Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Craig Byron, associate professor and associate chair of biology, co-authored with three undergraduate biology majors an article, titled “The skeletal anatomy of the douc langurs (Genus Pygathrix),” in the Vietnamese Journal of Primatology. Dr. Byron also co-authored “Constraints on feeding in Australopithecus sediba: implications for the origin of Homo” in Nature Communications.

Craig Coleman, associate professor of art and digital media, curated a show, titled “Augmented,” at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon. The show also included the work of Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of English, and Luke Buffenmyer, assistant professor of digital media.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History, published “The Church under Putin: Nationalism and Russian Orthodoxy” in The Christian Century 132, No. 25 (Dec. 9, 2015): 10-11.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, published the essay “Faulkner and the Inheritors of Slavery” in Fifty Years after Faulkner, edited by Jay Watson and Ann Abadie. He also co-sponsored a workshop on fellowship opportunities and student assessment at Emory University on Feb. 12.

Dr. Chamaree de Silva, assistant professor of physics, gave the talk “Physics and Psychology: Integrating disciplines through Video Analysis” at the 2016 winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, served as keynote speaker at the 26th annual citywide Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church on Jan. 18.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history, presented “THINKERS, Thinkers, and thinkers in the Antebellum South: New Directions in Southern Intellectual History” at the meeting of the Southern Intellectual History Circle Feb. 18-20 in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of English, created 14 clay pages, in collaboration with Roger Jamison, emeritus professor of art, that were featured in the “Augmented” art exhibit, curated by Craig Coleman, associate professor of art, at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon in January and February. The clay pages feature Dr. Johnston's poems fired onto stoneware tiles in Jamison's anagama kiln in Juliette. Dr. Johnston also served as a judge for the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud regional poetry performance competition for high school students Feb. 13 at the Telfair Center for the Arts in McRae. His poem “Men's Fashions at Forty” was published in the fall/winter issue of Southern Poetry Review. In November and December, students from Dr. Johnston's Introduction to Poetry Writing course offered six poetry workshops at the Tindall Heights after-school arts program administered by Dr. Creighton Rosental, associate professor of philosophy. As chair of the Committee of the Ferrol A. Sams Jr. Distinguished Writer in Residence, Dr. Johnston welcomed poet and novelist Frank X. Gaspar, Sams Writer in Residence for 2016, to campus in January.

Dr. Joseph D. Keene, assistant professor of chemistry, co-authored “Quantum Yield Heterogeneity among Single Nonblinking Quantum Dots Revealed by Atomic Structure-Quantum Optics Correlation” in American Chemical Society Nano, 2016, 10(2), 1960–1968.

Dr. Adam M. Kiefer, associate professor of chemistry, recently trained representatives from the Guyanese government and members of the small-scale mining sector in mercury-free practices in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The three-week curriculum, written by Dr. Kiefer, also “trained the trainers” in teaching best practices in order to continue to deliver the curriculum over the coming year. Dr. Kiefer also presented a talk, titled “Supporting Technical Training in the Extractive Industries in Guyana: A Debriefing of Activities in the Field January 29-February 10, 2016,” to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission in Georgetown, Guyana.

Dr. Hope McIlwain, associate professor of mathematics, published a joint article with Elizabeth (Lizzie) Knapper, a 2014 graduate, titled “Predicting Wins and Losses: A Volleyball Case Study,” in the November issue of the College Mathematics Journal.

Dr. Clara Mengolini, assistant professor of Spanish, presented a paper, titled “Mafalda: Argentina's favorite girl,” Feb. 11 at the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo, assistant professor of international and global studies, was interviewed for a segment on family leave that aired in February on WMAZ in Macon. Dr. Nichols-Belo was also interviewed by The Telegraph about the Zika virus.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, conducted an interview for a story, titled “Lent in the Shadow of Cancer,” on the Her.meneutics: Christian Women, Cultural Comment blog, part of the website www.christianitytoday.com.

Dr. Fletcher Winston, associate professor of sociology, was recognized by the American Sociological Association's Academic and Professional Affairs Program for “The Other Me: An Assignment to Develop the Sociological Imagination by Imagining a Walk in Someone Else's Shoes.” The assignment was the fifth most downloaded resource among more than 3,000 published in 2015 in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology.

Dr. John C. Wright, emeritus professor of psychology, was one of four panelists who led a discussion, titled “Your Place or Mine: The Effect of Setting on Behavior Consulting Process and Treatment,” at the 20th annual Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior held in Tempe, Arizona, Feb. 26-28. 

