Faculty and Staff Notables


Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, professor, made a presentation, titled “Interdisciplinary Teaching,” Oct. 2 at the Georgia Educational Research Association annual conference. The presentation displayed cooperative projects that were made during coursework of two recent Mercer graduates, Stephanie Thrower and Rista Rogers, who attended the Douglas County Regional Academic Center.

Dr. Sara E. Luke, assistant professor of special education, Dr. Deana J. Ford, assistant professor of graduate education, and Dr. Michelle Vaughn, associate professor of literacy education, co-authored a peer-reviewed conference proceeding, “Using virtual simulation to prepare future teachers,” and presented the paper at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) Interactive 2020 Online Conference.

Dr. Robbie J. Marsh, assistant professor of special education, began work on an Institute of Education Sciences-funded grant to test the efficacy of a blended reading program with struggling adolescent readers in juvenile justice. The grant project will include teacher professional development training in December with implementation in January. Dr. Marsh was asked to make a presentation on the project at the Georgia Positive Behavioral Supports conference in December.

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, co-authored “‘The Old Black Ram’: Using Othello to Study Racializing Language” with colleague Selena Hughes. The manuscript was published in English Journal. Dr. Panther also presented twice at the Georgia Educational Research Association annual conference with Paul Siegel and Latoya Tolefree, current Mercer doctoral students. Their presentations were titled “Critical Memetic Analysis to Grow Youth Understanding and Meaning Making” and “Researching Sociocultural Trauma-Informed Instruction During Protests and Quarantine.”

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, co-authored “Can’t stop this feeling: Tracing the origins of historical empathy during the New Social Studies era, 1950-1980” in Educational Studies. She also presented “Emphatically our battle: A content analysis of the New York City African Free School curriculum, 1789-1840” and “Ruffled Feathers: Student activism and censorship of the Great Speckled Bird in Atlanta, Georgia: 1968-1976” at the annual conference of the Organization of Educational Historians, held virtually on Oct. 2.

Dr. Jeannette Anderson, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Daniel Dale, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Integrating advocacy throughout a Doctor of Physical Therapy program” at the American Physical Therapy Association’s 2020 Education Leadership Conference, held virtually Oct, 16-18. Dr. Taylor also co-presented “Stopping falls in Georgia: A united initiative among physical therapy educators” at the conference. Dr. Anderson presented “Student mental health: Results from the ACAPT task force study” and co-presented “Tracking the PT management and outcomes with an eccentric exercise program for a geriatric patient with prior TKA presenting with patellar tendinopathy,” “Importance of manual therapy in the rehabilitation post-TKA” and “Acute low back pain in a patient with history of psoriatic arthritis: Mechanical, systemic, or both?” at the virtual APTA Georgia Annual Conference on Oct. 24. Also at that conference, Dr. Dale, who serves as president of the APTA Georgia Chapter, co-presented “State of the Association.” Dr. Ellen Perlow, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Jeffrey Ebert, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, presented “When shoulder pain isn’t shoulder pain: A review to sharpen your examination and clinical reasoning skills,” and Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Applying a biopsychosocial treatment approach to an adolescent with a centralized pain state.”

Dr. Emily Gabriel, assistant professor of athletic training, co-authored “An intervention based on the health belief model led to improvements in self-efficacy towards exercise-related injury prevention program participation and functional performance in club sport athletes: A pilot study,” in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, presented on “Development of a multi-factorial fall prevention program (UpRIGHT!) based on the theoretical framework of the PRECEDE-PROCEED model” at the virtual American College of Rehabilitation Medicine Conference on Oct. 22. At the same conference, Dr. Leslie Taylor, Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, Jennifer de la Cruz, clinical assistant professor of physician assistant studies, and Dr. Susan W. Miller, professor of pharmacy practice in College of Pharmacy, presented on “Retrospective content analysis of course objectives: Are we preparing healthcare providers to deliver age-friendly care for older adults?”

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, co-edited, with Natalie J. Ring, The Lost Lectures of C. Vann Woodward, published by Oxford University Press in New York. She also published a review essay, “Never Just Witnesses: Reassessing Southern Women’s History in the United States,” in the Journal of Women’s History 32.3 (Fall 2020): 154-163.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor and director of creative writing, authored the poem “Attention Deficit Disorder,” accepted for publication in the winter issue of Forum Magazine published by Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Dr. Riku Kawaguchi, assistant professor of sociology, was interviewed by WGXA for a story titled “‘Macon is a good example’: How violent crimes are reshaping communities.”

Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion, published two columns in Good Faith Media on the topic “Do Christians Have a Stake in Democracy?”

Tennille Shuster, associate professor of graphic design, was selected by jury to exhibit her artist’s book, titled Bound Together, in “The Book As Art v. 8.0,” a national exhibition hosted by the Decatur Art Alliance at the DeKalb County Public Library as part of the AJC-Decatur Book Festival and the Guild of Bookworkers Standards of Excellence Seminar in Decatur from Aug. 28-Oct. 17. She was also selected by jury to exhibit her letterpress printed poster, titled “Vote Smart,” in “Reverting to Type: Protest Posters,” an international exhibition hosted by New North Press at Standpoint Gallery in London, United Kingdom, from Nov. 20-Dec. 20.

Dr. Rosalind Simson, associate professor of philosophy, and Dr. Creighton Rosental, professor of philosophy, as co-presidents of the Georgia Philosophical Society helped to create and organize the online workshop “Ethical Issues in Today’s Turbulent World,” the first online conference for the Society, which took place Oct. 22-23. Dr. Simson gave the talk “The Ethics of Masks and Mask Mandates.”

Dr. LaDonia D. Patterson, lecturer, is serving as co-project director for the “High School to Higher Education: Increasing Black Male Representation in Nursing” pilot pipeline program. This project is supported by funds awarded to the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC) from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Patterson serves as co-chair for the GNLC Diversity Committee with Dr. Gaea Daniel, also co-project director. Dr. Patterson and Dr. Daniel co-wrote the project proposal on behalf of the GNLC in collaboration with GNLC members Dr. Lisa Eichelberger, Dr. Karen Rawls and Dr. Rebecca Wheeler. Brief descriptions of the project can be found on the websites for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action and the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition. The Atlanta Black Nurses Association, Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, Clayton State University School of Nursing, Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Georgia Nurses Association and United Advanced Practice Nurses of Georgia have committed to being community partners and provided matching funds for the project.

Dr. Clinton Canal, assistant professor, was appointed as a reviewer for Molecular Biology Reports (Nature Springer).

Dr. Katlynn Mayberry, clinical assistant professor, authored “Chapter 4: Drugs of Abuse” published in the Side Effects of Drugs Annual: A Worldwide Yearly Survey of New Data in Adverse Drug Reactions (42); Elsevier 2020.

Dr. Nicole Metzger, clinical associate professor, received the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Adult Medicine PRN Seed Grant for her project, titled “Impact of Inpatient Pharmacy-Driven Transitions of Care Services on Clinical Outcomes.”

Dr. Pamela Moye-Dickerson, clinical associate professor, was appointed a grant review for the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, was appointed committee chair and treasurer for the Ambulatory Care PRN Budget and Finance Committee in American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Dr. Arla Bernstein, assistant professor of communication, was named chair of the Sustainability Committee for the National Communication Association’s Environmental Communication Division.

Dr. W. David Lane, professor of counseling, co-authored a paper with Caroline Fernandes, a Ph.D. student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program, titled “Multicultural Supervision Best Practices,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Counseling Research and Practice. Dr. Lane also presented a webinar, “Counseling and the Military: Culture, Clinical Issues, and Best Practices,” Oct. 16 for the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, reviewed the following articles for peer reviewed journals: “Learning support provisions for postsecondary students with disabilities in Kuwait” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies and “Disaster preparedness and safety school as a conceptual framework of comprehensive school safety” for Sage Open. He also reviewed “Stress, prevention, and resilience among first responders” and “The influence of aerobic fitness on heart rate responses of custody assistant recruits during circuit training sessions” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Dr. David Purnell, adjunct professor of communication studies, received the Best Journal Article Award from the International Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry for his article “I should have been wearing the pink triangle” published in Departures in Critical Qualitative Research.

Dr. Bob McGinty, senior principal mechanical engineer, presented “MH-60 Full Scale Test Rig Loads Development and Analysis” at the Vertical Flight Society forum held virtually Oct. 6-8. The paper discussed work done by MERC for the U.S. Navy in collaboration with the Australian Defense Science and Technology Group on the Helicopter Airframe Full Scale Fatigue Test – Technology Demonstrator. Co-authors included Jeff Brenna from MERC, NAVAIR contributors Dan Liebschutz and Phil Conjelko, and John Vine from DST Group.

