College of Education

Dr. Karyn Allee, assistant professor of elementary education, chaired multiple sessions and presented two papers at the American Educational Research Association’s 2022 annual meeting. The first paper, “Lessons learned from social justice assignments in elementary teacher preparation: Where do we go now?,” was co-authored with, among others, College of Education Ph.D. student Erica Warren. Other co-authors included Dr. Rebecca Buchanan and her doctoral student at the University of Maine and Dr. Annemarie Kaczmarczyk of SUNY Cortland. The second paper was “In support of play: A quasi-experimental study of two Title I kindergarten classrooms’ pedagogical approaches.” Dr. Allee discussed issues of equity and play in elementary education to better support historically marginalized students on the “Let’s K-12 Better! Podcast,” season 3, episode 5. As part of the Elementary Education Special Interest Group for the Tift CulturEd Scholarly Saturdays program, Dr. Allee, along with Dr. Amanda Seccia of the University of Chicago, is mentoring College of Education doctoral students in their scholarly development. The first conference paper presentation from this collaboration was on April 30 at the 2022 Tift College of Education CulturEd Research Conference. Co-authoring doctoral students included Stephanie Moore, Mei Tran and Latise McCord.

Dr. Robbie J. Marsh, assistant professor of special education, co-authored, with Ph.D. student Casey Christenson, a book chapter, titled “Using an Integrated Approach When Conducting Juvenile Justice Special Education Mixed Research,” to be published in The Routledge Handbook for Advancing Integration in Mixed Methods Research.

Dr. Susie Morrissey, assistant professor of mathematics education, co-edited, with Dr. Gorjana Popovic from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Dr. Ozgul Kartal from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, a book, titled Global Perspectives and Practices for Reform-Based Mathematics Teaching, published in April. The book contains reform-based mathematics research and teaching practices presented by U.S. and international authors. Dr. Morrissey and her colleagues also have two peer-reviewed chapters, “Reform-Based Mathematics Teaching Practices in Teacher Education Research Across the Globe” and “Implementing Reform-Based Mathematics Teaching Practices to Address Student Errors,” within the book.

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, published “Youth Testimony to Contend with Trauma” in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education with College of Education doctoral student Latoya Tolefree, as well as “Tomorrow Won’t Be Easy: Using Poetry to Teach the Day After” in Connections with graduate student Whittney Conley. Additionally, Dr. Panther, Dr. Michelle Vaughn, associate professor, and Dr. Felicia Baiden, assistant professor of elementary education, presented “Translating Teaching Across Urban and Rural Contexts with Epistemic Practices” at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, presented her paper, “Ambitious teaching: A study of elementary teachers’ perspectives of history content-based professional development on social studies instruction,” to the Teaching History Special Interest Group of the American Education Research Association. Dr. Perrotta also presented a virtual poster, titled “Emphatically our battle: A content analysis of the New York City African Free School curriculum, 1789-1840,” with Dr. Tiffany Rainey of DeKalb County Schools to the Biography and Documentary Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Mary Mathis, associate professor of public health practice, presented “Using public health learning to reduce anti-obesity bias: Designing, delivering, and evaluating curriculum change” as a platform presentation at the 2022 Annual Agency for Prevention Teaching and Research annual conference, held virtually March 29.

Catherine Sadowski, clinical associate professor, advised student Suhani Patel, who was named runner-up for Mercer University Libraries’ 2022 Monroe F. Swilley Jr. Student Research Award for her paper, titled “Tolvaptan: A Disease-Modifying Therapy for Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease.”

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. James Eric (Jay) Black, Schumann Endowed Professor and chair of journalism and media studies, co-authored the article “China steers economy through challenges,” in China Daily’s print edition and online. China Daily has 45 million print and web readers and a circulation of 900,000 copies worldwide.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, attended the Richard E. Myers Lectures March 29-31 at University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lecturer was Sir Michael Edwards, author of Untimely Christianity (2022), which Dr. Dunaway translated from the French for Fortress Press. He was asked to introduce one of Edwards’ talks. Dr. Dunaway also hosted a film on campus on April 5 about Native American storyteller Te Ata for Betty Slater’s annual Ethnic Awareness events, with special guest Tracie Revis as discussion facilitator. Ms. Revis, a member of the Yuchie Muscogee tribe, is the new director of community outreach of the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative.