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Linda Brennan, professor of management, was recognized by the Career Women's Network as one of two Women of Achievement for 2016. This honor recognizes women for their achievements and contributions to the advancement of women, their communities and their professions.

Dr. Sean Chen, associate professor of accounting, co-authored a paper, titled “The Going Concern Assumption: A Critical Issue for Auditors,” published in the December issue (Vol. 85, No. 12) of the Certified Public Accountants Journal.

Dr. Geoff Ngene, assistant professor of finance, authored a manuscript, titled “Spatial Herding Behavior in the U.S Housing Market: Evidence from Direct Housing Prices,” that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Sharon Dormire, associate professor, presented a research poster at the Southern Nursing Research Society's 30th annual conference Feb. 25 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, gave two podium presentations, “Tool Kit for Post-Clinical Conferences” and “Student Development Plan,” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Education in February in Jekyll Island.

Laura Madden, clinical instructor, presented a poster, titled “Using Reflection for Transitions in Nursing Education,” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Education in February in Jekyll Island.

Dr. Patricia Troyan, associate professor, Dr. Tara Bertulfo, clinical assistant professor, and Fran Kamp, clinical associate professor, presented a poster, titled “Postpartum Hemorrhage: Student Confidence Following Classroom Simulation,” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Education in February in Jekyll Island.

Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, professor, was keynote speaker at the North American Japanese Garden Association's 2016 biennial conference, titled “Towards a Healthier World,” in Delray, Florida.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. William Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of Baptist Heritage and Spiritual Formation, along with an interdisciplinary team of five other Mercer faculty, presented “A Four Year Evaluation of Daily Spiritual Experience Among Graduate and Professional Degree Students” at the 39th annual conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association Feb. 18 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Dr. Thomas Slater, professor of New Testament studies, published an article on the “Son of Man” in The Oxford Encyclopedia for Bible and Theology, a two-volume resource aimed at an international audience of scholars and pastors. The “Son of Man” topic has been one of the major issues in biblical studies for more than a century, involving both Old Testament and New Testament researchers. Dr. Slater has published four scholarly articles in refereed journals and received two grants to fund his research on this topic, including a grant from the Society of Biblical Literature, the most prominent international scholarly organization for biblical studies.

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, was accepted into the 2016-2017 Workshop for Theological School Faculty Teaching Online at the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. She was also accepted into a summer writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute.

Penfield College

Dr. Wesley Barker, assistant professor of religious studies, presented a paper, titled “Tracing Lips: Reading Eros Beyond Ethics in the Work of Lynne Huffer,” at the American Academy of Religion's 2015 annual meeting in November. Dr. Barker's presentation was part of a special six-person panel, titled “Author Meets Critics: The Relevance of Lynne Huffer's Mad for Foucault and Are the Lips a Grave for Theology and the Study of Religion.” The panel included the eminent Foucault scholar Jeremy Carrette and the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary. In connection with her work as one of five nation-wide fellows with the American Association of Colleges and Universities Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills initiative, Dr. Barker co-presented on a panel at the Association of American Colleges and Universities 2016 annual meeting in January.

Dr. Arla Bernstein, instructor of communication, received a 2016 summer grant from Emory University's Piedmont Project to design a course in environmental communication.

Jason R. Holloway, visiting instructor of liberal and historical studies, was awarded second Master of Arts in Spanish from Georgia State University in December.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of public safety leadership, authored a peer-reviewed article, titled “Examination of the Relation between Academic Procrastination and Time Management Skills of Undergraduate Students in Terms of Some Variables,” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies. Dr. Martin also had a manuscript, titled “The Significance of Selected Attributes Police Chiefs in Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa Believe are Necessary for Recruit Success in Policing,” accepted for publication in the refereed journal Law Enforcement Executive Forum.

Dr. David Purnell, assistant professor of communication, presented “Family Dinner: An Ethnography of a Fifteen Year Weekly Community Dinner” at the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference. He will present “On Writing Father: Ethical Dilemmas on Writing About Significant Others” at Southern States Communication Association in Austin, Texas. Dr. Purnell was also a guest lecturer at Coastal Carolina University.

Dr. Michael Roty, associate professor of mathematics, 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. 

