Faculty and Staff Notables | May 2023

A view of an academic building, with clouds in the sky.
A view of Knight Hall on the Macon campus. Photo by Andrea Honaker

College of Education

Dr. Karyn Allee, assistant professor of elementary education; Dr. Nancy Atchison, clinical assistant professor of elementary education; Dr. Lucy Bush, professor of elementary education; and Dr. Annemarie Kaczmarczyk, assistant professor of elementary education, presented “Building Capacity through Connection: Creating Inclusive Teaching and Learning Spaces through a Model Classroom” as a multiple paper session at the 2023 Association of Teacher Educators’ Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dr. Susie Morrissey, assistant professor of mathematics education, and Dr. Katharine Northcutt, professor of biology and director of neuroscience, presented “Using Multiple Strategies to Address Neuromyths in Preservice Teachers” at the virtual session of the International Psychological Applications Conference and Trends. Dr. Morrissey also presented “What a Teacher Says and What a Student Understands” with Dr. Gorjana Popovic of the Illinois Institute of Technology and Dr. Ozgul Kartal of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Papers for both presentations were printed in the conference proceedings, Psychological Applications and Trends 2023.

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, published “The most me: Place and community cultural wealth for financial literacy learning” in the Journal of Literacy Innovation with colleagues and community members Natasha Ramsay-Jordan, Laura Ebay and Lasha Lalana. Dr. Panther also presented three times at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting as part of the ongoing work within the College of Education’s partnership with Tucker High School and the DeKalb County School District. 

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, and Tift Curriculum and Instruction doctoral students Erica Warren and Michael Champion published the article “Is lecture a four-letter word? A study of graduate teachers’ perspectives on lectures as an instructional method in social studies” in GATEways to Teacher Education: The Journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators. 

Dr. Matthew J. Sroka, clinical assistant professor of literacy education, started the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy Podcast, in partnership with the International Literacy Association.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Jeannette Anderson, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, received the Jennifer Green-Wilson Award for Excellence in Leadership and Education 2023 Award from the RM Barney Poole Leadership Academy of the Georgia Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Huey Chen, professor of public health, presented a workshop titled “The Action Model-Change Model Schema and Theory-Driven Evaluation” and a paper titled “Aligning Evaluation Approaches with Context: Reductionism, Systems Thinking, and Pragmatic Synthesis” at the Centre for Assessment and Evaluation of Nanyang Technological University on March 8-9 in Singapore.

Dr. Michelle Robbins, clinical associate professor of clinical psychology, was elected vice president of the Georgia Psychological Association for the 2023-2024 term.

Dr. Deborah Wendland, associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Consensus-Based Integumentary Curriculum Recommendations for Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Education: A Delphi Study” and “Beyond the Case Study: Ideas for Fun and Creative Lab Activities” at the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care April 26-30 in National Harbor, Maryland.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. David Buehrer, adjunct professor of English and integrative studies, published the article titled “‘Some Black, Cracked Mirror, Barely Surviving Its Own Sharp Edges:’ Steve Erickson’s Shadowbahn and the ‘Twinned,’ Fractured Nature of Contemporary America,” in the most recent special issue of Studies in the Literary Imagination: The Mirror Trope in Contemporary Experimental Literature. Dr. Buehrer also presented the paper titled “‘He’s making most of it up:’ Memory, Intertextuality, and the Limits of Meta (and Auto) Fiction in Russell Banks’s Foregone” at the 19th Annual Southeast Coastal Conference on Languages & Literatures on April 14 at Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus.

Dr. David A. Davis, professor of English, gave the keynote address at the Middle Georgia State University Research Symposium. His talk was titled “Eating the South: The Ethnography of a Plate.”

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, had an article titled “Untimely Christianity: Hearing the Bible in a Secular Age, A Translator’s Perspective” published in the April issue of Frontlines, the quarterly newsletter of Faculty Commons, which is sent to Christian faculty nationwide. 

Dr. Erin McClenathan, assistant professor of art history, published “Close-Up: Documents and La révolution surréaliste in 1929” in a special issue of Dada/Surrealism titled Prismatic Fringes: Periodicals and the Borders of Surrealism, which she co-edited and co-introduced with Dr. Andrea Gremels of Goethe Universität Frankfurt.

