Faculty and Staff Notables


College of Health Professions

Dr. Meghan Cody, clinical assistant professor, served as a delegate to the eighth World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies held in Melbourne, Australia, in June. Dr. Cody presented her research, titled “Autobiographical memory specificity after trauma and stress: measures, mechanisms, and mental health.”

Dr. Elizabeth Dickerson, clinical assistant professor of physician assistant studies, co-authored “An unusual cause of hoarseness and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy” in Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants 29: 35-37, 2016.

Dr. Jeffery Ebert, clinical assistant professor, received his recertification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as an orthopedic clinical specialist.

Dr. Ann Lucado, assistant professor, and Dr. Bethany Collier, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Chronic UCL Injury: A multimodal approach to correcting altered mechanics and improving healing in a college athlete” in International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 11(4): 614-626, 2016.

Dr. Ellen Perlow, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Niamh Tunney, clinical assistant professor, co-authored “Integrating safe patient handling into physical therapist education: reducing the incidence of physical therapist injury and improving patient outcomes” in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education 30(2): 32-37, 2016.

Dr. Tony Stillman, associate professor of clinical medical psychology, received the 2016 American Psychological Association Early Career Achievement Award.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Sara C. Appleby, assistant professor of psychology, published an article, titled “Psychology, Public Policy, and Law,” in the American Psychological Association Journal.

Luke Buffenmyer, assistant professor of art, is presenting an exhibition of paintings, titled “New Work,” at the Peacock Gallery through Sept. 30 at Middle Georgia State University's Cochran campus. He gave the gallery talk at the opening reception for the exhibition on Aug. 29

Dr. Garland Crawford, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Kathryn Kloepper, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Great Books Program, co-organized a symposium, titled “Liberal Arts in the Chemistry Classroom: Making Connections to Improve Learning, Engagement, and Teaching,” at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in August. Both also presented work at the symposium.

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English and director of national fellowships and scholarships, presented “Minding the Store: Faulkner and the Sharecropping Economy” at the American Literature Association conference May 26-29 in San Francisco, California. Dr. Davis also presented “Southern Soldiers in American Uniforms: World War I and the Performance of Nationalism” at the Regionalizing American Studies symposium hosted by the United States Studies Centre Aug. 8-9 at the University of Sydney.

Dr. Chamaree de Silva, assistant professor of physics, traveled to India in June and taught physics and math to Buddhist monks as the result of a partnership between Emory University and the Dalai Lama.

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science and director of the First-Year Integrative Seminar, attended the Teaching Professor Conference June 3-5 in Washington, D.C., and participated in the workshop on “Strategies and Techniques to Engage Students.” He also served as a reader and grader of the 2016 Advanced Placement Exam for computer science June 10-18 in Kansas City, Missouri. Along with 300 other teachers and professors from across U.S., Dr. Digh graded a record 6,000 exams.

Dr. John Marson Dunaway, professor emeritus of French and interdisciplinary studies, participated in Duke University Divinity School's sixth annual Summer Institute for Reconciliation June 6-11 in Durham, North Carolina. The Macon delegation included Dr. Matt Harper, assistant professor of history, and the Rev. Jason McClendon of Community Church of God.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history, presented “The Mountain of Human Misery: Reading in Confederate Camps” at the Society of Civil War Historians Conference June 1-4 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She also served as a faculty member at the Civil War Institute June 17-22 at Gettysburg College.

Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, professor emeritus of history and College of Liberal Arts Research Fellow, wrote an article for the BBC, titled “What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island,” for the August issue of its online history magazine.

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, assistant professor of global health, participated in the 10th  annual Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts (IPLA) May 10-13 at Emory University Oxford College. She also delivered a presentation, titled “Exploring the Context of Sexual Risk among youth in Macon: Multi-level Bivariate Associations,” at the 2016 Research Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS) summer conference July 13 at Yale University. Dr. Obidoa also co-authored a paper, titled “The relationship between housing subsidies and supportive housing on neighborhood distress and housing satisfaction: does drug use make a difference?,” in Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention Policy 11(1):20.

Dr. Anya Silver, assistant professor of English and director of women's and gender studies, published a book of poetry, titled From Nothing.

Dr. Richard F. Wilson, professor of Christianity and chair of the Department of Religion, was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his continuing service to the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary and the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention as the sixth president of the seminary.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Kevin Murnane, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, received a Junior Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society and Epilepsy Foundation for his work, titled “A nanotechnology approach to developing new treatments for epilepsy.”