Jacqueline Stephen, instructional designer, and Dr. Susan Codone, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, led a two-hour session with the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program on the Atlanta campus on Feb. 1, where they discussed educational technology in higher education. Twenty-one group members attended from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, the Czech Republic, El Salvador, India, Iraq, Mexico, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South African, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Tunisia.

School of Engineering

Dr. Jennifer Goode, instructor of technical communication, presented a manuscript, titled “What Is E-Mentoring? Constructing a Theoretical Framework for E-Mentoring from Existing Literature,” at the 2016 Academy for Human Resource Development's International Research Conference in the Americas, held in Jacksonville, Florida, in February.

Dr. Makhin Thitsa, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and an undergraduate research student published a peer-reviewed proceeding paper, titled “Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Optical Integrator Design by Non-Interacting Control via Dynamic Extension,” in the Electrochemistry Society Transactions in October 2015. The paper was a result of collaborative work between Mercer University and Toyota Technological Institute Japan. Students Marcos Nve-Nsi and Zechariah Rice, who have been conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Thitsa, submitted a paper, titled “Nonlinear Dynamical Control of Passively Q-switched Lasers,” to the Southeastern Section of American Physical Society Meeting. The paper was accepted and Nve-Nsi was awarded a travel grant by the American Physical Society to present the paper at the conference in November. Dr. Thitsa presented a paper, titled “Formal Power Series Method for Nonlinear Time Delay Systems with Analytic Initial Data,” at the 54th Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers Conference on Decision and Control in Osaka, Japan, in December. This research is an ongoing collaborative work between Mercer and Georgia Tech. Dr. Thitsa also gave an invited talk, “Nonlinear Dynamical Control Methods for Nonlinear Photonic Systems,” at Optical Functional Materials Laboratory, Toyota Technological Institute in Nagoya, Japan in December. This research is an ongoing collaboration between Mercer and Toyota Technological Institute in Japan.

School of Medicine

Dr. David Gu, assistant professor of physiology, published a peer-reviewed research article, titled “Activation of TRPV4 regulates respiration through indirect activation of bronchopulmonary sensory neurons,” in the Journal Frontiers in Physiology. Randal Moss, master's program student, Kristen Kettelhut, summer scholar and current third-year medical student, Carolyn Gilbert, research technician, and Dr. Hongzhen Hu, assistant professor of anesthesiology at Washington University, were also authors on the study.

Dr. Melissa A. Kling, director of laboratory animal resources, was invited to serve on the alumni board for the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine for a two-year term.

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education and director of AIDS education and research, co-presented a paper, titled “Mendel in the modern classroom,” at the biannual convention of the European Science Education Research Association in Helsinki, Finland.

Staff and Administration

Ken Boyer, associate vice president of auxiliary services, was re-elected to serve a second term on the board of directors for the National Association of Campus Card Users during the association's December election. The board subsequently elected Boyer to serve as president elect for 2016. Boyer, who has served the last three years on the board as treasurer, will become the association's president in 2017 at the conclusion of the annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

Retired Lt. Col. Scott Mahone, assistant director of regional academic center operations, was named Citizen of the Year at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce's 49th annual meeting and awards dinner Feb. 6 in McDonough.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of education, and Dr. Lucy Bush, associate professor of education, co-presented with Dr. Bobby C. Jacob, clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. William Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of Baptist Heritage and Spiritual Formation in McAfee School of Theology, “A Four Year Evaluation of Daily Spiritual Experience Among Graduate and Professional Degree Students” at the 39th annual conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association Feb. 19 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Townsend School of Music

Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, associate professor and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, was featured Feb. 13 in Chamber Music Charleston's Ovation Series at Memminger Auditorium in Charleston, South Carolina. She performed Faure's “Romance” and Debussy's “Beau Soir” with guest pianist Andrew Armstrong for the concert, titled “From Paris, With Love.” They were joined by members of CMC to present Guglielmi's “La Vie en Rose for Solo Violin and Piano Quintet” and Chausson's “Concerto for Piano, Violin and String Quartet.”

Dr. Katie White, assistant professor of music history, and Dr. Susan Codone, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, presented a session, titled “Using Music in the Classroom,” at the Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference Jan. 28-30 at the Classic Center in Athens.

University Libraries

Gregg A. Stevens, public services librarian, was selected by the Medical Library Association as a 2016-2017 MLA Rising Star. The Rising Stars program offers an opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and personal characteristics that prepare participants to become leaders in MLA and in other organizations.