Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Gerald Erickson, clinical assistant professor, was selected to serve as chair of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants House of Delegates Advisory Committee on Social and Professional Issues.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, assistant professor, was appointed to the Specialization Academy of Content Experts, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor, received a $400,000 grant over two years for “Fall Prevention” from the Georgia Department of Health and Human Services, Division on Aging, funded by Federal DHHS Administration for Community Living.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Craig Byron, associate professor of biology, co-authored a paper, titled “The feeding biomechanics and dietary ecology of Paranthropus boisei,” that was recently accepted for publication in The Anatomical Record.

Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, presented a poster on his research, titled “Generating point mutations to investigate the function and regulation of the O-GlcNAc cleaving enzyme, OGA,” at the 66th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, delivered the lecture “The Longest War: Southern Writers in the American Expeditionary Force” at the University of Illinois on Oct. 10.

Dr. Frank Macke, professor of communication studies, will deliver the keynote address at the National Philosophy of Communication Conference at Duquesne University, June 2-5, 2015.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, organized the Third Semi-Annual Beloved Community Paired Clergy Unity Service at Greater Allen AME Church in the historic Pleasant Hill neighborhood on Oct. 12. The Rev. Dr. Andrew Manis, professor of history at Middle Georgia State College, delivered the message, titled “Wrestling with Racial Reconciliation.” Dr. Dunaway's translation of Jean-Louis Chrétien's Sous le regard de la Bible/Under the Gaze of the Bible (2008) was published in October by Fordham University Press.

Dr. Adam Kiefer, assistant professor of chemistry, presented two talks on his research at the 66th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Nashville, Tennessee: “Elemental mercury emissions from an ASGM gold shop in Zaruma, Ecuador” in the environmental chemistry section; and “Development of a 400-level chemistry course for an international service learning program in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) communities” in the chemical education section. Also at the meeting, undergraduate researchers in the laboratories of Dr. Kiefer; Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Kevin Drace, associate professor of biology; Dr. David Goode, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Kathryn Kloepper, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Jennifer Look, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Andy Pounds, professor of chemistry; and Dr. Caryn Seney, professor of chemistry, presented poster presentations highlighting research in their adviser's laboratories.

Tim Regan-Porter, director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism, was one of some 50 programmers, journalists and businesspeople selected from 1,000 applicants to participate in a media innovation hackathon held by Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

Dr. Creighton Rosental, associate professor and chair of philosophy, and his Philosophy of Public Art class were invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Georgia Art Education Association in October. Dr. Rosental gave a talk on Oct. 2, and his students gave their own talk on Oct. 4. The students' talk concerned their experiences in their service-learning projects associated with the Philosophy of Public Art class during this past spring semester. In this class, students created and populated an online database for public art in Macon, created self-guided walking tours for public art downtown and in the College Hill area (with a website, brochures, and maps), and created and led a guided walking tour for downtown Macon.They conducted free guided tours downtown starting on First Friday in May, and again each First Friday starting in September. They are currently developing a guided public art walking tour that starts on Mercer's campus and will give their first tours on Oct. 22. Dr. Rosental's talk was focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning, discussing learning outcomes of the course and strategies for teachers who would like to implement such a project for their classes.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, gave a poetry reading at The Vermont Book Festival in Burlington, Vermont, on Sept. 21, and another reading at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Oct. 10. Her poem, “That White Sustenance,” was published in Shenandoah, vol. 64, n. 1.

Dr. Bryan J. Whitfield, associate professor of Christianity, presented a paper, “Teaching Augustine's Confessions in the Context of Mercer's Great Books Program,” at the initial Lilly Fellows Program conference on Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition, a conference, titled “Teaching Augustine across the Curriculum,” at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on Oct. 3.

Dr. Fletcher Winston, associate professor of sociology, presented a paper, “Activating in the Classroom: Undergraduate Experiences and Enduring Political Engagement,” at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Aug. 18.