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Jody Blanke, professor of computer information systems and law and Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Chair, was a panelist at the Southeastern Association of Law School (SEALS) annual conference in Amelia Island, Florida. He presented “Big Data: Big Opportunities in Business and Government, and Big Challenges in Law and Ethics.” He was also a panelist at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he spoke regarding “The Ethics and Impact of Big Data.” He also presented a paper with his co-author on “Using evolutionary resilience to foster privacy in a smart city: a case study.” Blanke was elected president-elect/program chair of the ALSB, and Mercer will be the host of the 2017 annual conference in Savannah.

Dr. Elizabeth Chapman, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Faye A. Sisk, professor of management, co-authored “HRD and HRM: levers for sustained competitive advantage: combining isomorphism and differentiation,” which has been accepted for publication in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Management and Organization. Contributing authors include Dr. Jeffrey Schatten from Washington and Lee University and Dr. Edward Miles from Georgia State University. 

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

Dr. Allen Lynch, associate professor of economics, had a manuscript, titled “An easily implemented and accurate model for predicting NCAA tournament at-large bids,” for publication in the Journal of Sports Analytics.

Dr. Geoffrey Ngene, assistant professor of finance, recently published

“Determinants of mortgage default rates: pre-crisis and crisis period dynamics and stability” in the Journal of Housing Research, 25(1), 39-64.

Dr. Faye A. Sisk, professor of management and director of graduate programs, was an invited panelist by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) to join industry experts in discussing “Best Practices and Success Criteria for Leading a Virtual Team.” More than 130 business professionals attended the event in May on Mercer's Atlanta campus.

Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, was featured in an article on WalletHub about the best and worst cities in which to start a business. 

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Fran Kamp, clinical associate professor, presented a poster, titled “To be a PE or not to be a PE: Recognizing the Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism,” at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning in Grapevine, Texas, in June. She also received the Frontline Simulation Champion Excellence Award at the conference.

Grace Lewis, clinical associate professor, reviewed the Wolters Kluwer “Basic Respiratory Assessment” Tutorial and Post-test in July.

Dr. Charles A. Smith, clinical professor, presented “Presenteeism in nursing: a mixed-methods study of its relationship to nurse fatigue and patient safety” on June 22 at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Melissa Browning, assistant professor of contextual ministry, was quoted in a Baptist News Global article, “Like Gissendaner, Wood Case May Change Hearts on Death Penalty.” She also published a recent podcast through SymposiumEthics on McAfee's immersion trip to East Africa.

Dr. Thomas B. Slater, professor of New Testament language and literature, has been elected into Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (Society for New Testament Studies [SNTS]). SNTS is the most prestigious learned society for the study of the New Testament and related subjects and has an international membership. Membership requires publishing in the highest venues across the entire field of New Testament studies. Dr. Slater has three publications in New Testament Studies. He has also published three books and more than 40 refereed articles and book chapters on the Gospels and Acts, the Pauline tradition, Jewish/Christian apocalypticism and Second Temple Judaism. He has authored studies on challenges in translation in both the Old and New Testaments as well as studies on specific New Testament passages/topics. One of his translation studies has been rendered into French. Dr. Slater also has memberships in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association and has a Ph.D. in biblical studies from the University of London.

Mercer Engineering Research Center

Owen A. Bock, technical specialist, traveled to Yerevan, Armenia, in May as a member of the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing. He worked alongside Armenian contractors to renovate 12 residential suites of an elderly home, improving the safety and living conditions of the residents. The project was part of the European Command Humanitarian Civic Assistance program. At the end of the project, the airmen were recognized for their efforts by U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges.

Penfield College

Dr. Wesley Barker, assistant professor of religious studies, received a Mercer University Provost SEED Grant to fund workshops for Penfield faculty and faculty in two-year colleges focused on the development of curricular pathways that emphasize evidence-based reasoning to build student capacity to think critically in a world of unscripted problems. Experts who have developed, implemented and assessed changes in humanities curricula will lead the workshops. The project will support Dr. Barker's work as a STIRS (Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills) Fellow for the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the work of Penfield to establish new pathways to signature work in the major. Dr. Fred Bongiovanni, chair of liberal studies, collaborated on the grant proposal.

