Faculty and Staff Notables | March 2024


College of Education

Dr. Karyn A. Allee, assistant professor of elementary education, presented a paper titled “The state of elementary school recess: Studying recess before and ‘after’ COVID” at the Georgia Educational Research Association, where she also won the Distinguished Paper Award. The paper was co-authored by Erica DeCuir, Albany State University, and Dawn Robinson, University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Dr. Allee will also serve as mentor for Ph.D. student Amanda Price, a curriculum and instruction candidate, who has been awarded the 2024-2025 Marilyn Sackett Leadership Scholarship.

Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, professor, presented a roundtable presentation titled “Integrated Curriculum Ideas” at the Eastern Educational Research Association Conference on Feb. 9 in Clearwater, Florida.

Dr. Adam Keath, assistant professor, represented Georgia at the annual SHAPE America Speak Out Day Event Feb. 13-14 in Washington, D.C. During this event, Dr. Keath met with Senate and congressional offices to advocate for Every Student Succeeds Act funding in support of health and physical education in Georgia. These Title IV Part A and Title II Part A funds bring in more than a million dollars to Bibb County schools each year and are critical to providing health and physical education curriculum, equipment and professional development, in addition to supporting all areas of school academic enrichment. Dr. Keath also had an article he co-authored with James Wyant and Brooke Towner titled “ChatGPE: Does Artificial Intelligence Have a Place in the Physical Education Setting?” published in the Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor, published an article with curriculum and instruction Ph.D. students Caitlin Hochuli, Jamilah Hickson and Rachael Williams titled “They Were Here: A Study on High School Students’ Engagement in Historical Empathy With a Local History Research Project” in The Journal Social Studies Research.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Huey Chen, professor of public health, and Liliana Morosanu, instructor of public health, co-authored an article titled “Program plan evaluation: Bridging plan evaluation and program evaluation through a participatory approach” that was published in the American Journal of Evaluation.

Dr. Beth Collier, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, presented “Tapping the E-Spirit: Entrepreneurship and innovation as leadership in physical therapy” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on Feb. 15 in Boston.

Dr. Dan Dale, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, presented “To co-treat or not to co-treat, that is the question” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on Feb. 15 in Boston.

Dr. Rachel Le, assistant professor of athletic training, presented “The Effect of Functional Head Protection Time on Head Impact Biomechanics” at the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Conference on Feb. 8 in Atlanta.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, associate professor of physical therapy, presented “Implementation of the 2023 entry-level physical therapist curriculum recommendations for integumentary/wound management” and “Kick it up a notch: Engage your students in fun and creative integumentary laboratory activities” at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on Feb. 15 in Boston. 

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Paul Atandoh, assistant professor of mathematics, published an article titled “Statistical clustering of documents via stochastic block models in the Journal of Applied Statistics. Dr Atandoh also co-authored the following articles with collaborators in the U.S. and China: “Enhanced Word Embedding with CNN using Word Order Information for Sentiment Analysis” and “Associations of depression with hypertension and citizenship among U.S. adults: A cross-sectional study of the interactions of hypertension and citizenship.” 

Dr. David Davis, professor of English, published a review of the book Dark Mirror: African Americans and the Federal Writers’ Project by J. J. Butts in The Space Between journal.

Dr. Abby Dowling, associate professor of history, published the chapter “The World of Nature” in A Cultural History of Leisure in the Medieval Age. Vol. 2. in the series A Cultural History of Leisure. Dr. Dowling also published a book review of Roots of Sustainability in the Iberian Empires: Shipbuilding and Forestry, 14th-19th Centuries in Environmental History.

Dr. Rachael Goodman, assistant professor of global development studies, gave an invited talk titled “This is Not Microfinance: How Ideas about the Good Life Shape Conflict in International Development” on Feb. 15 to undergraduate students at Oxford College of Emory University. 

Dr. Matthew Harper, associate professor of history and Africana studies, published a peer-reviewed journal article titled “Contested Autonomy: Black Denominational Debates in the Early Jim Crow Era” in Religion and American Culture. The article traces the heated debates over racial independence and interracial cooperation within and between Black churches in the 19th century. 

Dr. James Davis May, assistant professor of English and director of creative writing, had his poetry collection titled Unusually Grand Ideas selected to be included in The Georgia Center for the Book’s 2024 Books all Georgians Should Read list

Dr. Clara Mengolini, associate professor of Spanish, published an article titled “El potencial escénico en los cuentos de Silvina Ocampo” in Anales de Literatura Hispanoamericana.

Dr. Jacqueline Pinkowitz, assistant professor of media studies and director of film studies, presented a paper titled “The Black Gothic and/as Body Gothic: Slavery’s Horrors and Haunting Afterlives” in Lovecraft Country (2020)” at the Critical Approaches to Black Media Culture Conference in New Orleans on Feb. 15-17. 

