College of Education

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, was presented the Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award from the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators at its annual October conference. Dr. Panther also co-presented research at the conference with Dr. Felicia Baiden, assistant professor of elementary education, alumna Dr. Amberly Evans, current graduate student Joshua Wilkinson and additional Georgia colleagues, teachers and community members. The titles of these presentations were “Co-constructing financial language and literacy curriculum,” “Sustaining Black Language, Black histories, and community in Georgia” and “Elder knowledge and youth literacies: Youth participatory action research to change education.”

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, in partnership with Student Leadership Johns Creek, the Johns Creek Historical Society and Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction student Katlynn Cross, received a $25,000 grant. The grant, sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program and coordinated by Waynesburg University, is for the student-led research project “Same Storm, Different Boats: Documenting the Living History of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Students from Innovation Academy, Johns Creek High School, Chattahoochee High School and Northview High School are collecting artifacts that document the diverse experiences of community members during the pandemic. Two community events will be held in the spring to exhibit their research. Dr. Perrotta received a Mercer Provost’s Office Humanities Seed Grant to support this project. Dr. Perrotta also received the 2022 Emerald Publishing Literati Award for Outstanding Paper in Social Studies Research and Practice for her article “A study of elementary teachers’ perspectives on professional development for social studies.” This study was funded by a previous Humanities Seed Grant.

College of Health Professions

Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, presented “Physical Activity and Brain Health: What Your Healthcare Team Can Do to Help You Do What Matters” in collaboration with the Central Georgia Alzheimer’s Association, held virtually on Oct. 10. Dr. Taylor also presented “An Insider’s Guide to Fall Prevention” at the Georgia Falls Free Friday virtual session, sponsored by the Aging and Independence Services Group of the Atlanta Regional Commission, held on Sept. 30.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, co-presented “It’s All Connected: Vision, Hearing, Blood Pressure, Brain Health, and Fall Risk” at the Georgia Falls Free Friday virtual session sponsored by the Aging and Independence Services Group of the Atlanta Regional Commission, held on Sept. 23.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. David A. Davis, professor of English, published the omnibus review of literary criticism on William Faulkner for 2022 in American Literary Scholarship.

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science, and Dr. Kevin Cummings, professor of communication studies and theatre, presented a paper, titled “Machine Writing, Learning, and the Disappearance of the Pen,” at the annual conference of the Semiotic Society of America, hosted virtually Oct. 12-16.

Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion and director of the ethics, leadership and service minor, was elected vice president of the Polanyi Society. The society promotes the work of Michael Polanyi, a Hungarian-born physical chemist turned philosopher, whose work bridges natural science, economics, political theory, epistemology and theology. Dr. Lewis also attended webinars on “Character, Higher Education, and Democracy” featuring University of Virginia President James Ryan and “The Gospel of Matthew: Both Jewish and Sectarian” with John Kampen, sponsored by Hebrew Union College.

Dr. Matt Marone, professor of physics, presented a 90-minute workshop, titled “Daoist Alchemy Meets Proto-Chemistry: Extracting Copper from Bitter Water,” on Oct. 8 for the 51st Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies held at the University of Central Arkansas. His audience was a mix of K-12 teachers and experts in the field of Asian studies. Dr. Marone on Oct. 13 hosted a special astronomical observing session for students from the College of the Muscogee Nation, who were visiting Mercer as part of their annual “Home Lands Tour.” Participants received special permission from the National Park Service to visit Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park at night and set up two telescopes.  The students and faculty chaperones, many of whom were looking through a telescope for the first time, viewed Jupiter, Saturn and the Ring Nebula. Dr. Marone and his former student Michael Nierodzik, an engineering major, discussed some of the Mvskoke cultural traditions related to astronomy.

Dr. James Davis May, assistant professor of English and director of creative writing, had his poem “Depression in Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes” featured Oct. 13 on Poetry Daily. The poem originally appeared in Sugar House Review and will be included in his forthcoming poetry collection Unusually Grand Ideas, which will be published by Louisiana State University Press in February.

Dr. Josh Rodefer, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, co-authored the following articles: “A systematic review of the involvement of progesterone in schizophrenia” in North American Journal of Psychology, “Assessing the implementation of a short psychological critical thinking intervention in traditional and online courses” in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology and “Adolescent nicotine administration impacts working memory and reversal learning but not cognitive flexibility” in Developmental Psychobiology.

