Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Karyn Allee-Herndon, assistant professor of elementary education, had a manuscript from the first of three cohorts of a study she has been working on with colleagues from SUNY Cortland and University of Maine accepted for publication. “Is it ‘just’ planning? Exploring the integration of social justice education in an elementary language arts methods course thematic unit” will be published in the Journal of Multicultural Education. A paper from their second cohort is under review, and they are collecting data on their third cohort.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor, Dr. Felicia Baiden, assistant professor of clinical practice, Dr. Karyn Allee-Herndon, assistant professor of elementary education, and Dr. Robbie Marsh, assistant professor, presented “Courageous conversations for educators: Providing supports and systems to enhance learning during a time of social unrest” as a panel discussion at the 44th Annual Conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association, held virtually.

Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, professor, presented virtually on the topic of “Longitude and Latitude in Earth Science” at the annual Georgia Science Teachers Association Conference on Feb. 6.

Dr. Lucy Bush, associate professor of education, and Dr. Kara Cowdrick, adjunct professor, presented “Lessons Learned: Co-Teaching College Social Studies During COVID” at the annual conference of the International Society for the Social Studies held virtually Feb. 26.

Dr. Deana Ford, assistant professor, Dr. Karyn Allee-Herndon, assistant professor of elementary education, Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor, and Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor, presented their study, “Preparing educators in times of disruption: College of education students’ perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” at the annual conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor, presented her research studies, “Promoting historical empathy to examine the busing controversy” and “Examining depictions of Elizabeth Jennings in historical biographies,” at the annual conference of the International Society for the Social Studies.

Dr. Tricia Callaghan Mullins, board certified pediatrician and adjunct clinical assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program, was recently selected for the Advancing Pediatric Educator Excellence (APEX) Teaching Program. This two-year program is a highly interactive mentorship opportunity co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Hospital Medicine and the Academic Pediatric Association.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, professor of history, translated and edited Women of the Catacombs: Memoirs of the Underground Church in Stalin’s Russia, prefaced by Archpriest Aleksandr Men with a foreword by Roy R. Robson. The book was published by Ithica: NIU/Cornell University Press.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, was guest preacher for Glad River Church on Feb. 7, where he offered a sermon, titled “From Disruption to Redemption: Muddling Through to Victory.”

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, served as an evaluator for the American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship competition in January. She completed her term on the Frederick Jackson Turner Award Committee, sponsored by the Organization of American Historians, for the best first scholarly book in American history. She also participated with Natalie J. Ring of the University of Texas, Dallas, in two webinars Jan. 14 and Feb. 18 on their recent publication, The Lost Lectures of C. Vann Woodward, sponsored by the Journal of the Civil War Era and by the University of Virginia’s President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation, respectively.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor emerita of English, was posthumously awarded the 2021 L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award for Saint Agnostica, a manuscript she completed just before her death in August 2018 of metastatic breast cancer. LSU Press established the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award to honor the press’s former director, Les Phillabaum, and his long commitment to poetry publishing. The winner is selected by the press, from all the poetry books published that year.

Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, professor of religion, presented a response to Donghyun Jeong’s “The Wandering People of God: A (Re)introduction to the Letter to the Hebrews Using a Sociolocative Textual Approach” Feb. 1 at the Atlanta New Testament Colloquium.

Dr. Seongkum Heo, professor and Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair of Nursing, co-authored “Effect of physical and psychocognitive function and perceived health status on 12-month adverse cardiac events among implantable cardioverter-defibrillator recipients” in Heart and Lung, 49(5), 530-536; and “Do Advance Directive Attitudes and Perceived Susceptibility and End-of-Life Life-Sustaining Treatment Preferences Between Patients with Heart Failure and Cancer Differ?” in Plos One.

Dr. Jennifer Nguyễn, assistant professor, and Dr. Jennifer Elliott, clinical assistant professor, along with Dr. Jacob Warren, Rufus Harris Endowed Chair and director of the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, and Dr. Bryant Smalley, associate dean for research, in the School of Medicine published “A Qualitative Analysis of Pharmacists’ Responses to Naloxone Inquiries in Rural Georgia” in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports. Dr. Nguyễn also coauthored “Effect of an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention on the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and its Components among Overweight and Obese Adults” in the Journal of Public Health. Dr. Nguyễn and Dr. Gina Ryan, clinical professor, received a contract totaling $24,340 from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the Georgia Department of Public Health for a feasibility project, titled “Developing a Foundation and Partnership to Address Hypertension in Atlanta’s Barbershops.”

