Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, professor of education, presented “Engineering Units” at the annual conference of the Georgia Science Teachers Association Feb. 16 in Columbus. Participants made hypotheses, investigated, solved related problems and designed their own customary units for capacity.

Dr. Sybil Keesbury, associate professor of education, and Dr. Vicki Luther, associate professor of education, presented “Teaching Turnover and Its Impact on Professional Development Schools” and “Using Onset and Rime with Older Elementary Students to Enhance Reading and Spelling Skills” at the National Association for Professional Development Schools Conference Feb. 14-16 in Atlanta. Dr. Keesbury and Dr. Luther were accompanied by Loren Woods, a senior holistic child major, who shared undergraduate research at the conference.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, co-authored “Developmental trajectories for the early clinical assessment of balance by Gross Motor Function Classification System Level for children with cerebral palsy” in Physical Therapy 99(2): 217-228.

Dr. Craig Marker, associate professor of clinical psychology, Dr. Meghan Cody, assistant professor of clinical psychology, and K.C. Hewitt, Psy.D. student, co-authored “General Educational Development (GED) and Educational Attainment Equivalency for Demographically Adjusted Norms” in the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, doi: 10.1093/arclin/acz003.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, published the essay “Modernism, Primitivism, and Food in James Agee’s Cotton Tenants” in Modernism and Food Studies. He also gave a talk on Feb. 19 about World War I and memory at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dr. Chamaree de Silva, assistant professor of physics, published a journal article, titled “Using primary and secondary literature to introduce interdisciplinary science to undergraduate students,” in Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching in December.

Dr. Abigail P. Dowling, assistant professor of history, presented “‘Grave Prejudice Against Her Honor’: The Gendered Implications of Park Break during the Revolt of the Allies of Artois, 1314-19” Feb. 16 at the colloquium honoring the work of Sharon Farmer at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, authored “‘Forget to Weep My Dead’: Mary Chesnut’s Civil War Reading” in Civil War Writing: New Perspectives on Iconic Texts, published by Louisiana University Press. She also authored “Shame of the Southland: Violence and the Selling of the Visceral South” in the January edition of Study the South.

Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, senior research fellow and professor emeritus of history, presented a paper, titled “Spenser’s Castle: The Archaeology of Kilcolman,” to the International Spenser Society at the Modern Language Association annual meeting in Chicago. His paper, which will be published later this year, described his final observations on the Elizabethan poet’s Irish residence.

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, assistant professor of global health, co-presented a paper, titled “Innovations in Waste Recycling by African Youth: Charting the Course for a Waste-Resourcing Future in Africa,” Feb. 8-9 at the Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Randall D. Peters, professor emeritus of physics, continued his research on heart rate variability (HRV) that has discovered that the power of left ventricular contraction is an important part of heart health. Electric signals of electrocardiogram (ekg) type that are the essence of conventional HRV estimates are not well suited to assessing the power of the heart. His work with photo-plethysmographs and piezo-plethysmographs offer new insights because they depend on the amount of blood pumped to the fingers. His discovery of this advantage has resulted in Dr. Peters calling what is estimated on the basis of fractal indices what he refers to as ‘heart rate power variability’ (HRPV).

Dr. Douglas E. Thompson, associate professor of history and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies, attended the Macon premier of the documentary “The Macon Sound” at Hargray Capital Theatre on Jan. 31. Sharon Turner, director of the film that covers the Macon music scene over the last 60 years, interviewed Dr. Thompson last summer for historical context concerning Macon.

Dr. Tammy Barbé, associate dean, made a virtual presentation, titled “Transparent Teaching Assignments to Support Diverse Learners,” at the Transforming the Teaching and Learning Environment Virtual Conference at the University of Idaho in February.

Dr. Helen Hodges, professor, co-authored “A Mixed Methods Study of Coping and Depression in Adolescents with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the Journal of American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Hodges also received the Susan Sweat Gunby Excellence in Nursing Award from the Pi Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International in December.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor of nursing, co-authored “Intraoperative neuromonitoring versus visual nerve identification for prevention of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury in adults undergoing thyroid surgery” in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Dr. Randolph also co-authored “Is the outpatient management of acute diverticulitis safe and effective? A systematic review and meta-analysis” in Techniques in Coloproctology.

Dr. Darlene Rogers, clinical assistant professor, had a poster, titled “Collaborative Interprofessional Education Training for Area Health Education Centers,” accepted for presentation at the Association of American Medical Colleges Southern Group on Educational Affairs 2019 Regional Meeting as part of the Georgia Area Health Education Centers team.

Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, was elected in February to a two-year term on the Executive Committee of the Southern Regional Education Board Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing.

Dr. Clint Canal, assistant professor, co-authored “Ligand-directed serotonin 5-HT2C receptor desensitization and sensitization” in the European Journal of Pharmacology, 848: 131-139. He also co-authored “Can pimavanserin help patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis?” in the Journal of the American Academy of PAs, 32 (1): 44-45.

Dr. Melissa Chesson, clinical associate professor, and Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, co-authored “Pharmacy student perceptions regarding understanding of and confidence in literature evaluation following a student-led journal club” in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 11(6).

Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, was the lead author of “Management of primary Sjogren’s syndrome” in The Consultant Pharmacist, 33: 691-701.

Dr. Katelynn Mayberry, clinical assistant professor, gave an invited presentation, titled “Geriatric use of psychotropic medications,” Feb. 5 at the University of Georgia Mental Health Symposium.