Chelsea Rathburn, associate professor of English and poet laureate of Georgia, delivered the benediction poem at the awards ceremony for the 2023 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities at the Georgia State Capitol on Dec. 12. Rathburn also published poems in Arts & Letters and Nelle and published creative nonfiction in the Notre Dame Review.

Dr. Katherine Roseau, assistant professor of French, and Libertad Aranza, lecturer of Spanish, were awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in the amount of $150,000 to develop curriculum on immigrant and refugee experiences and to organize faculty workshops on incorporating oral history and the creation of open educational resources into humanities courses. Their NEH Humanities Initiatives project is titled “Integrating Voices of Refugees and Immigrants: Faculty and Curriculum Development.” Also on the project team are Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Alana Alvarez and Vice Provost of Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Kloepper.

Dr. Creighton Rosental, professor of philosophy, organized the first lectio by the Association for Core Texts and Courses Liberal Arts Institute at Mercer University. The lectio was on Milton’s Paradise Lost, and the following faculty were among the presenters: Dr. Thomas Bullington, senior lecturer of English and liberal arts; Dr. Bryan Whitfield, professor of religion; Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion; Dr. Charlotte Thomas, professor of philosophy; and Dr. Marc Jolley, senior lecturer of philosophy and director of Mercer University Press.

Dr. Tanya Sharon, professor of psychology, had a research paper titled “Social media and declining trust: An epistemic challenge for emerging adults?” accepted for publication in the Journal of Emerging Adulthood. The paper was co-authored with Mathew Encarnación, a 2023 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate with a double major in psychology and sociology.

Dr. Margaret Symington, professor of mathematics, gave a seminar talk titled “From polyhedra to Lagrangian fibrations” at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in January.

College of Nursing

Dr. Tessy George, clinical instructor and contract and clinical placement coordinator, co-authored a journal article titled “Treatment Modalities for Insomnia in Adults Aged 55 and Older: A Systematic Review of Literature from 2018 to 2023” that was published online in Current Sleep Medicine Reports

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences, received $40,000 in funding from Inventprise LLC for his project titled “Characterization of a dissolvable microneedle array patch and determination of delivery efficacy.”

Dr. Nicole Metzger, clinical associate professor, co-authored an article titled “Impact of Internal Medicine Pharmacists on Antimicrobial Stewardship” that was published in the Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Dr. Mohammad Nasir Uddin, assistant professor, co-authored with graduate student Sarthak Shah an article titled “Potential of DPD ((S)-4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione) Analogs in Microparticulate Formulation as Vaccine Adjuvants” that was published in Pharmaceuticals. 

College of Professional Advancement

Dr. Richard Martin, professor, had an article titled “Importance levels of skills and traits for successful long-term police careers: Comparisons of Midwest police chiefs and commissioners of the Caribbean Islands responses” selected for inclusion as a chapter in the textbook Recent Research Advances in Arts and Social Sciences, Vol. 1. Dr. Martin also had the following manuscripts “‘Don’t stop, don’t rush, don’t go back’: The fabrication of a coup d’état through Bolsonaro and conservative WhatsApp groups” and “Forensic anthropology: challenges and scopes” reviewed for the Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal. He also had the manuscript “Preparing Students to Move into Societal Roles as Leaders” reviewed for the Journal of Education and Training Studies and “The relationship between patients’ demands and workplace violence among health care workers: A multilevel look focusing on the moderating role of psychosocial working conditions” reviewed for the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Dr. Stefanie Sevcik, assistant professor of writing and interdisciplinary studies, delivered a research talk titled “Global South Women’s Creative Insurgency: Activist Art and Activist Reading Practices” at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference in Savannah on Feb. 12. She also co-authored a study on global learning as a high-impact practice in general education courses for a research poster titled “Global Learning as a High Impact Practice: Attitudes and Pedagogic Strategies among Core Faculty” at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference on Feb. 28.

Dr. Jacqueline S. Stephen, assistant professor, director of the Office of Distance Learning and instructional designer, was invited by Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy University’s Writing Center to lead a webinar as part of their “How I Write” series aimed at undergraduate students. Dr. Stephen’s one-hour webinar on Jan. 31 focused on the importance of writing, college-level writing competencies for student success and self-help tools and resources to develop and enhance writing skills. The webinar was open to undergraduate students enrolled at public and private colleges and universities in Azerbaijan. 

Dr. Sabrina Walthall, professor of science, was named one of five recipients of the 2024 Louise McBee Scholarship for mentors sponsored by the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education (GAWHE). The scholarship was awarded at the 2024 Annual GAWHE Conference in Athens in February. 

