Faculty and Staff Notables

Mercer Seal

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, was the invited preacher Jan. 8 at the Chinese American Baptist Church in Byron.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history and director of the Center for Southern Studies, delivered “Before Memory and Memorialization: The Early Reconstruction Novels of John W. De Forest and Rebecca Harding Davis,” at the meeting of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, held Feb. 2-5 in Charleston, South Carolina. She also published essays in two edited collections: “A Southerner in New York: James Agee and Literary Manhattan” in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men at 75: New Critical Responses, ed. Michael Lofaro (The University of Tennessee Press, 2017), and “'The Secret of Vengeance': Honor and Revenge in Andrew Lytle's The Long Night” in The Field of Honor: Essays in Southern Character and American Identity, eds. John Mayfield and Todd Hagstette (The University of South Carolina Press, 2017).

Dr. Ryan deM. Jennings, visiting assistant professor of biology, published a paper in the international open-access journal Frontiers in Microbiology. This study established the microorganisms capable of inorganic carbon fixation in the primary high-temperature chemotrophic (non-photosynthetic) geothermal microbial habitats of Yellowstone National Park. The results are an important step in determining the trophic (food) web of these microbial communities. The findings are also directly relevant to the broader scientific effort to elucidate all details of the global carbon cycle.

Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, professor emeritus of history and research fellow in historical archaeology, was featured in an episode of the PBS UNCTV series “Science Now,” which aired in January and showed how First Colony Foundation archaeologists use various techniques – from trowels to drones – on the site in North Carolina where they are searching for evidence of Sir Walter Raleigh's “Lost Colonists.”

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, assistant professor of global health, along with undergraduate students Mary Martinez and Christine Okaro, delivered a HIV-AIDS workshop and presented preliminary findings of research to students at the Central Georgia Technical College GED program on Dec. 1 at the family investment center in East Macon. Dr. Obidoa also co-authored a paper, titled “The Emergence of Undergraduate Majors in Global Health: Systematic Review of Programs and Recommendations for Future Directions,” which was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 96(1):16-23.

Dr. Anya Silver, associate professor of English, published three poems, titled “A Briar,” “Ghost Wife” and “Department Meeting,” in Smartish Pace (24: 2017), and four poems, titled “Blue Hydrangeas,” “Cape May at Dusk,” “To the Man Who Yelled 'Hey Baby' at Me” and “How to Hula Hoop,” Jan. 25 in Atticus Review. She delivered a poetry reading at Sixth Engine Restaurant for the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) conference off-site reading Feb. 8 in Washington, D.C., and she held a book signing at the AWP conference Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Fletcher Winston, associate professor of sociology, was recognized by the American Sociological Association's Academic and Professional Affairs Program for his assignment, titled “The Other Me: An Assignment to Develop the Sociological Imagination by Imagining a Walk in Someone Else's Shoes,” which is among the top 10 most downloaded resources of 2016 in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology. The assignment was the fifth-most downloaded teaching resource out of more than 3,000 selections published in TRAILS. It is the second consecutive year that the assignment was recognized for being among the top 10 most downloaded resources.

Dr. Carolyn Yackel, associate professor of mathematics, presented “True/Sometimes True/False” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January in Atlanta. She also contributed a paper session on “Teaching Abstract Algebra” and co-organized the Knitting Network. She gave the Alabama State Mathematical Association of America dinner presentation in February. She also published a chapter titled “Tactile Mathematics” in Mathematics Education: A Spectrum of Work in Mathematical Sciences Departments (Springer 2016).

Marian Zielinski, professor emerita of communication studies and theatre, had two artworks, “The Curtain Rises” and “Currents,” included in Full Spectrum II, an exhibit at the Tubman Museum that ran Dec. 8-Jan. 23. Her most recent art quilt, “Garden of Clowns and Angels,” won a second-place award at the Middle Georgia Art Association's 50th Winter Arts Festival, held Feb. 17–March 10.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor and chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences, co-authored “Methods to simulate rubbing of topical formulation for in vitro skin permeation studies” in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 519 (2017) 22-33. Dr. Banga was awarded $100,000 from Merck KGaA for “Excipients to construct and optimize delivery systems to facilitate transport of molecules and macromolecules into and across skin.” Dr. Banga was also awarded $40,265 from Carole Cole/NuFACE Inc. for “Delivery of actives into skin by a moving current source.”

