Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Dr. Daniel Dale, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Presidents Past and Present: Envisioning and Engaging in the Future” at the American Physical Therapy Association's National Student Conclave Oct. 21 in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Joseph Donnelly, clinical professor of physical therapy, received the Distinguished Lecturer Award on Oct. 20 at the annual conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists in Salt Lake City, Utah. His lecture was titled “Raising the Bar: Joe's Soap Box.” Dr. Donnelly was also named an honorary fellow in the Academy.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy and associate dean, presented “Effects of Co-Morbidities on Self-Reported Outcomes from the Matter of Balance Program for Older Adults” at the annual conference of the American Congress of Rehabilitative Medicine Oct. 28 in Atlanta.

Dr. Niamh Tunney, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Ellen Perlow, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, co-authored a manuscript, titled “Student and Examiner Perceptions of an Innovative Model for Assessment of Neuromuscular Clinical Competence in a Professional Physical Therapist Education Program,” in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education 2017;31(3):91-99. 

Dr. Deborah Wendland, assistant professor of physical therapy, presented “Exercise for Diabetic Patients: Improving Health Outcomes” Oct. 21 at the Primary Care Update 2017 in Atlanta.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Jonathan Addleton, adjunct instructor of international and global studies, spoke Oct. 12 on his book, The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan, at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. His presentation was sponsored by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's Ginn Library. Dr. Addleton also assumed new responsibilities as executive director of the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), one of more than 25 such centers sponsored by the Council of Overseas American Research Centers, headquartered at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The U.S. ACMS office is now based at Mercer, strengthening links between the University and the ACMS center in Ulaanbaatar, which supports academic linkages between the U.S. and Mongolia.

Dr. Elaina Behounek, assistant professor of sociology, presented a paper, titled “P.E.A.C.E. Be With You: Family Law Mediation and Controlling Narratives,” at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in August. She also did an interview on the topic of single mothers and poverty for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History, published “Contemporary Religious Life in Russia's Provinces: A New Source” in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History 68, No. 4: 807-14, a review article of the nine-volume Encyclopedia of Contemporary Religious Life in Russia (in Russian). He also served on a panel that revisited the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its significance on the occasion of its centennial on Oct. 25. The Keston Center at Baylor University sponsored the panel discussion.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, was appointed to the alumni board for Oxford College of Emory University.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, directed a one-week summer faculty workshop on “Faith, Learning and Vocation” from July 10-14. Nine faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and the Tift College of Education participated. He also coordinated the Beloved Community Paired Clergy's eighth biennial community-wide Unity Service at First Baptist Church New Street on Oct. 15. Guest preacher was the Rev. Dr. Lawson Bryan, bishop of the South Georgia United Methodist Church.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history, presented “Reading Civil War Readers” Oct. 5 to the American History Workshop at the University of Edinburgh. She also presented “'How a Soldier May Succeed After the War': Field Notes from a Prison Camp” Oct. 8 at the British American Nineteenth-Century History Conference at the University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K.  

Dr. Jonathan C. Glance, Benjamin W. Griffith Jr. Professor and chair of English, presented a paper, titled “The Head and the Crown: Ending Huston's The Man Who Would Be King,” Oct. 14 at the adaptation studies conference “Last Pages, Last Shots,” hosted by the Université de Caen Normandie in France.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of English and director of the major and minor in creative writing, will publish “An Open Letter: Judith Ortiz Cofer” in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 33, Winter 2018. Dr. Johnston has co-authored with historian Matt Jennings a new concise guide to Ocmulgee National Monument forthcoming from Mercer University Press in March 2018. Dr. Johnston also served as judge for the Macon Writers' Club writing competition in August.

Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo, assistant professor of anthropology and global health studies, had a book review of Katrina Thompson's Popobawa: Tanzanian Talk, Global Misreadings published in African Studies Review.

Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, published a book of poetry, titled Second Bloom, in September by Cascade Books. She spoke at her book launch Oct. 12 in the Washington Library in Macon. She also read poetry Oct. 20 at the Appalachian Cultural Center at Carson Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and Oct. 30 for Poetry Atlanta at the Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Clinton Canal, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, joined the College of Pharmacy from Northeastern University. His research, funded by the Department of Defense and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, centers on the function of serotonin receptors and their viability as targets for psychiatric drug discovery.