Dr. Ken Taylor, senior principal aeromechanical engineer, presented “Determining TH-1H Tailboom Loads from Measured Strain Gage Data” at the Vertical Flight Society forum held virtually Oct. 6-8. The paper discussed work performed by MERC for the U.S. Air Force. Co-authors included MERC engineers Maggie Gibson and Katie Mason Mullis.

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, was an invited participant at the interdisciplinary conference on Smart Cities: Data, Tech, Institutions, and Trustworthy Governance sponsored by Villanova University School of Law on Oct. 9-10. He also attended an online session of the Indiana University Ostrom Workshop Cybersecurity Program, of which he is an external affiliate, on “Making Democracy Harder to Hack.”

Dr. Andres Marroquin, associate professor of economics, started a book club through the Center for the Study of Economics and Liberty that began Oct. 21 with the book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life. Subsequent sessions are planned for Nov. 4, Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.

Dr. Michael MacCarthy, associate professor of environmental and civil engineering and director of the Cecil Day Family Center for International Groundwater Innovation, gave an invited presentation on “Exploring the Potential for Social Marketing in Accelerating Self-Supply Water Systems” at the Rotary 2020 Virtual WASH Symposium for District 5450 based in Colorado in early October.

Cathy Cox, dean and professor of law, was quoted in “Trump told Supporters to ‘Watch’ Voting. His Staff Is More than Watching” Oct. 9 by Danny Hakim and Stephanie Saul in the New York Times. Cox was also quoted in “2020 Daily Trail Markers: …Battlegrounds in the Battlegrounds, Georgia – Gwinnett County”Oct. 7 by Caitlin Conant in CBS News. Cox was the speaker for the Macon Masters Series: Election Security 2020 on Oct. 17 at The Grand Opera House in Macon. She also spoke during the Leadership Lessons Series for Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 14 in Canton, moderated the session on “Ethics, Professionalism, and the Role of the Attorney General of the United States: Lessons from History” for the Mercer Law Review Symposium on Oct. 16 in Macon and served as panelist for “Celebration of 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment” for the Columbus/Muscogee County Bar Association on Oct. 15, Columbus, “Hidden Figures: A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment” for the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and Gate City Bar on Sept. 29 and “Voting and Voter Suppression” for the Women’s Philanthropy Network of Atlanta’s 19th Amendment Program Series on Sept. 23. Cox was a panelist for the session “Women Power the Vote” for the League of Women Voters of Georgia’s Equality Week on Aug. 28. She was quoted in “Former Georgia SOS Says Raffensperger Should Recuse Himself From Voting Hearings” by Lisa Rayan and Emil Moffatt Sept. 10 for WABE 90.1 Radio, and she was quoted in “Georgia Secretary of State faces backlash over double-voting claims” by Beau Evans for Capitol Beat News Service on Sept. 9, appearing in the Athens Banner-Herald, Griffin Daily News and Marietta Daily Journal.

Christina Hunt, adjunct professor, worked with the Peyton Anderson Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Georgia Inc. to produce the public service announcement and online resource “Armed with Knowledge.”

Brian Kammer, director of the Mercer Habeas Project, published the chapter: Social Workers in Capital Defense Practice: Demystifying Human Frailty/Empowering Conscience in the book Social Work, Criminal Justice, and The Death Penalty, edited by Lauren A. Ricciardelli and published by Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190937232.003.0006.

Billie Jo Kaufman, interim law library director and visiting professor of law, was appointed to serve as the liaison from the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress to the ABA.

Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law, authored “Rewritten Judgment, In re Estate of Myers, 256 Neb. 817, 594 N.W.2d 563” in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts And Estates Opinions, 137-148, edited by Deborah S. Gordon, Browne C. Lewis and Carla Spivack and published by Cambridge University Press. Sneddon was elected chair of the Association of Legal Writing Directors Scholars Forum Committee for 2020-2021.

Scott Titshaw, associate professor of law, was a panelist for the session “Issues in Adoption, Surrogacy and ART” at American Immigration Lawyers Association Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago. The panel discussed immigration and citizenship consequences of adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology.