Dr. Kendra Manigault, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Undergraduate and Graduate Student Perceptions of Pharmacy Students on a Global Medical Mission Trip to Honduras” in Let's Think About It!, Vol. XVIII, Issue I, 2017. Dr. Manigault published “Assessment of the Bidirectional Relationship between Depression and Diabetes” in U.S. Pharmacist, 2016; 41(11): 26-29. She also co-authored “Management of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in Older Adults” in The Consultant Pharmacist, 2016; 31(8): 412-24. She was appointed to the Georgia Pharmacy Association's Patient Care Workgroup as well as to the Continuing Pharmacy Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Manigault and Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Liraglutide: A Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Agonist for Chronic Weight Management” in The Consultant Pharmacist, 2016; 31(12): 687-699.

Dr. Kathryn Momary, associate professor, was appointed vice chair of the Translational and Precision Medicine Network of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical assistant professor, received the American College of Clinical Pharmacy's Ambulatory Care Practice and Research Network Member Recognition Award. Dr. Thurston was also named an invited peer reviewer for the Journal of Pharmacy Technology

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Jody Blanke, Distinguished Professor of Computer Information Systems and Law, co-authored “Smart Cities, Big Data, and the Resilience of Privacy,” published by the Hastings Law Journal. He also co-authored “An Exploration of Privacy and Predictability: Meaning and Effect,” which was accepted for presentation at the 10th Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley, California. The conference is co-sponsored by the Berkeley University School of Law's Center for Law and Technology and the George Washington University School of Law.

Dr. Antonio Saravia, assistant professor of economics and director of the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, was featured in WalletHub's recent piece examining the states most affected from a trade war with Mexico. He also appeared in an interview with GPB on how Georgia companies will be affected by President Trump's slashing of regulations.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Tammy Barbé, assistant professor, was elected to serve on the Certified Nurse Educator test item writing committee.

Dr. Susan S. Gunby, professor of nursing, gave the keynote address for the Georgia Association for Nursing Education's annual meeting Feb. 16 on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, was elected to the board of trustees for Developmental Disabilities Ministries of Georgia.

Dr. Laura Madden, clinical instructor, was confirmed as a Georgia Association of Nurse Educator consultant for the Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS). Dr. Madden also had an article, titled “Heart Healthy Living,” published in January's GANS newsletter.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. William Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of Baptist Heritage and Spiritual Formation, delivered “One Christian Spirituality: Spiritual Unity in Our Diversity” for the Hawaiian District of the California-Pacific United Methodist Conference, held Feb. 17-20 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, contributed two articles on Psalms 104 and 116 to Luther Seminary's Center for Biblical Preaching website, The Working Preacher. She was informed Feb. 10 that the Louisville Institute approved a sabbatical research grant request to support her project titled “Reading the Book of Psalms through the Lens of Humanity's Often Marginalized and Unheard Voices.” She plans to travel to South Africa during her sabbatical leave next spring to undertake the project.

Penfield College

Dr. Wesley Barker, assistant professor of religious studies, co-authored “Creating Intentional Pathways: The STIRS Institutional Phase” for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) fall 2016 edition of Peer Review. In February, in conjunction with her work as a 2015-2017 AAC&U STIRS Fellow, Dr. Barker co-presented “Evidence-Based Reasoning: STIRS Framework as an Exemplar of Integrative Liberal Education” at the AAC&U's 2017 General Education and Assessment Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Arla Gail Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, presented her critical thinking research Feb. 15 at Virginia Tech. Twenty-nine critical thinking enthusiasts from 28 colleges across the U.S., Canada and the Philippines attended her session and engaged in a dynamic conversation.

Dr. Zipangani M. Vokhiwa, associate professor of science, 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. Michael MacCarthy, assistant professor of environmental engineering, co-authored two papers published in the proceedings of the seventh International Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Forum. The papers were titled “Low-Cost Water Technologies in the North of Mali: Lessons Learned in a Complex Context (2006-2015)” and “Low-Cost Household Groundwater Supply Systems: Pitcher Pump Systems and EMAS Technologies.”

Dr. Richard O. Mines Jr., professor of environmental engineering and director of M.S.E. and M.S. programs, was invited to serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel to review the sixth edition of the “Design of Water Resources Recovery Facilities” Water Environment Federation Manual of Practice No. 8 and American Society of Civil Engineers Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 76. The design manual consists of 27 chapters that will be published in three volumes later in the year. Other notable engineers serving on the panel are George Tchobanoglous, Glen T. Daigger, Michael Stenstrom, Jim Zhou and Jin Huo. The review was completed in mid-December.

