Faculty and Staff Notables | November 2023

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Sun shines through the golden leaves of a tree on Mercer's campus in the fall

College of Education

Dr. Susie Morrissey, assistant professor of mathematics education; Dr. Thomas Koballa, dean; Dr. Judy Godfrey, adjunct and Citizens and Scholars mentor; Dr. Bob Allen, chair of the computer science department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Dr. Michael Dias, professor of science education at Kennesaw State University; Shawn Utley, project analyst at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College; and DeAnnia Clements, president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, had the article “Designing a program to develop computer science master teachers for an underserved rural area” published in the Journal of STEM Teacher Education.

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 and “Language, literacy, and (dis)ability” in Focus with Mercer doctoral student Rosi Sanchez. Dr. Panther also presented with Dr. Lucy Gitonga, assistant professor of special education; Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education; and Dr. Felicia Baiden, assistant professor of elementary education, at the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, and doctoral student Katlynn Cross presented “Using G-Suite to Promote Historical Inquiry about the COVID-19 Pandemic in Social Studies” at the annual meeting of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Perrotta also presented “Teaching Historical Empathy: Women’s History” with Rebecca Ljundren, education programs manager at the National Women’s History Museum, at the George Washington’s Mount Vernon Digital Teaching Symposium.

Dr. Elaine Thurmond, assistant professor and co-director of early learning and development, Douglas County Regional Academic Center, co-authored with Susan Cannon and Mercer doctoral students Tynetta Jenkins and Erica Warren the chapter “Rejecting Good Mother” in Academic Mothering: Fabulating Futures for Higher Education.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Huey Chen, professor of public health, and Liliana Morosanu, instructor of public health, co-presented “Advancing Evaluation Theories and Approaches Through Attention to Problem-Solving Philosophies: Reductionism, Systems Thinking, and Pragmatic Synthesis” at the American Evaluation Association Conference held Oct. 12 in Indianapolis.

Dr. Daniel Dale, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, presented “Simulation Hacks: A Practical Toolkit for Creating Simulation Fidelity on a Budget” at the American Physical Therapy Association 2023 Educational Leadership Conference held Oct. 14 in Philadelphia.

Shannon Jackson, academic director and clinical assistant professor of physician assistant studies, presented at the 2023 Physician Assistant Education Association Forum. She and physician assistant faculty from Premier Health, Touro University California and Butler University presented the topic “Cultivating the Future PA Leader.” The presentation provided leadership development resources and strategies that physician assistant faculty can incorporate throughout a student’s academic career. The presentation reviewed leadership assessment tools and opportunities for student leadership within physician assistant programs and beyond.

Dr. Davi Lakind, assistant professor of clinical psychology, was elected chair of the Dissemination Implementation and Community Engagement Committee of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.

Dr. Michelle Robbins, clinical associate professor of clinical psychology, co-authored “Emotional Intelligence Moderates the Stress-Depression Link in College Students Before and During COVID” published in Current Psychology.

Dr. David Sultan, associate professor of public health practice, co-authored the article “A Problem in NIH and Federally Funded Prostate Cancer Interventional Clinical Trials” published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy, and Dr. David Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented “Implementing Interprofessional Modules to Support DPT Students’ Proficiency in Providing Age-Friendly Care to Older Adults” at the American Physical Therapy Association 2023 Educational Leadership Conference held Oct. 14 in Philadelphia.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Alexis Chauchois, assistant professor of French, had four undergraduate students from his History of French Cinema class showcase their cinema research at the SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum during the fifth annual event Oct. 13-14 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The students and their research topics were as follows: Stephanie Amendola, “Au revoir les enfants: A Film of Testimony Against Antisemitism;” Papa Guerrero, “Abel Gance’s Napoléon: A Modern Love Letter to the Past of Theater;” Harumi Kano Torres, “Feminism and Masculinity in Eléonore Pourriat’s Je ne suis pas un homme facile;” and Cynthia Osorio-Magaña, “Living in the Shadows: The Forgotten Story of the First Black Artist in France, ‘Chocolat.’”

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, Distinguished University Professor of History, presented “The Illusions of Power: Henry Dakin, Citizen Diplomacy, and the Cold War” at the international workshop on “Dis-/Connecting the World: Subjectivities, Networks and Transcultural Encounters Across Cold War Boundaries” at Bielefeld University in Germany, Oct. 5-6. 

Dr. David A. Davis, professor of English, presented the paper “Corn and Colonialism in William Bartram’s Travels” at the Southeastern American Studies Association conference in Atlanta on Sept. 29.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, delivered a lecture on Shakespeare and the American Civil War at the University of South Carolina on Oct. 13.