Dr. Clara Mengolini, associate professor of Spanish, authored “El potencial escénico en los cuentos de Silvina Ocampo,” which was accepted for publication in Anales de Literatura Hispanoamericana for the fall 2023.

Dr. Katherine Roseau, assistant professor of French, co-authored an article with Kristen Bailey, reference librarian and coordinator of library instruction at Middle Georgia State University. “Grasping the Scope of Individual Human Devastation in War: Life Writing’s Place in Mapping in the Classroom” appeared in a/b Auto/Biography Studies in April.

Dr. Douglas E. Thompson, professor of history and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies, presented a keynote address for the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society regional meeting in Columbus on April 14. The title of the lecture was “Asking Big Questions in Small Places: Complex Narratives about Race and Religion in Penfield and Richmond.”

Evey Wilson Wetherbee, assistant professor of practice in journalism, and students in her “Storytelling for Social Change” class created a documentary about the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park this semester. The film will be screened publicly at 11 a.m. May 6 in the Science and Engineering Building Auditorium and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. 

College of Nursing

Dr. Tessy George, clinical instructor, had her dissertation research titled “Caregiving Stressors in Family Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia” highlighted in the American Holistic Nurses Association newsletter, Connections in Holistic Nursing Research, in April.

Dr. Andra Opalinski, associate professor, in collaboration with Dr. Lahronda Little, assistant professor at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, was awarded a Religion and Health Curriculum Grant from Interfaith America. The grant will support curriculum development exploring the interrelationship between spirituality and health with implications on health outcomes across individuals, communities and populations. The grant will also expand interprofessional education to include collaboration between nurses, public health professionals and spiritual care professionals.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Ajay Banga, professor, co-authored with graduate student Nisha Shrestha “Development and evaluation of transdermal delivery system of tranylcypromine for the treatment of depression” in Drug Delivery and Translational Research in April.

College of Professional Advancement

Dr. Caroline Brackette, associate professor of counseling, co-authored an article with counseling doctoral student Viken Ayvazian in the Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity on practical assessment and application of imagery techniques in esports. She was invited by Arizona Cardinals’ player Jonathan Ledbetter to present to students on World Teen Mental Wellness Day during the Led A Better Way Foundation event at Tucker High School, Ledbetter’s alma mater in Tucker. Dr. Brackette was also invited to present on a panel with sports clinicians at the Black Sports Business Symposium presented by ESPN in Atlanta. She served as a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education’s 2023 School-Based Mental Health program grant competition.

Dr. Brittany L. Prioleau, assistant professor of counseling, was selected as one of 25 MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Momentum Scholars to attend the Psychedelic Science conference in Denver. Chosen through a competitive process, her application showed the highest commitment to healing, expansiveness and consciousness among over 4,000 applications. The conference will host some of the world’s most renowned scholars, researchers, practitioners and leaders in the field of psychedelic medicine. The conference will aid Dr. Prioleau’s research agenda focusing on wellness and contemplative practices that will revolutionize the future of mental health treatment. 

Dr. Jacqueline S. Stephen, assistant professor, director of the Office of Distance Learning and instructional designer, was invited to participate as a keynote speaker at the Global Human Resources Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, on April 20. The event was organized by the Azerbaijan HR Institute, in partnership with United Nations Global Compact. Dr. Stephen’s keynote focused on preparing for an artificial intelligence-enabled workforce, and she participated in a moderated panel session on digital human resources and artificial intelligence. Additionally, Dr. Stephen has received a Fulbright specialist award to carry out a training needs assessment for the Office of Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice in Timor-Leste this summer.

School of Business

Dr. Laura Boman, assistant professor of marketing, was interviewed by Money Geek for two articles in April: “Tips From The Pros: Finding the Right No Annual Fee Card” and “Expert Advice: Finding the Right Hotel Rewards Credit Card.” 