Dr. Arla Bernstein, assistant professor of communication, and Dr. Steve Hamilton, assistant professor of human services, produced an online newspaper for five marginalized neighborhoods in South Atlanta that did not have a similar resource. Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Hamilton were assisted in developing stories and newspaper production by counseling doctoral student John Mark Parker. The newspaper is part of a project supported by a Mercer Provost Seed Grant and the project goal is to assist the community in improving social cohesion among its five neighborhoods.

Dr. Maxine Harlemon, visiting instructor of mathematics and informatics, had her first-author manuscript in cancer research, “A Custom Genotyping Array Reveals Population-Level Heterogeneity for the Genetic Risks of Prostate Cancer and Other Cancers in Africa,” selected for the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program’s (EGRP) 2020 Research Highlights list, published in the January edition of EGRP Cancer Epidemiology News.

Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, was named a finalist for the Feathered Quill Awards in the category of Children’s Picture Books for his book, “My Dog Can’t Jump,” illustrated by Caleb McBee. The Feathered Quill Awards is an International Competition that recognizes outstanding books in multiple categories. Dr. Lane participated with his wife, Dr. Donna Lane, adjunct professor of counseling, in several podcasts on mental health in the month of February, including “The Praying Christian Woman” with Allana Terry and Jaime Hampton: “Mental Health in Children” on Feb. 25; “Mom’s in Prayer” with Stacy Callendar: “Mental Health in Children” on Feb. 25; and Life on Purpose Podcast with Amy Dubrucque: “Mental Health in Kids During and After COVID” on Feb. 4. Dr. David Lane also presented a webinar, “Conflict Resolution in Chaotic Times,” to the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative on Feb. 4.

Dr. David Purnell, adjunct associate professor of communication, received the Best Journal Article award from the International Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry. He also was keynote speaker for the University of Oregon School of Forestry’s lecture series. The presentation was in response to a blanket project, titled “Weaving Narratives into the Fabric of our Lives,” where individuals sent in submissions with pictures of their favorite quilt and a short story that went along with it. He also authored or co-authored three new publications: “When a Hat is No Longer ‘Just a Hat’” in the International Review of Qualitative Research, “Queering queer conversations” in the Journal of Autoethnography and “Estrangement: A father/son love story” within the book, titled Narratives of estrangement: Writing of(f) Family published by Routledge.

Dr. Clinton Terry, associate professor of history and liberal studies, co-authored Surveying in Early America: The Point of Beginning, An Illustrated History, published by the University of Cincinnati Press. The book includes reenacted photography and text of 18th-century surveyors developing the craft and profession.

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, attended a webinar, titled “Law and Policy in the Quantum Age,” presented by Berkeley School of Law Professor Chris Hoofnagle, as part of The Ohio State University Program on Data and Governance.

Dr. Antonio Saravia, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for the Study of Economics and Liberty made a keynote presentation, titled “Free Speech from an Economics Perspective,” on Feb. 26 for an academic panel organized by the University of St. Simón. Dr. Saravia was also interviewed Feb. 20 by WMAZ about rising gas prices in Macon.

Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, was one of the winners of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research Idea Pitch Competition for her research proposal “Skill Variety and the Impacts on Serial Entrepreneurship.”

Dr. Richard O. Mines Jr., professor of environmental and civil engineering, co-authored the article “Impact of Bioreactor Geometry on KLa Coefficient,” accepted for publication by the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. Co-authors of the paper include Becca Etter and Emilee Vanness, recent graduates of Mercer’s master’s degree program in environmental engineering.

Dr. Alireza Sarvestani, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, co-authored “Novel cross-flow electrostatic precipitator: numerical and experimental study” in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 2021, Jan 11:1-5; and “Vitrimer Transition Temperature Identification: Coupling Various Thermomechanical Methodologies” in ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2021. DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.0c01290.