Dr. Anastasia Kerr-German, assistant professor of biological psychology and neuroscience, presented her article “Delays in Neural Attention Network Development Underpins Working-Memory Strategy Differences in 2- to 5-Year-Olds With and Without Risk for ADHD” at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conference in New York. Dr. Kerr-German also co-published “Cultivating The Toddler Data Desert with the Visual Attention Processing Protocol: A Novel Scalable Measure of Individual Differences in Attentional Processing from 2-6 years old” in Cognitive Development.

Dr. James Davis May, assistant professor of English and director of creative writing, read as part of the College of the Florida Keys Poetics Reading Series, and his poem “The Snake in the Living Room” was featured by Verse Daily on Oct. 18.  

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, associate professor of global health studies and Africana studies, delivered a lecture titled “Teen Pregnancy in Middle Georgia: An Unfinished Business” during the Monthly Family Medicine Residency Grand Rounds held Oct. 27.

Dr. John Stanga, assistant professor of biology, presented “Smoking out a mechanism of parasitic weed germination” as an invited speaker to the University of South Carolina Aiken Department of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences.

College of Nursing

Dr. Lanell M. Bellury, professor and Ph.D. coordinator, was invited to give the keynote address at the Oct. 14 Northside Hospital Cancer Institute 11th Oncology Nursing Symposium “Navigating the Map to Evidence-Based Oncology Nursing Practice.” Dr. Bellury’s presentation was titled “Nursing Research is for Everyone: Generating and Using Research for Best Patient Outcomes.”

Dr. Emma El-Shami, clinical assistant professor, published “‘Commit to Sit’ to increase patient satisfaction” in Nursing

Dr. Linda A. Streit, professor, was invited to speak at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students state convention in Athens on the topic, “I Want to Return to School, But Is the Time Right?” Dr. Streit also published a column in the Georgia Nurses Association’s October/November/December 2023 issue of Georgia Nursing, titled “The Essential Elements for Teaching Nursing History and the Linkage to Professional Identity” that focuses on the importance of including history within nursing curricula.

Dr. Seongkum Heo, professor, co-published “Effects of meditation intervention on self-management in adult patients with type 2 diabetes: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis” in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Raquibul Hasan, assistant professor, co-authored with graduate students Emmanuella Ezewudo, Farzana Zerin, Sreelakshmi Menon and Nimi Simon “A novel dual-action inhibitor of the endothelin system for treating hypertension” in Hypertension on Oct. 11. 

Dr. Susan Miller, professor, was co-editor of “Tools of the Apothecary” in Tools of the Apothecary, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Nader Moniri, associate dean and professor, co-authored with graduate students Kirti Singh and Razan Teyani “Oxidation of the β2-Adrenergic Receptor and Signaling in Airway Epithelial Cells.” Dr. Moniri and graduate student Razan Teyani also published “Gut feelings in the islets: The role of the gut microbiome and the FFA2 and FFA3 receptors for short chain fatty acids on β-cell function and metabolic regulation” in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Dr. Pamela Moye, clinical professor, was re-appointed as a standing member of the Health Information Technology Study Section for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (October 2023-August 2024).

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor; Dr. Lydia Newsom, clinical associate professor; Dr. Lori Dupree, clinical assistant professor; and Dr. Angela Shogbon Nwaesei, clinical professor, co-authored “Incorporation of innovative strategies for patient education in pharmacist-led transition of care initiatives” in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy on Oct. 11.

College of Professional Advancement

Dr. Arla Bernstein, associate professor of communication and program coordinator, and her students in the Integrated Communication Capstone course of the Department of Liberal Studies are serving the Historic District Development Corporation, an Atlanta community revitalization and preservation organization that serves the National Historic Landmark-designated, Black business neighborhood of Sweet Auburn (integral to the American Civil Rights movement and the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr.) to study the ecocultural values of community gardens in marginalized communities. Collaborating with Dr. Bernstein in development of an ecocultural assessment protocol is Dr. Colleen Stapleton, chair of the science department. Their work forms the basis of Dr. Bernstein’s presentation at the 24th International Conference on “Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Socio-Environmental Challenges in Times of Climate Emergency.”

Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security/emergency management, reviewed the following manuscripts for peer-reviewed academic journals: “A Comparative Study on Critical Thinking Skills of ISEC and Non-ISEC Teachers in Institutions of Higher Education for the North of China” in the Journal of Education and Training Studies; “Exploration of Undergraduate Vocational Education in China: Process, Experience and Strategy” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies; “Teaching and Learning Strategies and Clinical Leadership in Undergraduate Nursing Education: A Literature Review” for the Journal of Education and Training Studies; “Medical Forensic Performance in Situations of Potentially Unlawful Deaths in the Custody of the Venezuelan State” for the Forensic Research and Criminology International Journal; “Heart Rate Variability Assessment of Specialist Police Selection Candidates Completing a Land Navigation and Load Carriage Activity” for the MDPI Journal of Healthcare; “Evaluation of Community Emergency Management Capability Based on SWOT Analysis – A Case Study” for the MDPI journal Sustainability; and “Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Mental Health in Athletes: The Multiple Mediating Effects of Basic Psychological Needs and Generalized Anxiety Disorder” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Dr. Tyce Nadrich, associate professor of counseling, presented “Countering the narrative: Exploring Black, paternal, perinatal mental health” at the bi-annual conference for the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision in Denver on Oct. 13. 

Dr. K. Lynn Pierce, assistant professor and program coordinator for the Ph.D. in counselor education, presented on “Accessible Instruction and Developing a Disability Affirming Counselor Education and Supervision Program” at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision 2023 conference. She also was on a panel on self-preservation in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and coordinated disability justice breakouts for the Diversity and Inclusion Interest Network pre-conference sessions.

Dr. Stefanie Sevcik, assistant professor of writing and interdisciplinary studies, delivered a presentation titled “Global South Women’s Political Identity and Literature” at the Association of Global South Studies Annual Conference on Oct. 21 in Decatur.

School of Business

Jody Blanke, the Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, had his article, “ChatGPT: The Sky is Not Falling,” accepted for publication by The Journal of Legal Studies Education.

Dr. Blake Bowler, assistant professor of accounting, was featured in WalletHub’s piece about checking accounts in October.

School of Engineering

Dr. Susan Codone, professor of technical communication and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, had her book chapter “Using Generative AI to Perform Stacked Evaluations of Educational Documents: Provoking Students to Think on Successively Higher Levels” accepted for publication in Teaching and Generative AI: Pedagogical Possibilities and Productive Tensions (Utah State University). The book is part of the Empower Teaching Open-Access book series.

Dr. Hunmin Kim, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, published the following articles: “Robust Vehicle Lane Keeping Control with Networked Proactive Adaptation” in Artificial Intelligence; “Backup Plan Constrained Model Predictive Control with Guaranteed Stability” in the Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics; and “Optimal Bi-level Lottery Design for Multi-agent Systems” in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems. Dr. Kim also presented his conference paper “Tackling Airspace Congestion: A Scalable and Robust Framework for End-to-End UAS Traffic Management” at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems in Bilbao, Spain. He also co-authored a presentation with undergraduate student Wai Hlyan Min Thein titled “UAV Hijacking via GPS Spoofing: Dynamics, Countermeasures, and the Attacker-Defender Playbook” for the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium at Rice University in Houston.

Dr. Dorina Mihut, associate professor in the mechanical engineering department, working in collaboration with Dr. Sahar Hasim, assistant professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; mechanical engineering students Lauryn McGahee and Benjamin Parisi; and biology students Jheel Kiritbhai Patel and Victoria Gomez, published “Metallic Magnetron Sputtered Deposited Coatings for Controlling Biofilm Formation” as a contributed presentation in Society of Vacuum Coaters Bulletin, fall and winter edition.

School of Law

Jarome Gautreaux, adjunct professor, was featured in WalletHub’s guide about totaled cars in August.

Sarah Gerwig, professor and director of experiential education, presented “Lessons from Long Covid: Helping Students Build Healthy Habits (and Building Them Ourselves)” at the Southern Clinical Legal Education Conference in Atlanta. Gerwig and Elizabeth Grant presented “Incorporating Students into Access to Justice Work” at the State Bar of Georgia Conference on Pro Bono Initiatives at the University of Georgia. Gerwig also was a moderator and discussant for the Works-in-Progress Session at the Southern Clinical Legal Education Conference in Atlanta, and she was a speaker presenting “Victor Hugo Was Right All Along: Les Miserables, Contemporary Parole Practices and What We Can Learn from Drug Courts” at the Mercer Law Review Symposium in Macon.

Meagan Hurley, assistant professor, runs the Habeas Project clinic that represented Joey Watkins, who was exonerated on Sept. 21 after spending 22 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

Scott Titshaw, professor, has been appointed rapporteur for “A GLOBALCIT Agenda for Global Citizenship Studies,” a conference of directors, regional coordinators, staff and collaborators of the Global Citizenship Observatory network to be held Nov. 16-17 in Florence, Italy. 