Dr. Samantha Waters, assistant professor, was interviewed for her expertise on microbial survivability to the martian environment for an article titled “Bacteria that can make humans sick could survive on Mars” that was published online Feb. 2 in ScienceNews

School of Business

Jody Blanke, the Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, was one of 14 featured Master Teachers and wrote a chapter in Innovative College Teaching: Tips & Insights from 14 Master Teachers by Perry Binder.

​​Dr. Geoffrey M. Ngene, associate professor of finance, published a paper titled “Herding in international REITs markets around the COVID-19 pandemic” in Research in International Business and Finance. The paper was co-authored with Dr. Keagill Lesame, Dr. Rangan Gupta and Dr. Eli Bouri. Dr. Ngene also published a paper titled “Arbitrage opportunities and feedback trading in regulated bitcoin futures market: An intraday analysis” in International Review of Economics & Finance that was co-authored with Dr. Jinghua Wang. He published another paper co-authored with Dr. Wang titled “Transitory and permanent shock transmissions between real estate investment trusts and other assets: Evidence from time‐frequency decomposition and machine learning” in Accounting & Finance.

School of Engineering

Dr. Pam Estes Brewer, professor and chair of technical communication, was recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Professional Communication Society and awarded the Emily K. Schlesinger Award for Outstanding Service to the IEEE Professional Communication Society. 

Dr. Sinjae Hyun, professor and chair of biomedical engineering, was selected as the recipient of the 2024 Gulf-South Summit Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Service-Learning in Higher Education-Instruction. This year’s Gulf-South Summit theme is “Bridging the Gap Between Personal and Social Responsibility Through Knowledge, Engagement and Action,” and the award is given to a member of the teaching faculty who has demonstrated excellence in incorporating service-learning pedagogy in the college/university classroom. 

School of Law

Jarome Gautreaux, professor, was featured in WalletHub’s piece about Comprehensive vs. Collision Insurance

School of Medicine 

Dr. Jennifer Barkin, professor of community medicine and OBGYN, was invited by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to serve as a grant reviewer for the Exploratory Grants for Climate Change and Health Research Center Development Initiative. Reviewers will evaluate grants aimed at the development of Climate Change and Health Research Centers. Dr. Barkin will also join the Community Accountability Board as part of a joint collaboration between Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory University; the parent project is focused on reproductive justice and behavioral health among Black pregnant/postpartum women.

The Mercer University School of Medicine Simulation Center has initiated American Heart Association Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses to provide certifications across the Macon, Savannah and Columbus campuses. For this purpose, medical simulation faculty Dr. Robert Sarlay, assistant professor and senior director of medical practice; Dr. Yahya Acar, assistant professor and director of medical simulation on the Macon campus; Joe Slattery, assistant director of medical simulation on the Savannah campus; and Kenya Jones, assistant director of medical simulation on the Columbus campus, have obtained and renewed their American Heart Association instructor certificates. 

Dr. Jean Sumner, dean, received the Lighthouse Award from the Georgia Commission on Women during the group’s annual Champions for Change Day at the Georgia State Capitol on Feb. 22. The Lighthouse Award is given to a Georgia woman whose efforts have shined a light on solutions to problems and made lives better for Georgia families.

School of Music

Dr. Nathan Myrick, assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies, presented a paper titled “Inauthentic and Impure: Embracing the Messy Reality of Musical Worship” at the Diocese of Canterbury’s Transformational Music Conference: Music and Social Change, hosted by the University of Kent, United Kingdom, on Feb. 24 (virtual). The paper was selected for publication in a special issue of the journal Theology.

Dr. Katie Rios, associate professor of music history, presented a paper titled “‘A Mask Won’t Hide Who You Are Inside’: ‘Hood Beethoven’ and Kendrick Lamar’s 2022 Big Steppers Tour” at the annual meeting of the Southwest Popular and American Culture Association in Albuquerque in February. 

Staff and Administration

Dr. Ansley Booker, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, was named one of five recipients of the 2024 Louise McBee Scholarship sponsored by the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education (GAWHE). The scholarship was awarded at the 2024 Annual GAWHE Conference in Athens in February. 

Carly Jessup, research services librarian at Jack Tarver Library, had her article titled “Bookstagram and Beyond: Instagram as a Professional Development Tool” published in Georgia Library Quarterly.

Bryan Johnson, global education program coordinator, served on an evaluation panel for the Critical Language Scholarship program on Feb. 9. The Critical Language Scholarship is a national scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. State Department that gives students from around the country the opportunity to study foreign languages that have been designated as critical to the U.S.’s national security, economic prosperity and engagement with the world. 

Tony Kemp, associate vice president for events and special programs in the Provost’s Office, joined more than 5,800 attendees for this year’s Georgia Thespian Conference held in Columbus on Feb. 1-3. He presented workshops for more than 100 high school students and educators and served as part of the three-person scholarship selection team to assist in distributing more than $26,000 to high school seniors during the three-day event.