Dr. Carolyn Yackel, associate professor of mathematics, gave a keynote address to the Kennesaw Mountain Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, titled “Fractal Art for Public Consumption.” At the same conference, she led a portion of a MegaMenger build to help construct a large Menger sponge out of folded business cards. Many Mercer professors across the College contributed outdated business cards to this build, and the mathematics department faculty, students, and Carmen Hicks, senior administrative assistant, were instrumental in folding the Mercer contribution to this build. Chris Withers, manager of the copy center, generously helped with the project. For further information, including pictures of the goal object, click here.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Kimberly Freeman, assistant professor of management, saw Human Resource Management Review, a journal she co-founded and originally edited, complete its fifth straight year listed as a Q1 journal, making it one of the best management journals in the field.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Lanell Bellury, associate professor, made a podium presentation, titled “Testing a Model of Older Cancer Survivorship,” along with co-authors Dr. Corinne Leach and Dr. Marjorie Pett, at the Annual Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Conference.

Susan Estes, clinical associate professor, was selected and participated as a reviewer of vSim (virtual simulation) Gerontology for Nursing, published by Lippincott, Wolters and Kluwer.

Carmeka Greene, clinical instructor, served as a Community Health Fair volunteer at Greater Traveler's Rest Baptist Church.

Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, presented two community CPR courses at Embry Hills United Methodist Church.

Dr. Helen Hodges, professor, was appointed to the Christine Tanner National Writing Award panel of judges.

Dr. Natasha Laibhen-Parkes, clinical assistant professor, was a speaker at the Pi Gamma Meeting on “Web-Based EBP Educational Intervention to Improve EBP Competence in BSN prepared pediatric bedside nurses.” She published “Web-Based EBP Educational Intervention to Improve EBP Competence in BSN prepared pediatric bedside nurses” in the Journal of Nursing. She made a presentation at the Summer Institute of Quality in Texas and published a manuscript in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing and Journal of Nursing.

Grace Lewis, clinical associate professor, was a speaker on “Test-taking Strategies” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS) Annual Convention Oct. 22-25.

Jill Ray, clinical assistant professor, was a speaker on “NCLEX Prep Track – Management of Care” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS) Annual Convention, Oct. 22-25.

Brenda Rowe, associate professor, was elected president of Georgia Board of Nursing. She was also appointed to the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) NCLEX Examination Committee by the NCSBN Board of Directors.

Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, was appointed to serve as chair on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Program Planning Committee. She will also be serving on the awards selection committee for the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling, attended the annual meeting of the Christian Community Development Association in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she facilitated a plenary panel discussion on “A Theological Discussion of Jeremiah 29” and presented a workshop, titled “My Sister's Keeper: Working with StrongBlackWomen.”

Mercer Engineering Research Center

Michael Grayson, software engineer in the Electronic Warfare Division, co-authored a paper, titled “Automated Platform for Aggregation and Topical Sentiment Analysis of News Articles, Blogs, and Other Online Publications,” which he presented at the International Association for Computer Information Systems Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The paper was co-authored with and Dr. Anthony Choi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering, and Dr. Myungjae Kwak of Middle Georgia State College. Grayson also chaired the “Publications” session of the conference in which the paper was presented.

Mercer Medicine

Michelle Damron, clinical research nurse, and Marnie Hill, clinical research manager, accepted on behalf of the Clinical Health Research Division the first-place award from ResMed for enrolling the most randomized patients in a Cat-HF (Heart Failure) study. Mercer Medicine is one of 10 clinical sites participating in this study.

Penfield College

Dr. Suneetha B. Manyam, associate professor of counseling and human sciences, co-presented with graduate student Auvronette Guilbeaux on “Counselor's Role in the Advocacy and Empowerment of Homeless from a Transitional Home” at the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference on Oct. 10 in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Manyam is leading a study abroad trip to India from Nov 11-22, along with Dr. Diane Clark, associate professor of counseling. A group of six graduate students from the counseling department are visiting universities in India. Through this rich cultural immersion experience, students will explore the state of counseling in India and enhance their multicultural competence. Dr. Manyam received a letter indicating that her peer-reviewed chapter, titled “Group Sand Tray Therapy for Special Needs Children,” is in press in the book Expressive Arts in School Counseling. Dr. Manyam submitted a manuscript, titled “Supervisor's Perceptions of Conflict Resolution in the Supervisory Relationship,” to The Clinical Supervisor. She is the co-author for this peer-reviewed article. Dr. Manyam presented on “Culture and Eating Habits” and “Current Issues of Asian Indian Teenagers” at the North American Telugu Association's international conference and youth convention on July 6 in Atlanta.