School of Medicine 

Dr. Yahya A. Acar, director of medical simulation, presented four studies at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in San Francisco. The research shared at the conference contributes to the ongoing advancements in the field of anesthesiology and medical education. The studies presented were: “Assessment of simulator-based remote training for mastery learning of ultrasound-guided difficult peripheral vascular access,” “Comparison of standardized tapping with a device to manual tapping on peripheral vein dilatation for peripheral IV access: A prospective non-randomized, controlled study,” “Procedural target visualization with a mixed-reality headset for instruction or guidance,” and “A simulator for training in performing challenging spinals.”

Dr. Brian H. Childs, professor and chair of the bioethics and medical humanities department on the Savannah campus, presented “The Varieties of Religious Experience in Clinical Ethics” on a panel discussion at the annual conference of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities in Baltimore. Dr. Childs also joined a task group of ethicists, transplant surgeons, organ procurement organization representatives and public members to develop ethics guidelines for in situ abdominal and thoracic normothermic regional profusion in organ donation and transplantation.

Dr. Raghavan Chinnadurai, assistant professor of oncology, participated and presented his laboratory research on mesenchymal stem cells in the invited roundtable session at the International Society for Cell Therapy North American Conference in Houston.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of pathology in the biomedical sciences department on the Savannah campus, served as a reviewer for educational content submissions in technology, instruction, cognition and learning to the American Educational Research Association 2024 Annual Meeting. Dr. Klatt also served as a reviewer of presentations on the topic of health equity to be presented at the Health Information and Management Systems Society 2024 Global Health Conference and Exhibition. The HIMSS organization informs health care policy decisions in multiple countries.

Dr. Manish Mishra, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, was a collaborator for two articles: “Global, regional, and national mortality due to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, 2000-2021: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021” published in Lancet Public Health in October; and “Global burden of peripheral artery disease and its risk factors, 1990-2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019” published in Lancet Global Health in October. 

Joseph A. Slattery, assistant director of medical simulation on the Savannah campus, was the primary organizer of a training session where Kenya E. Jones, assistant director of medical simulation on the Columbus Campus; Dr. Yahya A. Acar, assistant professor and director of medical simulation on the Macon campus; and Dr. Robert Sarlay Jr., assistant professor and senior director of medical practice, completed the Ultrasound-Guided Central Venous Catheter Insertion Train the Trainer course by Teleflex at the Savannah Campus Beck Simulation Lab and became certified to conduct the course furthering their commitment to advancing health care practices. 

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, and medical student Rachel Fricker presented their research “Plasma and water fluoride concentrations in relation to levels of sex hormones among U.S. adolescents” at the 2023 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo in October in New Orleans.

Dr. Iuliia Zhuravlova, associate professor of biomedical sciences, and Dr. Anne Montgomery, associate professor of community medicine, published the article “The Anatomic Variability of the Lateral Ventricles of the Human Brain Depending on Age and Sex” in the journal Cureus.

School of Music

Calista Anne Koch, adjunct professor and harp instructor, was elected to the board of the Georgia Chapter of the American Harp Society.

Dr. Nathan Myrick, director of undergraduate studies and assistant professor of church music, was named co-editor of a special issue of The Yale Journal of Music and Religion titled “The Timbre of Religion.” The issue is due out in fall 2025.

Dr. Katie Rios, associate professor of musicology, is preparing a presentation that has been accepted for the annual meeting of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association in February 2024.

Staff and Administration

Tamar Perla Cantwell, assistant director of the Academic Resource Center, published her first book of short stories, Romance World (What Books Press). It is available on Amazon and bookshop.org.

Felix Jelen, assistant vice president of global engagement, and Dr. Kathryn Kloepper, vice provost of engaged learning and professor of chemistry, co-facilitated the interactive session “Are We Prepared? Addressing Faculty and Staff Preparation for Global Learning Experiences” at the 2023 AAC&U Conference on Global Education on Oct. 13 in Washington, D.C. On Oct. 14, Dr. Kloepper facilitated a roundtable discussion on assessing global learning. Dr. Kloepper also served on the conference planning committee and reviewed proposal submissions.

Bryan Johnson, program coordinator of global education, presented “Grants and International Education: From Finding Proposals to Funding Progress” at the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors Region VII Conference on Oct. 11 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Tony Kemp, associate vice president of events and special programs, judged the Georgia High School Association’s Division I Region 2A One-Act Competition on Oct. 20 at Bleckley County High School. Along with the host school, this region included Dublin, East Laurens and Jefferson County high schools.