Dr. Sahar Hasim, assistant professor of biology, Dr. Dorina Mihut, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering, and students Victoria Gomez, Jheel Kirithbai Patel and Lauryn McGahee published the paper “Mechanical Engineering – Biology Collaborative Independent Study for Students for Research on Controlling the Biofilm Formation” in the 2022 American Society for Engineering Education conference proceedings. Dr. Hasim’s research students Victoria Gomez and Jheel Patel presented “Effects of Copper and Silver Thin Films on Candida albicans and Candida auris” at the Tri-Beta National Biology Meeting held April 30 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Also at the conference, Dr. Hasim’s research students Parneeta Mohapatra, Sarika Mahajan and Misbah Rahman presented “Understanding Caspofungin mechanisms in the Emerging Drug-resistant Candida auris,” and student Hunter Tinker presented “Evaluation of C.albicans Growth, Adhesion, and Biofilm Production on 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Materials.” Dr. Hasim received the Tri-Beta National Biology Honor Society Advisor of the Year award for the region that includes Mercer.

Dr. Linda Hensel, professor and chair of biology, and Dr. David Goode, associate professor of chemistry, had several research students give oral and poster presentations at the Tri-Beta National Biology Meeting held April 30 in Little Rock, Arkansas. They include: Evan Floyd and Natalie Yeager on “The Patent Pending HEFY Assay: A Novel Assay for Biofilm Inhibition in Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus,” Abdul Kaimari, Dontavious Jones and Ryan Brownlee on “Novel Lead Compounds demonstrating anti-biofilm properties in S. aureus may act as Nor-A efflux pump inhibitors,” Kaimari, Laurie Weinkoff and Sahan Vangala on “Discovery of Novel Biofilm Inhibitors in Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” Derrick Buie and Kathryn Howe on “Phenol-Sulfuric Acid Colorimetry for Quantifying Biofilm,” Matt Purlee and Akash Patel on “Structural Similarities in C. neoformans Biofilm Accelerators,” Daniel Mendoza, Sophie Guo, Howe and Brenton Puckett on “Novel Lead Compounds inhibiting Vibrio fischeri’s biofilm formation,” Emily Colton and Rachel Thigpen on “A Cross-Comparative Evaluation of Biochemical Properties Associated With Novel Compounds and the Corresponding Ability to Decrease Biofilm Quantity in Gram-Positive Bacterium,” and Yaeger and Jackson Sundgren on “Small molecules that mimic quorum sensing in Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis may statistically inhibit biofilm production via competitive inhibition.” Additionally, Dr. Hensel, Dr. Goode and Dr. Jeff Denny, professor of mathematics, presented “An Integrated Introductory CURE for Sophomores Increases Research Interest, REU Applications, & Academic Success – Bugs and DRUGS – BOMM (Bio, O-Chem, Math Modeling).”

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of creative writing, had his second collection of poems, Where Here is Hard to Say, accepted for publication by Mercer University Press in fall 2023. The title poem of the collection will be featured in Georgia’s Poetry in the Parks program, which places poems along public trails and public natural areas around the state. Dr. Johnston’s poem “Estuary” has been accepted by Southern Poetry Review for its summer 2022 issue. He was a featured poet at Pasafest music and arts festival at Pasaquan, near Buena Vista, on April 16. Dr. Johnston also read with poet Sandra Meek at “Wild Words: Poetry in the Orchard,” an Earth Day celebration at Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences on April 22.

Dr. Katharine Northcutt, associate professor of biology and director of neuroscience, gave a talk, titled “Integrating introductory biology courses with mathematics,” at the Tri-Beta National Biology Meeting held April 30 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Additionally, her research students Sarah Monteiro and Josh Thorpe presented a poster, titled “Impact of neonatal thyroid suppressants on maternal behavior in a rat model.”