Cathy Cox, dean, was interviewed and quoted numerous times regarding the nation’s and Georgia’s election processes, including Closer Look with Rose Scott, “Insurrection at the Capitol and Letter of 157 Law Deans,” on Jan. 14, WABE 90.1 Radio; “General Assembly could make changes to elections after Georgia turns blue, claims of fraud,” WGXA-TV, on Jan. 13, by Erin Wise; “Former Secretary of State speaks out on importance of trusting election officials,” on Jan. 12, WGXA-TV, by Noel Espinal; Election Night Live Commentary for WGXA-TV Macon, GA, Jan. 5, 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. broadcasts; “Power and Politics,” with Vassy Kapelos, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Jan. 4; “What is a ‘signature match audit?’ Former Sec. of State says ‘an exercise with no remedy‘,” WGXA-TV, on Dec. 15, by Erin Wise; “Audits and recounts: ‘The costs continue to add up everyday’ says former Sec. of State,” on Dec. 3, WGXA-TV, by Erin Wise; “Can Georgia electors vote for President Trump when the Electoral College meets?”on Dec. 2,  WGXA-TV, by Erin Wise. Cox was quoted in the following: “’That’s not accurate, Mr. President’: Meet Ryan German, the GC for Georgia’s Secretary of State,” on Jan. 4, The Daily Report, by Jonathan Ringel; “Experts say Trump may have broken law trying to overturn Georgia election,” on Jan. 4, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Alan Judd and Brad Schrade; “Lawyers: Trump’s call could be criminal on state, federal level,” on Jan. 4, The Augusta Chronicle, by Susan McCord; “Georgia Officials Overstated Election Investigations,” on Dec. 17, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on Dec. 17, by Brad Schrade and Mark Niesse. Cox also presented “The Case for Empathy,” on Jan. 22 to the American Board of Trial Advocates, Southeast Region, at its virtual national board meeting. She was interviewed about Georgia’s investigation of Donald Trump on “Power and Politics” with Vassy Kapelos, on Feb. 10, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Cox was also quoted in “Georgia investigating Trump call pressuring secretary of state to ‘find’ votes, overturn election,” Feb. 9, by Igor Derysh, SALON.

Jessica Herndon, administrative assistant, was selected to serve a two-year term on the Gordon State College Alumni Board.

David Hricik, professor of law, gave presentations on “IP During a Pandemic” at the American Intellectual Property Law Association Midwinter Institute, on “Patent Practice Innovation and Ethical Considerations” as part of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Innovation Webinar series, and on “Ethical Issues Created by AI, Innovation, the IoT, and 3D Printing” at the Arizona State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section’s annual meeting. He also co-authored, with Karen Sneddon, professor of law, “Tips to Continue to Improve Your Legal Writing in the New Year,” which appeared in the Georgia Bar Journal.

Christina Hunt, adjunct professor, virtually presented a sentencing advocacy workshop for the Training Division of the Defender Services Office of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This workshop was a six-day hands-on presentation of federal sentencing advocacy, both written and oral.  

Linda Jellum, associate dean for faculty research and development and Ellison Capers Palmer Sr. Professor of Tax Law, was cited by the Ninth Circuit in Axon Enterp., Inc. v. FTC, at 11 (9th Cir. Jan. 28, 2021). The court cited her latest article, “’You’re Fired!’ Why the ALJ Multi-Track Dual Removal Provisions Violate the Constitution and Possible Fixes,” which argues that Administrative Law Judges’ dual-layers of for-cause removal protection violate the Constitution. Jellum also presented “Statutory Interpretation 101” on Nov. 19 and “Developments in Administrative Law: Judicial Review” on Nov. 20 during The American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Fall Conference, held virtually. She also moderated “The Trump Administration’s Increasing Use of Emergency and Extraordinary Review at the Supreme Court: Feature or Bug?” on Nov. 19.

Linda Jellum, associate dean for faculty research and development and Ellison Capers Palmer Sr. Professor of Tax Law, Billie Jo Kaufman, interim library director, and Dr. David Ritchie, director of international initiatives and professor of law, launched the podcast, “Talking Legal Ed” which focuses on cutting-edge legal issues and bringing them into the classroom.

Stephen Johnson, professor of law, was interviewed and quoted for “Georgia Environmental Issues wait in Limbo During Senate Runoff, Presidential Transition” on Dec. 22, GPB Savannah. The interview addresses the impact of the Georgia Senate runoff elections on federal environmental policy in the Biden Administration.

Anne G. Johnson, adjunct professor and assistant director of academic success, received the Bishop Gartland Service Award on Dec. 5. The award is an honor bestowed by the Diocese of Savannah on persons who have given distinguished service to the Church in the tradition of its first Bishop, Francis X. Gartland. 

Cathren Page, associate professor of law, discussed the future of lawyer licensing worldwide at the 2021 Transnational Conference of Legal Education, held virtually. Page also gave a presentation on “Applied Legal Storytelling” and led a virtual workshop at Once Upon a Law: Legal Storytelling Workshop and Competition at the National University of Malaysia.