Dr. Nader H. Moniri, associate professor and associate dean for research, and graduate students Ameneh Cheshmehkani and Ilya Senatorov published “Free-fatty acid receptor-4 (FFA4) modulates ROS generation and COX-2 expression via the C-terminal β-arrestin phosphosensor in Raw 264.7 macrophages” Sept. 21 in Biochemical Pharmacology. The National Institutes of Health awarded Dr. Moniri $462,660 to study the interaction between elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the beta-2-adrenergic receptor in the pulmonary system.

Dr. Maria Miller Thurston, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, received both the 2017 Outstanding District Director Award and the 2017 Outgoing District Director Award from the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She practices in an outpatient internal medicine clinic at Atlanta Medical Center's Sheffield HealthCare Center, where she precepts both pharmacy students and residents. She serves on committees for multiple regional and national pharmacy organizations, is a peer reviewer for scholarly journals and conducts research in the areas of medication adherence, health literacy, diabetes, heart failure, interprofessional education and professional development. Dr. Thurston also was awarded the 2017 New Educator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. This annual award recognizes a member with less than six years of experience since the completion of training who has made outstanding contributions to the discipline of teaching and the education of healthcare practitioners.

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Dr. Lynn Comer Jones, associate professor of accounting and taxation, was elected vice president of the American Tax Association (ATA). Dr. Jones previously served as the organization's vice president-elect, secretary and a trustee. The ATA is a section of the American Accounting Association, an accounting academic organization.

Dr. Briana Sell Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, presented her research in October at the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy in Atlanta in a session titled “STEM Work Environment.” She also presented her research in October at the Strategic Management Society annual conference in Houston, Texas, in a session titled “Employee Concerns and Entrepreneurship.” Additionally, she was invited to attend the Kauffman Emerging Scholars Conference in October, where she chaired a session on “Entrepreneurial Entry Barriers.”

Dr. Lane Wakefield, assistant professor of sports marketing and analytics, was accepted to present research, titled “The Use of Ephemeral Media to Increase Word-of-mouth for Accessible Product,” and chair a special session, titled ““Psychology in Sport Marketing,” at the 2018 Winter American Marketing Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Jennifer Bartlett, assistant professor, presented “Medical Surgical Simulations” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students Convention in Columbus in October.

Laura Darden, clinical assistant professor, presented a poster, titled “Cyberbullying from Mid Adolescence to Young Adulthood,” at the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders 15th annual conference in Sydney, Australia, in September.

Tony Nimely, clinical adjunct instructor, extends his utmost thanks and appreciation to the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing faculty, who raised money to help his daughter, who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

Darlene Rogers, clinical instructor, was the invited speaker at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students Convention in Columbus in October.

Dr. Linda S. Streit, dean and professor, presented “Leading from where you are” at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, in September.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, presented an invited plenary workshop, titled “Cultural Trauma: Care and Coping,” Oct. 21 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors Southeast Region in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Three students from McAfee and Penfield College's combined M.Div./M.S. in clinical mental health counseling, Sherice Cross, Caitlin Kemeny and Ngozi Onduwegu, also attended the conference, where they shared their perspectives on the future of the vocation in conversations about the organization's future directions.

Penfield College

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, conducted peer reviews of “Terrorism and governance strategies in Brussels,” “Microextraction techniques for forensic drug analysis in saliva” and “Suicides and Alcohol Consumption in Russia, 1959-2013” for the Forensic Research and Criminology International Journal.

Dr. Hollis Phelps, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, published “The Materiality of Belief: On the Real Death of Mammon,” in Credo, Credit, Crisis: Speculations on Faith and Money. He also published “The Students the Lists Leave Out” in Inside Higher Ed on Oct. 24.

Dr. Tyler Wilkinson, assistant professor and coordinator of clinical mental health counseling, presented at the National Association for Counselor Education and Supervision conference in Chicago, Illinois, on Oct. 5-6. He and Dr. Morgan Kiper Riechel, assistant professor of counseling, presented on the use of virtual reality in counselor education and training, along with doctoral students Kathleen Bazile and Lynn Paige. Additionally, Dr. Wilkinson presented with two other doctoral students, Ramona Wimberly and Danielle Smith, on a recently completed research project where they explored disciplinary action trends across state counseling licensing board. Dr. Wilkinson also was invited to be a panel member at a presentation regarding publication tips with the Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, a journal for which he is an editorial board member.

School of Law

Sarah Gerwig-Moore, professor, is featured in the current issue of Emory University's alumni magazine.