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, associate professor of global health and Africana studies, delivered a presentation, titled “Mental Health of the Diasporan African Human: Re-engaging Humanness in the Land of the Free,” at the African Studies Association of Africa fourth biennial conference April 11-16 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Evey Wilson Wetherbee, assistant professor of practice and journalist in resident, was named a finalist for a Livingston Award for Excellence in Local Reporting for the documentary “Saving Juliette,” which she directed and released last March.

Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, professor and chair of religion, presented his research, “Hebrews and Numbers: A Canonical Conversation,” at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he currently holds the Kilian McDonnell Fellowship in Faith and Culture.

College of Nursing

Dr. Tammy Barbé, associate professor, and Dr. Justus Randolph, professor, co-authored an article, titled “Application of the cognitive load theory in prelicensure nursing education: A quantitative measurement focusing on instructional design,” with College of Nursing Ph.D. graduate Dr. Nicole E. Smith in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship.

Dr. Jennifer Bartlett, associate professor, co-authored “Ethics education for nurses: Foundations for an integrated curriculum” in the Journal of Nursing Education. Dr. Bartlett presented “Moving forward (ready or not)” at Connecting 2022: Moving Beyond the New Normal in Las Vegas, Nevada; “Moving forward: Capturing our momentum” for Northside Hospital System in Atlanta; and she co-presented on a panel, titled “Fostering civil discourse: How do we talk about the issues that matter?,” for Mercer’s Center for Leadership and Ethics.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Mahavir Bhupal Chougule, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, co-authored “Advances in nanoparticle mediated targeting of RNA binding protein for cancer” in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. The international journal has an impact factor of 13.3.

Dr. Martin J. D’Souza, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, advised student Priyal Bagwe, who won Mercer University Libraries’ 2022 Monroe F. Swilley Jr. Student Research Award for her paper, titled “Intranasal Vaccination with Inactivated Gonorrhea Vaccine Induces Immunity in Mice.”

Dr. Lydia Newsom, clinical associate professor, was awarded the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Excellence in Teaching award in April 2022.

College of Professional Advancement

Dr. Jared Champion, assistant professor of writing and interdisciplinary studies, was elected vice president/president-elect of the Southeastern American Studies Association. His edited collection, Taking a Stand: Standup Comedians as Public Intellectuals, was recently featured as “Book of the Day” on the New Books Network, and he was a guest on the organization’s podcast.

Dr. Hani Q. Khoury, professor and coordinator of mathematics, was invited to submit his book Giving Up is Not an Option: Memoirs of a Palestinian American to the 11th annual Palestine Book Awards, which will be presented in November.

Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, received two awards in April for two of his children’s books. The Banana Farm, published in 2021, received a Silver Medal for Children’s Fiction in the Family category from the BookFest Awards. My Dog Can’t Jump, published in 2020, received an Honorable Mention in the Picture Books/Board Books category from the BookFest Awards. The BookFest Awards honor authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction.

Dr. Dina Schwam, assistant professor of psychology and human services, and Dr. Cameron Miller, associate professor of psychology, presented on “Skill-focused learning outcomes measuring transformative learning in introductory psychology courses” at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association on March 23 in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Dr. Schwam and Dr. Kristina Henderson, assistant professor of counseling, presented “The importance of considering literacy needs in college students attending online course” at the at the annual conference of the International Council of Educational Professional on March 10 in Fort Myers, Florida.

School of Business

Dr. Geoffrey (Jeff) Ngene, associate professor of financial economics, co-authored, with Ann Mungai of University of North Carolina Wilmington, “Stock Returns, Trading Volume, and Volatility: The Case of African Stock Markets”, accepted for publication in the journal International Review of Financial Analysis.

Dr. Ania Izabela Rynarzewska, assistant professor of sports marketing and analytics, was featured in Polish media outlet Portal Kujawski for her effort to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.

Dr. Briana Stenard, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, led the planning of the Georgia University Entrepreneurship Initiative spring meeting on April 21 on the topic of social entrepreneurship education. She moderated a panel on how to better teach social entrepreneurship and also led a faculty breakout session on the topic.

School of Engineering

Dr. Philip B. Gallagher, assistant professor of technical communication, served as first author on a manuscript, titled “New Era, Same Problem: Making Visual Content Accessible for Visually Impaired Users,” and co-presented a presentation of the same title. The manuscript and presentation, co-produced with Marci J. Gallagher of Valdosta State University, provides audiences with information about visual communication access for users with visual impairments. Specifically, the authors demonstrate a theoretical and practical approach to improving visual information access for technical communications.