Pam Wilkins, associate professor of law, co-authored “Feminist Perspectives on Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.” The article was co-authored with five other professors and accepted for publication in the Connecticut Law Review online. The other authors include Ann McGinley (UNLV), Nicole Porter (Toledo), Danielle Weatherby (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville), and Catherine Archibald (Detroit Mercy).

Dr. Ibolja Cernak, professor of pathophysiology and neuroscience, signed a collaborative agreement with the Japanese National Defense Medical College Research Institute in Tokyo as a visiting research fellow full professor equivalent in the field of biochemical and photomechanical analyses of traumatic brain injury. The Institute’s director, Nariyoshi Shinomiya, provided the following message about the new collaboration: “Since improvised explosive devices started to be used for terrorism and regional conflicts, the number of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related diseases has been increasing day by day. Dr. Cernak is a distinguished researcher well-known to all over the world for her ingenious research about the mechanisms of blast-related injuries. She has both onsite experience in the battlefield and the power to pull the scientific community in this research area. I first met her at the International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures and was immediately attracted to her outstanding talent as a researcher. Now I am very excited about doing research with her to unravel the true nature of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of blast-induced neurotrauma and TBI. I believe that our research collaboration will definitely open the way for the treatment and prevention of brain injuries. I hope we can make a good example of the friendly relations between your university and our research institute.”

Dr. Bonny L. Dickinson, Harvard Macy Fellow and associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of microbiology and immunology, co-authored “‘It is this very knowledge that makes us doctors’: an applied thematic analysis of how medical students perceive the relevance of biomedical science knowledge to clinical medicine” in BMC Medical Education.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor, was appointed a reviewer for educational content for the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2021 Global Health Conference & Exhibition. The HIMSS organization informs health care policy decisions in multiple countries. Dr. Klatt also published the 31st edition of the textbook Pathology of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kimberly Roth, assistant professor of community medicine, co-authored “Refining acculturation measures for health research: Latina/o heterogeneity in the National Latino and Asian American Study” in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research and “Hotline Use in the United States: Results from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys” in Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.

Dr. Richard Kosowski, director of graduate studies, chair of vocal studies and professor of music, coordinated an effort by students and faculty to record demonstration audio tracks for a new sacred song anthology, “Sing Praise!,” published by MorningStar Music, a division of ECS Publishing Group. Dr. Kosowski was assisted by with the assistance of Dr. Carol Goff, professor emerita of collaborative piano. They coached and accompanied junior sopranos Katherine Bartlett and Caroline Cooke; senior baritone Cameron Rolling; graduates and current Master of Music students baritone Jonathan Taylor Mosley and mezzo-soprano Mary Grace Roark; and Class of 2020 graduate tenor Collin LaHood in recorded performance of the 14 songs and duets in the anthology. “Sing Praise!” was released for national distribution in early October.

Dr. Jack Mitchener, professor of organ, University Organist and director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music, recently gave a lecture and recital devoted to the organ chorale preludes of Johann Sebastian Bach. The event, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, took place at White Oak Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, with safety measures such as masking and social distancing and included the collaboration of the South Carolina Bach Choir.

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, was a keynote speaker at the 2020 Evolving Faith conference, where she spoke on the topic “A Wilderness People.” Held virtually, the conference attracted an audience of more than 6,000 people from around the world. She also spoke at the National Council of Churches Christian Unity Gathering, where she led the opening session on repentance with the Rev. Dr. James Forbes and the Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

Dr. Susan Codone, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and professor of technical communication in the School of Engineering, was the chapel speaker at Wesleyan College on Oct. 1. Her talk was titled “Taking Our Stories into the Public Square” and was based on her Aug. 7 article in Christianity Today, titled “Public Theology isn’t just for Academics: Our Faith Comes to Life When We Share our Stories.”

Tony Kemp, senior director of academic services, was recently elected to another term as an advisor representative on the Executive Committee of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society as part of the 45th National Convention and Leadership Workshops. He has advised Mercer’s chapter of the organization since 2001 and been involved on the national level since 2006. In 2022, Phi Eta Sigma will celebrate its national 100th anniversary, and Mercer’s chapter will turn 90 years old.

Stefanie Swanger, assistant director for the Center for Career and Professional Development, and Anne Kelly, director of graduate career management services in the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, were selected as members of the inaugural cohort of the GACE Leadership Institute sponsored by the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers. Participants for the highly selective institute were chosen based on their leadership potential and involvement in the college career development and recruitment profession.