Mark Jones, professor of law, and Jennifer Moore, a full-time practitioner of immigration law in Macon, organized a free DACA Renewal Clinic at the law school on Sept. 23-24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Eighteen law students helped eligible “DACA” or “Dreamer” applicants complete their applications for renewal of their DACA status under a very tight deadline, performed supportive clerical tasks and hosted applicant family members. Two recent graduates, four faculty and staff members and another local attorney also participated as volunteers. Publicity for the event was organized by Billie Frys, director of marketing communications, for the law school, and the event was covered by local TV media before and after the clinic session on Saturday and by NPR during the Saturday session.

Scott Titshaw, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of law, recently published “Conflicts of Interest and Waivers in Family Practice” in Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, and in 22 Bender's Immigration Bulletin 907 (2017). He was a panelist and led discussion for the “Representation of LGBT Asylum-Seekers” discussion at the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia C.L.E. at King and Spalding in Atlanta in September; “Immigration Laws and Crossing Border” discussion at the National LGBT Bar Association Annual Conference in San Francisco, California, in August; and “Avoiding Family Feuds: Ethics in Family Practice” discussion at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in June.

School of Medicine

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of medicine and assistant program director of IM residency, served as principle author of “Role of cannabis in cardiovascular disorders,” a literature review published in the July edition of the Journal of Thoracic Diseases, and “Severity and outcomes of acute alcoholic pancreatitis in cannabis users,” an original article published in the July edition of Translational Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Dr. Richard O. McCann, associate professor of biochemistry and assistant dean for faculty affairs and professional development, gave an invited oral presentation at the annual international meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution held July 2-6 in Austin, Texas. The title of his talk, presented in the Evolutionary Systems Biology of Cells Symposium, was “A Cellular Systems Approach to Origins of the Metazoa: Functional Constraints and Sequence Conservation in Coevolution of the Core Adhesome.”

Tift College of Education

Dr. Sharon Augustine associate professor and chair of teacher education and program director of the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship, Dr. Melissa Jurkiewicz, assistant professor of education, and Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, along with five of Mercer University's Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows – Ben Jones, Austin Lord, Chelsea Robinson, Shakevia Robinson and Jose Santana Villa – presented “Nurturing STEM Education through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship” Oct. 18 at the annual conference of the Georgia Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators at Rock Eagle Conference Center in Eatonton. Dr. Augustine also was interviewed by The Telegraph in Macon for a story on education and diversity.

Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, and Dr. Geri Collins, associate professor of education, delivered four presentations at the annual conference of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators held Oct. 5-7 in Rogers, Arkansas. The presentations were titled “Nurturing Teacher Candidates' Preparation for edTPA,” “Ideas for Teaching Writing across the Curriculum in the Elementary and Middle Grades,” “Advancing Teacher Candidates' Abilities to Nurture Problem Solving Abilities in Learners” and “Comparative Mathematics Education in the United States and England: Shared Struggles and Future Directions.” Dr. Lacefield and eight graduate students presented “Creative Writing in the Mathematics Learning Environment” Oct. 18-20 at the annual conference of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics at the Rock Eagle Conference Center in Eatonton.

Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor, Dr. Sybil Keesbury, associate professor, and graduate students Laura Johnson, Bena DeVaney and Andrea Gardner presented “Moving Towards Being More Culturally Responsive” at the 36th Annual GATESOL Conference in Macon. Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Vicki Luther, associate professor, presented “Investigating Undergraduate Level Methods Instruction Using Brookfield's Critical Incident Questionnaire” Oct. 12 at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor, co-authored “Anatomical variation of inguinal nerves” in the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews.

Townsend School of Music

Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, associate professor and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, presented a program Oct. 12 for the Macon Morning Music Club at Wesleyan College's Pierce Chapel. She spoke about Mercer and the Center for Strings and performed the first movement of Dvorak's piano quintet with McDuffie Center Distinguished Artist and G. Leslie Fabian Piano Chair Elizabeth Pridgen and students Tiani Butts, Aky Locke and Zhihao Wu. Moretti also performed “Girl from Ipanema” with CEO of the Macon Pops Steve Moretti on cajon, Pridgen and students Keoni Bolding, Butts, Locke, Wu and Chris Yick. Moretti performed as a volunteer violinist with the Academy for Classical Education's choir, directed by LeaAnne Walters, on Oct. 3.