Dr. Gina L. Miller, professor of marketing, and Dr. Faye A. Sisk, professor of management, gave a paper presentation titled “Strategies to Mitigate Second Generation Gender Bias in Marketing Education” at the International Society of Marketing 2023 Spring Conference on March 24 in Chicago. The corresponding paper is forthcoming in the conference proceedings.

School of Engineering

Dr. Anthony Choi, professor of electrical and computer engineering, attended the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Southeast Conference in Orlando, Florida, with his students competing against other teams from the Southeast at the IEEE SoutheastCon 2023 – Engineering The Magic! Mercer students Jacob Strader and Aliah Kitchens won first place in the software competition, and Taiyah Lockett won third place in the T-shirt design competition. In addition, Dr. Choi and students Caden Hamrick and Ethan Choi hosted an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Bootcamp at Mercer for high school students on April 29, in partnership with 21st Century Partnership and Middle Georgia STEM Alliance. 

Dr. Philip B. Gallagher, assistant professor of technical communication, co-presented a webinar on May 1 with Marci Gallagher, CEO of Just Access LLC, for the Society for Technical Communication: Accessibility Community of Interest group. The presentation responded to evergreen accessibility challenges users with low vision and blindness experience while interacting with visual information and offered a theoretical and practical approach to improving access to the current sea of visual content. 

Dr. Dorina Mihut, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Dr. Stephen Hill, associate dean and associate professor; and mechanical engineering students Jorge Luis Arce-Laretta, Benjamin Wesley Pollard and Gabrielle Scott published the paper “Assessing Correlation between Erosion, Wear and Hardness Behavior for Polymers, Metals and Ceramic Coated Metallic Surfaces” in conference proceedings for the American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern Section. In addition, Dr. Mihut published the paper “Independent Study Class for Investigating Coated Materials Affecting Candida Species Growth,” with research contributed by mechanical engineering students Arce-Laretta and Pollard and biology students Jheel Kiritbhai Patel and Sahar Anis Ali. The paper was written in collaboration with Dr. Sahar Hasim, assistant professor of biology.

Dr. Chandan Roy, assistant professor, published a conference paper titled “Student Experience in Virtual Thermodynamics Class.”

School of Law

Jarome Gautreaux, adjunct professor, was featured in WalletHub’s piece about liability vs. full coverage car insurance in April. 

School of Music

Dr. Nathan Gay, associate professor of music, director of athletic bands and founder/director of the Mercer University Brass Band, competed at the North American Brass Band Association Championships (NABBA) in Huntsville, Alabama, April 21-22 as a member of the Fountain City Brass Band. The band was under the direction of Michael Fowles and took second place at the event. Dr. Gay also competed in the solo competition and took first place in the tuba technical category. The Fountain City Brass Band is the highest-ranking brass band in the United States and regularly competes in North American competitions like this one, the U.S. Open Brass Band Championships, the U.S. Master’s Brass Band Championships and the Gateway Championships, as well as several competitions overseas. The group has won the U.S. Open, Gateway and NABBA events on multiple occasions, is the only U.S.-based band to win a United Kingdom contest (the Scottish Open in 2009), and has recorded and released several albums, the most recent being a Christmas album recorded last summer.  

School of Medicine

Dr. Caroline Anglim, assistant professor of bioethics and professionalism, published an article titled “Intersectionality as a Critical Framework for Medical Ethics Education” in the spring/summer issue of Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Dr. Raghavan Chinnadurai, assistant professor of oncology, published an article titled “Next generation MSC therapy manufacturing, potency and mechanism of action analysis” in Frontiers in Immunology, the official journal of the International Union of Immunological Societies.

Dr. Kimberly McElveen, associate dean for faculty affairs and associate professor of pathology and clinical sciences, was accepted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national honor medical society; completed Adult Mental Health First Aid USA training hosted by the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center; and was certified as a trainer for the international organization LivingWorks: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills. 

Shirley Powell, technical director of the Histology Curricular Support Lab, was honored at the recent meeting of the Georgia Society for Histotechnology (GSH). At the meeting, she was named the inaugural recipient of a leadership award that has been established in her name. In addition to the work she does to support Mercer School of Medicine, Powell is a founding member of the GSH and a founding board member of the National Society for Histotechnology.