Dr. Scott Schultz, associate professor of engineering and associate dean, and Dr. Pablo Biswas, assistant professor of industrial engineering, won the 2016 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Zone II Best Paper award for their paper titled “When Opportunity Knocks – An Alternative Summer Engineering Internship.” This paper was presented at the 2016 Southeastern Conference last year. They will represent Zone II by presenting their paper at the National ASEE Conference later this year. They will receive the award March 2-5 during the awards dinner at the Zone 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Makhin Thitsa, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, co-authored a journal article, titled “Laser Power Density Dependent Energy Transfer Between Tm3+ and Tb3+: Tunable Upconversion Emissions in NaYF4:Tm3+,Tb3+,Yb3+ Microcrystals,” published in Optics Express. Other co-authors of the article include her research collaborators from Toyota Technological Institute in Japan.

School of Medicine

Dr. Mohammed Abdelsaid, assistant professor of pharmacology, published a manuscript, titled “Enhanced VEGF signalling mediates cerebral neovascularisation via downregulation of guidance protein ROBO4 in a rat model of diabetes,” in Diabetologia. He also delivered an oral presentation titled “Angiogenic imbalance causes cerebrovascular pathological neovascularization in diabetes: Role of pericytes,” Feb. 22-24 at the International Stroke Conference 2017.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, assistant professor of community medicine, and Dr. Brad Lian, associate professor of community medicine, published “Correlates of Postpartum Maternal Functioning in a Low-Income Obstetric Population” in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Dr. Barkin also appeared in a story on WGXA-TV in Macon about new mothers experiencing a range of mental health issues.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of internal medicine residency, had a case report published in the December 2016 edition of the International Journal of Cardiology. His article was titled “Tale of a tube and a pot – A case of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy occurring after MRI.”

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education and director of AIDS education and research, authored “How does evolution explain blindness in cavefish?” in American Biology Teacher, 79(2): 95-101. He was also invited to present “Research Design Basics Applied to the Development of a Measure of Evolution Acceptance” Jan. 17 at a University of Georgia Department of Math and Science Education doctoral seminar, and he was an invited grant reviewer in January for the Israel Science Foundation.

Dr. Jacob C. Warren, Rufus C. Harris Endowed Chair, director of the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities and associate professor of community medicine, co-authored two recently published research articles: “Recent alcohol, tobacco, and substance use variations between rural and urban middle and high school students” in Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse and “Connection between bullying and risky behaviors in middle and high school students” in School Mental Health.

Dr. Wei-Hsiung Yang, associate professor of physiology, published a peer-review article, titled “Jun dimerization protein 2 activates Mc2r transcriptional activity: role of phosphorylation and SUMOylation,” in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (doi:10.3390/ijms18020304).

Staff and Administration

Julie Strecker, director of international programs and the English Language Institute, was recognized at the plenary luncheon of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference for her participation in the AIEA Neal Presidential Fellows Program.

Lucy Wilson, Macon campus registrar, attended the Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers annual conference Feb.12-14, where she served as a session coordinator for the presentation “Data Tales From a Small Island.”

School of Law

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor, was sworn in as a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Jack L. Sammons, Griffin B. Bell Professor of Law Emeritus, had his article “The Art of Self” accepted for publication in the “Symposium on Professional Development” edition of the Mercer Law Review. His article, titled “Brainerd Currie at Mercer,” was published in the February edition of the Journal of Southern Legal History. In March, he will present “The Art of International Law Judging: Human Rights Issues” as a response to a paper by Baroness Onora O'Neill at the Rome Conference on Cosmopolitanism and National Identity sponsored by the Australian Catholic University Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry.

University Libraries

Louise L. Lowe, associate professor in the Division of Library Services, presented “Doing a 'good job' is not enough” at the 2017 American Library Association Midwinter Conference, held Jan. 22 in Atlanta.

Townsend School of Music

Amy Schwartz Moretti, associate professor, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, appeared with the Ehnes Quartet in four all-Beethoven concerts in February. After performing for the Fabian Concert Series Feb. 6 on campus, they performed in Florida for the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami Feb. 7 in Coral Gables, Florida; the Palladium Theater chamber music series Feb. 8 in St. Petersburg, Florida; and at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center Grand Atrium Feb. 9 in Fort Myers, Florida. The quartet includes James Ehnes and Moretti, violins; Richard O'Neill, viola; and Edward Arron, cello. Moretti also performed in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall for “Mercer University at Carnegie Hall” Feb. 19 with the McDuffie Center String Ensemble, composed of all 23 of the Center's string students, plus McDuffie Center Distinguished Artists Rebecca Albers, Annie Fullard, Daniel Tosky and the Charles and Mary Jean Yates Cello Chair Julie Albers. The Ensemble performed Elgar's “Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 20” and the Presto movement of Mendelssohn's “String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20,” then were joined by winds and percussion from New York City to perform the “Rutter Requiem” with the Mercer Singers, alumni and friends and Arthur Lowndes Rich Professor of Choral Conducting and Associate Dean Dr. Stanley L. Roberts, conductor.