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, was lead author of the book chapter “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasic” in Pharmacotherapy First: A Multimedia Learning Resource, published by the American Pharmacists Association.

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, Dr. Vivian Liao, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Pamela Moye-Dickerson, clinical associate professor, co-authored “Utilization of a multidisciplinary team to reduce the rate of hospital readmissions in heart failure patients at a community teaching hospital: The pharmacist’s role” in the Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (JACCP), 1-7.  Dr. Moye-Dickerson, Dr. Thurston and Dr. Liao also co-authored a letter to the editor, titled “Re: Reducing readmissions: At what cost?,” published in JACCP on Jan. 14.

Dr. Nadia Glover Barnett, assistant professor of human services and coordinator for the graduate services program, 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 asynchronous and synchronous online tools.

Dr. Caroline M. Brackette, associate professor of counseling and assistant dean for experiential learning and strategic partnerships, presented “Using Cognitive Behavioral and Mental Skills Training Techniques to Address the Psychosocial Concerns of Student-Athletes” at the fifth annual Black Student-Athlete Summit at the University of Texas at Austin. She attended the conference with doctoral students Leah Howard and Marlon Williams, who also presented scholarship on issues of counseling programs and career outcomes related to student athletes. Dr. Brackette had her photographs from the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) published in the Atlanta Jewish Times (AJT) to accompany articles written by award-winning reporter and AJT contributor Bob Bahr. The photos appeared in print and electronically in the AJT and the AJFF website and social media. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is Atlanta’s largest film festival and one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the world.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, co-authored “Psychological and physical problems of being overweight or obese in law enforcement and the impact on job performance and personal lives: Control, perception, and assistance,” which was accepted for publication in Psychology and Psychiatry, 8(3).

Dr. Geoffrey M. Ngene, associate professor of finance, co-authored “Who poisons the pool? Time-varying asymmetric and nonlinear causal inference between low-risk and high-risk bonds markets” in Economic Modelling. The article was co-authored with Yea Lee Kim, a Mercer pre-med senior majoring in finance, and Dr. Jinghua Wang of Pacific Lutheran University. Dr. Ngene also co-authored “Option market behavior around the stocks 52-week highs and lows” in Banking and Finance Review with Dr. Anitha Manohar.

Dr. Antonio Saravia, associate professor of economics and director of the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, was interviewed by CNN on Feb. 4 regarding the concerning increase of an anti-capitalistic sentiment in the U.S. He also was keynote speaker at the Feb. 20 meeting of the Rotary Club of Jones County in which he spoke about the economic prospects of Middle Georgia for the upcoming years.

Sue Painter-Thorne, associate professor of law, co-authored the fourth edition of Legal Writing.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, associate professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, co-authored “Caregiver Psychosocial Status as a Determinant of Child Wellbeing in School-aged and Adolescent Ugandan Children With and Without Perinatal HIV Exposure” in Tropical Medicine and International Health.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of internal medicine residency, served as the first author of “Vitamin D and Gastrointestinal Cancers: A Narrative Review” in Digestive Diseases and Sciences. Dr. Goyal also served as a senior author for “Duodenoscope-Associated Infections: Update on an Emerging Problem” in the December edition of Digestive Diseases and Sciences; “Reverse Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: a comprehensive review” in the December edition of Annals of Translational Medicine; “Cardiovascular complications of cannabis use,” an invited editorial in the December edition of Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine; and “Extra-cardiac comorbidities or complications in adults with congenital heart disease: a nationwide inpatient experience in the United States,” a letter to the editor in the December edition of Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy. He also served as co-author of “Identification of subclasses of sepsis that showed different clinical outcomes and responses to amount of fluid resuscitation: a latent profile analysis” in the December edition of Critical Care.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of pathology,  provided an education session, titled “Essential Conversation: The Human Side of Informatics Promoting Wellness,” Feb. 12 at the international meeting of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando, Florida. HIMSS 2019 was one of the largest conferences worldwide with more than 45,000 attendees from 90 countries. The organization informs healthcare policy decisions in multiple countries.

Dr. Kristjan L. Thompson, assistant professor of anatomy, was recently named vice-chair for the American Association of Anatomists Ambassador Committee. The vice-chair appointment is for one year, then Dr. Thompson will become chair of the committee for the subsequent two years.

Dr. Han-Rong Weng, associate professor, had an RO1 grant, titled “Targeting GPR109A for the treatment of pain in systemic lupus erythematosus,” transferred to MUMS. The grant is in the amount of $1,656,505 for five years. Dr. Weng also had his first paper while on faculty at Mercer published in GLIA. The paper is titled “Interleukin-1beta released by microglia initiates the enhanced glutamatergic activity in the spinal dorsal horn during paclitaxel-associated acute pain syndrome” and is the first paper that reveals the synaptic and molecular mechanisms underlying the paclitaxel-associated acute pain syndrome, which provides insight on how the paclitaxel-associated acute pain syndrome can treated.

Maestro Adrian Gnam, adjunct instructor, directed the 16th Annual International Conductors Workshop and Competition at Gwinnett Online Campus in Lawrenceville.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, published the keynote address she gave Sept. 27 at the Symposium on Human Violence at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. The article, titled “Human Violence in the Imprecatory Psalms,” appears in the journal Ex Auditu, Vol. 34 .