Dr. Laura Simon, assistant professor of sociology, co-authored the chapter “Racism, Family Structure, and Black families” for the forthcoming third edition of the book Families as They Really Are.

Dr. James Stanescu, assistant professor of communication studies, published a new article on mourning that was translated into Italian and published with the title “Lutto” in the 50th issue of Italian academic journal Liberazioni.

College of Nursing

Dr. Linda A. Streit, professor of nursing, was invited to speak Oct. 8 on the topic of “Education post-BSN: What’s next?” at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students’ State Convention held at Georgia Gwinnett College.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor, co-authored, with graduate student Deepal Vora, “Development and evaluation of a drug-in-adhesive transdermal delivery system for delivery of olanzapine” in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 2022 October 14:1-10, DOI: 10.1080/17425247.2022.2135700. Dr. Banga co-authored, with graduate students Amruta Dandekar and Madhura Kale, “Effect of compromised skin barrier on delivery of diclofenac sodium from brand and generic formulations via microneedles and iontophoresis” in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2022 Oct. 8, 628:122271, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122271. Dr. Banga co-authored, with graduate student Sharvari Kshirsagar, “Fabrication of polymeric microneedles using novel vacuum compression molding technique for transdermal drug delivery” in Pharmaceutical Research, 2022 Oct. 4, DOI: 10.1007/s11095-022-03406-8. Dr. Banga also co-authored, with graduate students Deepal Vora and Amruta Dandekar, “Development and evaluation of a topical foam formulation for decontamination of warfare agents” in Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2022 October, DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.2c00636.

Dr. Kathryn Momary, assistant professor, was recognized as a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy on Oct. 16 at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Global Conference in San Francisco. 

Dr. Lorenzo Villa Zapata, assistant clinical professor, co-authored “A disproportionality analysis of drug-drug Interactions of tizanidine and CYP1A2 inhibitors from the FDA adverse event reporting system (FAERS)” in Drug Safety, 2022 October, 45(8):863-871, DOI: 10.1007/s40264-022-01200-4.

College of Professional Advancement

Dr. Caroline M. Brackette, associate professor of counseling, was invited to present on mental health and students at the Association of Research Libraries 2022 Fall Forum in Washington, D.C. She also presented educational sessions on sport counseling and addressing the mental health and wellness of athletes at the American Counseling Association 2022 Virtual Conference Experience.

Dr. Zhiling Long, assistant professor of computer science, co-authored, with colleagues at Kennesaw State University, “Investigation of ant cuticle dataset using image texture analysis” in Applied Computing and Intelligence, Vol. 2, Issue 2: 133-151.

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, reviewed the following articles: “Nosological characteristics in women with social media disorder: the role of social functional impairment and agreeableness” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; “The relationship between personality traits and Facebook addiction among adolescents in an (urban, rural, semi-rural) secondary school” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; “Towards Active Evidence-Based Learning in Engineering Education: A Systematic Literature Review of PBL, PjBL, and CBL”  for Sustainability’s special issue on “Educational Research in the Era of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;” and “The perceptions of sexual harassment among adolescents of four European countries” for Children: Global and Public Health Section.

Dr. David Purnell, adjunct associate professor of communication, will be a featured speaker at the International Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry conference in December. He will speak about his latest book, Narrating Estrangement, a volume of accounts of family estrangement co-edited with Lisa Spinazola.

Dr. Don Redmond, associate professor of counseling and director of the Center for the Study of Narrative, was recognized at Five Star Stadium during a timeout in Mercer’s Sept. 17 home football game against The Citadel as faculty member of the game.

Dr. Jacqueline S. Stephen, assistant professor, director of the Office of Distance Learning and instructional designer, authored an article, titled “Student Development of Human Agency in an Online Course: Strategies for Instructors” in Faculty Focus, an online newsletter published by The Teaching Professor that is dedicated to providing effective strategies for the online and face-to-face college classroom. Additionally, Dr. Stephen facilitated two workshops for Five Star Automotive on Oct. 25-26. The workshop topics focused on outcomes associated with developing teams and managing conflict to produce positive change. Dr. Stephen also led an annual Canvas Learning Management System refresher on Oct. 27 for College of Professional Advancement full-time and adjunct faculty. During the session, she reviewed the University’s Distance Learning Faculty Handbook, demonstrated new Canvas functions and features, and emphasized application of best practices to the design and delivery of online courses.

