and philosophy and director of international initiatives, gave a lecture, titled “Towards an Institutional Structure for the BRICS,” at the Second BRICS International Conference in Macau. While he was in Macau, a book he edited with Ya Nan Song, titled Chinese-Lusophone Relations: China and Brazil, was released by the Social Sciences Academic Press in China.

Scott Titshaw, associate professor, gave a talk, titled “Comparing EU and U.S. Migration Law: The Case of Same-Sex Spouses,” at Leiden University in the Netherlands on May 27, which also included comments from three of the University's professors.