Katie Powers, visiting assistant professor of law, was elected to the MARTA Board of Directors in December.

Michael Sabbath, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute and W. Homer Drake Jr. Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy Law, was selected as the inaugural recipient for the Mercer Law School Board of Visitors Excellence in Teaching award. This award was created – and funded – by the Board of Visitors to recognize and further incentivize the outstanding academic work and commitment of law school faculty.

Jack L. Sammons, Griffin B. Bell Professor of Law Emeritus, published the article “The Ghost at the Feast” in the Journal of Law, Culture, and the Humanities.

Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law, and David Hricik, professor of law, wrote “Tips to Continue to Improve Your Legal Writing in the New Year.” Sneddon also was a speaker for the session, “Square Pegs and Round Holes: Constructing a Real Estate Transactions Course with Differentiated Instruction,” on Jan. 6 at the 2021 Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, held virtually, co-sponsored by the AALS Section on Real Estate Transactions and the AALS Section on Academic Support.

Scott Titshaw, associate professor of law and associate dean for academic affairs, presented recent legal developments relating to LGBT elders on Dec. 16 to Georgia Legal Services Elder Law Working Group.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, associate professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, published the invited review, “The Effects of Extreme Weather Events on Child Mood and Behavior,” in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. Carolann Curry, associate professor of library and information science, and second-year medical student Maggie Bridges Kearney were co-authors on the article. Dr. Barkin recently joined the executive committee for the Georgia Clinicians for Climate Action.

Dr. Gretchen Bentz, associate professor of microbiology, published a manuscript with her lab in Antiviral Research, a journal for research on the prevention and treatment of viral diseases.  “Effects of targeting simulation processes during latent and induced Epstein-Barr virus infections using the small molecule inhibitor ML-792” included one recent graduate of Mercer, one undergraduate in her senior year, four master’s degree students and five medical students.

Dr. Raghavan Chinnadurai, assistant professor of oncology, co-authored “Ruxolitinib inhibits IFNγ licensing of human bone marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells” in Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, the official publication of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

Dr. David Gu, associate professor of biomedical sciences, authored “TRP channels in airway sensory nerves,” accepted for publication in Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 748, on March 23. Angela Lowery, laboratory services coordinator for the Department of Chemistry, also contributed to the work.

Dr. Harold Katner, professor and chief of infectious diseases, and Marnie Hill, clinical research manager, co-authored “Drug Use and Life Chaos as Potential Factors Contributing to HIV Viral Load among People with Lower Health Literacy” in Substance Use and Misuse.

Dr. Richard Parrish, professor and medical educator, is conducting an exploratory retrospective study that will be the first to characterize the medications used in preventing surgical site infection, venous thromboembolism, and post-operative nausea and vomiting in a cohort of colorectal and gynecological cancer patients participating in an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS®) program protocol. The study is part of the Enhanced Recovery Comparative Pharmacotherapy Collaborative that aims to study medication use embedded in ERAS protocols. Study co-investigators include Dr. Greg Nelson and Dr. Rachelle Findley from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Dr. Kevin Elias from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. The study is planned to identify treatment regimens of choice associated with decreased complication rates and length of stay, among other post-surgical outcomes.

Dr. Bonzo Reddick, professor and chair of community medicine, professor of family medicine and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, was appointed to the newly-created Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) COVID-19 Health Equity Council. The group will help DPH increase the effectiveness of its public health programs statewide, ensure equity in COVID-19 vaccination distribution and administration, and improve outreach and communication within Georgia communities most affected by COVID-19.

Dr. Eric K. Shaw, professor, co-authored “The annual institutional review – key performance measures and processes” in JGME, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4300/JGME-D-20-00491.1. Among the co-authors is Shayla Amos, a current medical student.

Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, contributed an article, titled “Embracing the Psalter’s Imprecatory Words in the Twenty-first Century,” to the journal Acta Theologica, a journal of the University of the Free State in South Africa. In January, she acted as an outside reader and reviewer of a doctoral dissertation for the University of Pretoria, South Africa, titled “Divine presence and evil oppressors: A redactional perspective on Psalm 139.” In February, she chaired a substantive change on-site committee at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges. In addition, in February, she served on an evaluation committee for awarding dissertation writing scholarships to promising Baptist scholars by the National Association of Baptist Professor of Religion.

Tony Kemp, associate vice president for events and special programs, adjudicated acting and musical theatre submissions from middle and high school students for this year’s Alabama Thespian Conference and the Georgia Thespian Conference, which both took place virtually.