Dr. Kenneth Marek, instructor of mechanical engineering, published the paper “Lasting Impact of Pandemic on Online vs. Offline Resources” in the 2022 American Society for Engineering Education conference proceedings.

Dr. Dorina Mihut, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Arash Afshar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and students Barrett McDonald and Ryan McMillan published the paper “Independent Study on Creating Conductive 3D Printed Polymers and Improving their Strength by Metallization” in the 2022 American Society for Engineering Education conference proceedings.

School of Medicine

Dr. Raghavan Chinnadurai, assistant professor of oncology, and five students authored a review, titled “Impact of Cryopreservation and Freeze‑Thawing on Therapeutic Properties of Mesenchymal Stromal/Stem Cells and Other Common Cellular Therapeutics,” published in Current Stem Cell Reports in collaboration with Charity-University Hospital in Berlin, Germany.

Dr. Ransome Eke, associate professor of community medicine, co-authored “Health Care Utilization and Medicaid Spending in Children with Type 1 Diabetes in the Alabama Medicaid Program” in Population Health Management. Dr. Eke also co-authored “Associations Between Major Depressive Episodes and School‐or Community‐Based Activity Participation Among Adolescents Using Nationwide Representative Data” in the Journal of School Health.

Dr. Warren Hutchings, assistant professor of family medicine, received the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award for his work with Mercer’s Student National Medical Association-Minority Association of Premedical Students. The award was presented during the Mercer University Student Leadership Awards on April 20.

Dr. Anne Montgomery, assistant professor, biostatistician and assistant director of the Ph.D. in rural health sciences, co-authored “Prospective Randomized Trial of Metal vs Resorbable Plates in Surgical Stabilization of Rib Fractures” in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. Lead author of the article is Dr. Dennis Ashley, Will C. Sealy Endowed Chair and professor of surgery at Mercer. Dr. Montgomery also published a paper, titled “Do All Isolated Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhages Need To Be Transferred To a Level 1 Trauma Center?,” with lead author Dr. Eric Forney, surgeon at Atrium Health Navicent Medical Center Macon, in The American Surgeon.

Dr. Richard Parrish, professor of pharmacology and medical education, published a featured op-ed on drug prices in the April 2 edition of the Albany Herald. He and the Enhanced Recovery Comparative Pharmacotherapy Collaborative initiated a multi-center cohort study to identify medication-related best practices to prevent post-operative complications in colorectal surgery patients.

Shirley Powell, technical director of the Histology Curricular Support Laboratory, presented a workshop, titled “Size Matters: How to Prepare Macro and Not So Macro Sections,” at the 2022 Georgia Society for Histotechnology (GSH) Annual Summit on April 23. The meeting was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbus. Powell is a histotechnologist certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology and co-founder of GSH.

Dr. Devi Rajan, instructor, presented “Basic Scientist To Medical Educator: Challenges And Strategies To Cope With The Transition” at the 2022 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons International Conference, sponsored by Georgia Southern University’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Maheshinie Rajapaksha, instructor, presented an abstract, titled “Novel Approach to Enhance Critical Thinking in Research Students,” Feb. 24 at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference in Savannah.

Dr. Keisha Reddick, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society at Morehouse School of Medicine as one of two inductees in the alumni section.

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, and Madison Cook, M.D. student in the Class of 2022 who is supervised by Dr. Wei, published a research article, titled “Blood lead levels and risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease,” in the American Journal of Cardiology.

School of Law

Sharon Bradley, digital and scholarly resources librarian, presented “Scratching the Repository Itch: Establishing an Institutional Repository from Scratch,” April 25 at the American Association of Law Libraries Law Repositories Caucus. 

Jarome E. Gautreaux, adjunct professor of law, co-authored the 2022 edition of Georgia Law of Torts – Trial Preparation and Practice, published by Thomson Reuters.