School of Business

Dr. Laura Boman, assistant professor of sports marketing and analytics, presented her co-authored work, titled “The Benevolence of Actively Inflicting Misfortune: When and How Schadenfreude Increases Donations,” Oct. 21 at the Association for Consumer Research’s annual conference.

Dr. Briana Stenard, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, presented her original set of experiential exercises, the “SCAMPER Ideation Toolkit for Brainstorming and Creativity,” Oct. 28 at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Creative and Cultural Industries Symposium. Dr. Stenard also presented two of her research papers at the Southeastern Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ annual conference on Oct. 6-7. The papers were titled “The Implications of STEM Students Pursuing Graduate Education in Management” and “Human Capital and Transitions out of Entrepreneurship by Scientists and Engineers.”

School of Medicine

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, professor and vice chair of community medicine and professor of OB/GYN, received an A grade for her Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning in a systematic review, titled “Patient-reported outcome measures evaluating postpartum maternal health and well-being: a systematic review and evaluation of measurement properties,” in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM. An A grade represents the highest level of endorsement for use for performance and psychometric properties.

Dr. Raghavan Chinnadurai, assistant professor of oncology, and five students authored a research article, titled “Conglomeration of T and B Cell Matrix Responses Determines the Potency of Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells,” in Stem Cells.

Dr. Lora Denton, professor, was named a recipient of the 2022 AMWA INSPIRE Award, presented by the Leadership Council of the American Medical Women’s Association.

Dr. Gal Haspel, associate professor, co-authored “Semaphorin signaling restricts neuronal regeneration in C. elegans” in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. The paper is about the role of the semaphorin signaling pathway in neuroregeneration.

Dr. David Hollar, associate professor of community medicine, published “The competition of ecological resonances in the quantum metabolic model of cancer: potential energetic interventions” Oct. 29 in the journal Biosystems.

Dr. Peter Huwe, assistant professor of biochemistry, Dr. Olga Uchakina, research associate, and the School of Medicine and Mercer Medicine team that is tracking COVID-19 variants in Georgia as part of a Rockefeller Foundation grant recently tracked a subvariant with particularly concerning antibody escape mutations. Subvariant BQ.1.1 is one of only 900 viruses in the world with a combination of S mutations that are of concern to researchers.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of pathology, partnered with the American Society for Clinical Pathology to provide teaching resources for support of pathology education at the University of Global Health Equity in Kigali, Rwanda.

Dr. Krista Mincey, associate professor of community medicine, was recently appointed to the Science Board for the American Public Health Association (APHA) by its executive board. Her three-year appointment began in November. In this position, she will assist in assuring all APHA policy statements are evidence-based.

Dr. Richard H. Parrish II, professor of pharmacology and medical education, received a career achievement award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Clinical Administration Practice and Research Network at the 2022 Global Conference, held in San Francisco in October.

Dr. Sarah Rotschafer, assistant professor of neuroscience, was interviewed by The Macon Newsroom for a story about the utility of sensory rooms for children with autism.

School of Music

Dr. Jack Mitchener, professor of organ and church music, University Organist and director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music, played recent recitals at Central Baptist Church in Newnan, First Baptist Church in Savannah, First Baptist Church of Christ in Macon, The Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta and on the Lorenz International Keyboard Series at Fresno State University in Fresno, California.

School of Theology

Dr. Angela N. Parker, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, on Oct. 24 traveled to Minneapolis to deliver her lecture, titled “Catching God’s Breath in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter.” Dr. Parker was the invited lecturer for United Theological Seminary’s Gustafson Lectureship in New Testament Studies. The Gustafson Lectureship was established to honor Henry A. Gustafson, professor emeritus of New Testament theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Staff and Administration

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 2022 Georgia Housing Officers’ annual conference. The presentation was recognized as the best program session of the conference, and Dr. Swanger received an award and scholarship to present her research at the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers’ regional conference.

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