Dr. Joe S. Robinson lll, assistant professor of Internal Medicine, gave a podium presentation titled “Primary Amenorrhea in College Cross Country Athlete” on May 1 at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Phoenix.

Dr. Robert Visalli, biomedical sciences professor and director of the Landings Women’s Golf Association (LWGA) Cancer Research Scholars program, will oversee a record eight students in one-on-one, mentored research opportunities through the program. Students Sandra Scott, Anna Tucker, Emily Clifton, Maclaren (Laren) Durkee, Trey Doss, Rhett Parr, Daniel Pham and Himani Patel will be provided a research stipend and paired with a School of Medicine faculty member. The annual Together for a Cure, LWGA fundraiser, took place on April 12, with proceeds supporting the Cancer Research Scholars program and other cancer research opportunities for School of Medicine students on the Savannah campus. The LWGA and School of Medicine are committed to supporting research on cancer-related projects meant to provide hope for patients and survivors everywhere.

School of Theology

Dr. Angela N. Parker, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, delivered two keynote addresses this semester. “The Empire MUST Fail,” was delivered at the Bridging Black Freedom Struggles – German and U.S. Perspectives conference at the Amerikahaus Munchen in Munich on March 16. On April 15, Dr. Parker delivered the keynote address titled “Womanist Futures in Biblical Scholarship” at the Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Finally, Dr. Parker’s devotional titled “Who Are You Following?” won the first place award from The Associated Church Press. These are reflections on Epiphany in the shadow of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol.

Mercer Engineering Research Center

Jim Hundley, senior director of engineering and programs, received the Exemplar Award from the Dixie Crow Chapter of the Association of Old Crows, which is a professional organization focused on electronic warfare and other information-related activities. The award was presented during the chapter’s annual banquet held in the Museum of Aviation on March 22. Hundley has been a member of the Dixie Crow Chapter since 1975, served two six-year terms on its Board of Directors, and has been instrumental in bringing quality technical programs and presentations to its annual symposia. He joined MERC after a 33-year Air Force career, during which his various assignments were either directly involved in electronic warfare or in management that delivered the infrastructure necessary for the electronic warfare mission to succeed.

Staff and Administration

Tony Kemp, associate vice president of events and special programs, completed his 11th 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 50 high school theater productions throughout Georgia. On April 20, he worked with the live GPB-TV ceremony to celebrate theater students, teachers and programs from across the state. The televised show has won several Southeast Emmy Awards for “Special Event Live Coverage.”

Kim Meredith, executive director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, received the Outstanding Career Development Professional Award at the 2023 Georgia Career Development Association (GCDA) Annual Conference on April 14. She was recognized for her more than 25 years of experience in career development and for her extensive involvement as a GCDA member, serving numerous times on the Board of Directors and hosting many organizational events.

Lauren Shinholster, associate director of engaged learning, and Delaney Ryan, director of student-athlete support services, were awarded Best Poster – Student Impacts for “Leading On and Off the Field: Increasing Access to High-Impact Practices for First-Year Student-Athletes” at the 2023 Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education. Over the past five years, Mercer athletes have participated in a range of service-learning experiences, including tutoring in elementary schools and serving at a local children’s hospital. The poster shared insights from their experience and recommendations for adaptation at other colleges or universities. In addition, Shinholster and Dr. Sherri Flagg and Dr. Shelton Land of the United Way of Central Georgia earned the 2023 Gulf-South Summit’s Best Poster – People’s Choice award for their poster “Read2Succeed: Supporting Literacy through a Sustained Community-University Partnership.” This poster highlighted the impacts of United Way of Central Georgia’s Read2Succed program, a comprehensive literacy initiative that combines school-based reading support with structured tutoring, as well as the opportunities and challenges to sustaining and growing its engagement.

Dr. Stefanie Swanger, assistant director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, presented her research titled “Addressing Incivility at Work: Understanding Impact and Advice for Supervisors” at the 2023 Southeastern Association of Housing Officer Annual Conference. The presentation was recognized in the program as the best program session from the State of Georgia.