David Hricik, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development, moderated and served as a panelist on a panel of former clerks of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held April 20 for the Atlanta IP Inn of Court. Hricik also presented “Ethical Issues in Intellectual Property Practice” at the Springposium annual meeting for the Georgia Arts and Entertainment Section. He also presented “Ethical Issues for Patent Practitioners” on April 29 for Practicing Law Institute.

Brian Kammer, director of the Mercer Habeas Project, and Habeas Project students won a case in the Georgia Supreme Court, Davenport v. Ward, on April 19, as the court reversed the denial of habeas relief for Habeas Project client Gregory Davenport. Habeas Project students drafted the Appellant’s Brief and communicated with Davenport both telephonically and in person at Hays State Prison in the course of their representation. Davenport actively participated in strategizing how to litigate his case. In its opinion, the Supreme Court held that the trial and habeas court erred in failing to find that Davenport’s aggravated assault charge merged into the primary armed robbery count and therefore had to be vacated. The Attorney General, representing the Warden, conceded the error. As a result of the students’ advocacy, Davenport, who has already served eight years in prison, will have 20 years subtracted from his 45-year sentence.

Cathren Koehlert, associate professor of law, served as an adviser, judge and workshop presenter for the Once Upon a Law Applied Legal Storytelling Competition.

Cathren Page, associate professor of law, edited and consulted with the dean of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers regarding her March 19 presentation to the academy, “Truth or Consequences: Post-Truth and the Rule of Law.” Page was listed as the editor-in-chief of the presentation. The Academy is an international organization that “limits Fellowship to 500 active trial lawyers from the United States and includes more than 150 Fellows from nearly 40 countries across the globe. Fellowship in the Academy is by invitation only, and trial lawyers become Fellows only after an extremely rigorous vetting process, which includes both peer and judicial review. The Academy seeks out Fellows who have achieved a career of excellence as shown by their skills in trial, and as demonstrated by their integrity and professionalism.”

Gary J. Simson, Macon Chair in Law, and Dr. Rosalind S. Simson, associate professor of philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, published “Rescuing Roe” in the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Vol 24. The article offers novel arguments in defense of Roe v. Wade and provides a template for state courts to interpret their state constitutions to guarantee the rights recognized in Roe.

Karen J. Sneddon, interim dean and professor of law, presented “Happily Ever After: Narrative and Wills” on April 8 at the 2022 Critical Trusts and Estates Conference. Sneddon co-authored the article “Humanizing Transactional Documents: Why and How Transactional Drafters Should Use Narrative Techniques” with Susan M. Chesler in The Tennessee Journal of Business Law 222, Vol. 23. 

School of Music

Dr. Nathan Myrick, assistant professor of church music, gave a keynote lecture, titled “Music and Human Flourishing: Why the Meaning of Life might be Relationships,” April 7 for the University of Georgia’s Musicology and Ethnomusicology Student Association Colloquium.

School of Theology

Dr. Angela N. Parker, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, co-edited, with Mitzi Smith and Ericka Dunbar Hill, Bitter the Chastening Rod, Africana Biblical Interpretation after Stony the Road We Trod in the Age of BLM, SayHerName, and MeToo (Lanham, MD: Fortress Academic, 2022), which was released Feb. 28.

Dr. Thomas B. Slater, professor emeritus of New Testament studies, published his seventh book, Afrocentric Interpretations of the Epistles of Hebrews, Peter, James, John, Jude and Revelation (Edwin Mellen Press). It is a collection of essays and sermons by African American scholars and completes the series edited by Dr. Slater. The book is the second he has published since retiring in 2019.

Staff and Administration

Rebekah Anaya, associate director of study abroad, presented April 14 at the Alabama Association of International Educators annual conference, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Alabama and Agnes Scott College, on how to support study abroad faculty leaders during a pandemic.

Tony Kemp, associate vice president of events and special programs, completed his 10th season as a member of the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards/The Shulers, where he continues to serve in a leadership role on the committee that oversees the adjudication of over 55 high school theatre productions throughout Georgia. The program culminated in a live, GPB TV-broadcast ceremony on April 21 to celebrate theatre students, teachers and programs from across the state. The televised show won the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Southeast Emmy® Award for Special Event Live Coverage.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​