School of Medicine

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Problems Program director, presented the workshops “Improve Your Educational Assessments and Promote Achievement” and “The HIV/AIDS Pandemic: a 30-year Global Perspective to Improve Our Response” on Oct. 10 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Klatt published the paper “Web-based Pathology Practice Examination Usage” in the Journal of Pathology Informatics.

Dr. Edward C. Lauterbach, professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurology, has been appointed to the editorial board of the JSM Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia.

Dr. Jinping (Jennifer) Li, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Shi-Wen (Albert) Jiang, professor of genetics and Distinguished Cancer Scholar in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, co-authored along with several of their colleagues the article “Transition of LINE-1 DNA methylation status and altered expression in first and third trimester placentas” in PLoS One. 2014 May 12;9(5):e96994. doi: 10.1371.

Dr. Samuel D. Shillcutt, professor and director of the Neuro-psychopharmacology Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, co-edited the book Melatonin, Therapeutic Value and Neuroprotection, eds. V. Srinivasan, G. Gobbi, S.D. Shillcutt, S. Suzen, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, October 2014. He also co-authored two of the book chapters, titled “Melatonin's Neuroprotective Role in Parkinson's Disease” and “Melatonergic Drugs as Therapeutic Agents for Insomnia and Depressive Disorders.”

Staff and Administration

Rick Cameron, senior assistant vice president for marketing communications and the “Voice of the Bears,” called his 400th Mercer game on the radio on Oct. 11 when the football team defeated Austin Peay. Since 2005, Cameron has done the radio play-by-play of all Mercer football and men's basketball games and selected women's basketball and baseball games.

Ricky Clark Jr. and Christian Wells, area coordinators in residence life, presented at the Georgia Housing Officers Conference on Oct. 9 at Georgia Institute of Technology. The presentation was titled “Engineering a New Outlook on Introversion.”

Melissa Mashburn, associate director of residence life, was elected president of the state housing organization Georgia Housing Officers.

Dr. Samantha Murfree, associate dean of students, and Melissa Mashburn, associate director of residence life, presented on Oct. 13 in Orlando, Florida, at the joint national conference for ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators) and SCOPE (School and College Organization for Prevention Educators). The title of the presentation was “Don't Pollute Your Process: Lessons Learned from Challenges in Complying with the Title IX Dear Colleague Letter.”

Dr. Ro Turner Ruffin, adjunct professor in Penfield College and McAfee School of Theology, has been named coordinator of the new Atlanta Regional Academic Center (RAC), which opened on Sept. 8. Located in Suite 133 of the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center, the RAC will provide information and guidance to both students and faculty Monday through Thursday after 3:30 p.m.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Elaine M. Artman, associate professor of educational leadership, authored a chapter, titled “Legal issues in Green Schools,” that was published in October in Marketing the Green School: Form, Function and the Future, eds.Tak C. Chan, Evan G. Mense, Kenneth E. Lane, and Michael D. Richardson.

Dr. Geri Collins, assistant professor, Dr. Jacquelyn Culpepper, associate professor, Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, and Dr. Margaret Morris, professor, presented “Educating Teacher Candidates about Academic Language” at the annual conference of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators, held Oct. 16-18 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor, was named president of the Georgia Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators at the organization's annual conference held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in October.

Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, presented “Comparative Mathematics Education in England and the United States: Observations and Thoughts” at the annual conference of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators, held Oct. 16-18 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor, and Dr. Rose Prejean-Harris, a graduate of the curriculum and instruction doctoral program and administrator at Indian Creek Elementary School, won the Distinguished Paper Award at the 2014 Georgia Educational Research Association Conference for a paper, titled “The Negative Consequences of Using Percent of Free and Reduced Lunch as a Measure of Poverty in Schools: The Case of the State of Georgia.”

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill, professor, guest conducted the Georgia College and State University Wind Ensemble in Milledgeville on Oct. 8 in preparation for its upcoming concert later this semester. The Townsend School of Music hosted the fifth annual All State High School Audition “Boot Camp” on Oct. 25 in the McCorkle Music Building with organizer Dr. Hill, music faculty Dr. Monty Cole, Dr. Marcus Reddick, Dr. Tom Gibson, Kelly Via, Jonathan Swygert and Maestro Adrian Gnam, as well as several music majors assisting.

Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, associate professor and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, performed with the Ehnes Quartet for their Ontario debut Sept. 5 at “Bravo! Niagara” in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, and opened the Chamber Soloists of Detroit's 2014-15 subscription season at Farmington Presbyterian Church Sept. 8 in Michigan. With pianist Orion Weiss, Moretti gave two recitals in San Francisco Oct. 4-5 for the 30th Anniversary Year Celebration of the Irving M. Klein International String Competition as a past winner. Moretti was featured in the “Alumni Snapshot” section of the fall edition of the Cleveland Institute of Music Notes magazine, and was a guest of the radio program “Offbeat” that airs weekly on WCLV, 104.9FM originating from Cleveland, where she was the subject of an in-depth interview by the host, Merry Peckham.

University Libraries

Laura M. Botts, associate director for special collections and associate professor in the Division of Library Services, presented “Documenting Primitive Baptists: Finding Your Way to and through the Sources” at the joint meeting of the Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions and the Baptist History and Heritage Society in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in June. During the August meeting of the Academy of Certified Archivists in Washington, D.C., she was recognized for four years of service as the group's digital community coordinator.

Rebecca Engsberg, assistant professor in the Division of Library Services, reference and instruction librarian and liaison to the English Language Institute, presented “Developing Partnerships: Be NIMBLE” at the Georgia International Conference for Information Literacy in Savannah Oct. 10-11.

Scott Gillies, director of the Swilley Library, attended “entrelib: the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians” at Wake Forest University on Oct. 17.

Julie Poole, coordinator of center library services and assistant professor in the Division of Library Services, presented her Georgia Library Association academic libraries division paper submission, “Adult Learner Needs and Next Steps for Libraries,” at the Georgia Council of Media Organizations annual conference held in Augusta Oct. 1-3.

Florence Tang, liaison to Penfield College at Swilley Library, presented “Competency-Based Learning: What Is It and How Will it Affect Libraries?” at the Georgia Council of Media Organizations Conference in Augusta on Oct. 2.

Walter F. George School of Law

Joe Claxton, professor emeritus, gave a presentation, titled “The History of the Mercer Law School in the Context of the History of Legal Education,” for Professionalism credit as a segment of a Mercer Continuing Legal Education program on Sept. 26.

David Hricik, professor, gave a presentation on Oct. 24 at the Georgia State Bar Annual Supreme Court update on the Court's patent cases of this past term. On Oct. 25, he gave a presentation on ethical issues in patent practice to in-house counsel at Newell-Rubbermaid's corporate headquarters in Atlanta. Professor Hricik served on a panel discussing ethical issues in IP practice with two large-firm partners at the Aon Law Firm Symposium in Chicago on Oct. 15. His update to his book chapter in Drafting Patents for Litigation and Licensing was published by the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law. He and Professor Karen Sneddon continued their long-running column in the Georgia Bar Journal with an article on using gender-inclusive language.

Mark Jones, professor, participated in a panel on “Clinical Skills, Professionalism, Practical Wisdom, and Vocation” at the Mercer Law Review Symposium on “The Scholarship and Teaching of Jack Sammons” held on Oct. 3. The title of his presentation was “The Story of 'Juropolis': Trawling for Justice in the Fishing Village of the Law.”

Dr. David Ritchie, professor of law and philosophy and director of international initiatives, hosted a symposium at the law school in October to honor the teaching and scholarship of Professor Jack Sammons. Speakers at the symposium included Linda Edwards (UNLV), James Boyd White (Michigan), Joe Vining (Michigan) and several Mercer faculty. Dr. Ritchie also participated in the Centennial Celebration for the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where he has been a Global Ethics Fellow since 2011.During the celebration, Dr. Ritchie gave two talks. The first, titled “A Better Contribution of Universities to Global Ethics,” was delivered during the annual Global Ethics Fellows Conference. The second, “Constitutionalism as a Mechanism to Promote Pluralism,” was part of the First Global Ethics Day held at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York.