Dr. Vikraman Baskaran, assistant professor of informatics, Dr. Arla Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, Dr. Caroline Brackette, associate professor of counseling, Dr. Lynn Clemons, department chair of leadership studies and associate professor of organizational leadership, Dr. Steve Hamilton, assistant professor of human services sociology, Dr. Kristina Henderson, assistant professor of counseling, Dr. Laurie Lankin, professor of counseling, Dr. Suneetha Manyam, associate professor of counseling, Dr. Richard Martin, professor of criminal justice and public safety, Dr. Cameron Miller, department chair of human services and psychology and assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Kathy Robinson, assistant professor of counseling, Dr. Steve Ruegger, associate professor of criminal justice and public safety administration, Dr. Tyler Wilkinson, assistant professor of counseling, and Dr. Andrea Winkler, associate professor of history, recently completed a certificate program in “Online Course Design and Delivery” through the Office of Distance Learning. The 15-hour certificate program consists of three levels of hands-on instruction in the use of the University's learning management system, the application of instructional design methodologies to content development and the implementation and delivery of learning through the use of asynchronous and synchronous online tools.

Dr. Vikraman Baskaran, assistant professor of informatics, Dr. Donald Ekong, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering, and Dr. Mary Mathis, assistant professor of public health in the College of Health Professions, received a Mercer University Provost SEED Grant to create a prototype mobile application that monitors patients with chronic disorders such as Type 1 Diabetes.

Dr. Arla Bernstein, visiting assistant professor of communication, developed a pedagogical model with a grant from Emory University that uses a service-learning project as a vehicle for increasing students' environmental literacy in a public speaking course. Methodologically, this project will provide a practical model of public speaking (both oral and visual) as both an art and science. Dr. Bernstein is teaching the course at Mercer this fall.

Dr. Richard H. Martin, professor of criminal justice and homeland security, completed a review of “The Correlation Between the Fourth Grade Students' Level of Functional Literacy and Metacognitive Awareness” and “Localizing educational curriculum of tertiary institutions in South Africa to meet societal needs, approach for sustainable development in developing societies” in July for the Journal of Education and Training Studies. Dr. Martin has been appointed an affiliated distinguished advisor to the Center for Public Service at Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama. He also has an article on leadership development, titled “Military, university, and police agency command and staff colleges in the United States,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Education and Training Studies, September 2016, vol. 4, (issue 9).

Dr. Morgan Kiper Riechel, assistant professor of counseling, received a Mercer University Provost SEED Grant to fund qEEG brain imaging of professional ethical decision-making. The award will fund additional equipment for the counseling program's neuroscience lab and counseling student research.

Dr. Zipangani Vokhiwa, associate professor of science, was invited to speak at Parkside Elementary School of the Atlanta Public Schools District in celebration of Multicultural Week through his role as president of the Fulbright Association in Georgia.

Dr. Tyler Wilkinson, assistant professor of counseling, received a Mercer University Provost SEED Grant in support of research on the use of Oculus Rift virtual reality technology to enhance acquisition of counseling skills and outcomes. Dr. Feng Liu, associate professor of informatics, and Dr. Morgan Kiper Riechel, assistant professor of counseling, are collaborators on this project.

School of Engineering

Dr. Pam Estes Brewer, associate professor of technical communication, was made a fellow in the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and also received the Distinguished SIG Service Award. STC is the world's largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of the field of technical communication. The society's members span the field of the technical communication profession and reach across every industry and continent.

School of Medicine

Dr. Hamza Awad, assistant professor of community medicine, authored a manuscript, titled “Performance of the GRACE Risk Score 2.0 Simplified Algorithm for Predicting 1-year Death Following Hospitalization for an Acute Coronary Syndrome in a Contemporary Multiracial Cohort,” which was accepted for publication by the American Journal of Cardiology.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, assistant professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, and fourth-year medical student Smit Jani published, “Information Management in New Motherhood: Does the Internet Help or Hinder?” in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Dr. Barkin also published “Perinatal Nurse Home Visiting Referral Patterns among Women with Diabetes and Hypertension in Philadelphia” in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. Dr. Barkin and third-year medical students Katherine Rhoades and Sarah Telliard published “Applications of and Barriers to Holistic Self-Care in a Low-Income, High-Risk Obstetric Population” in Women's Health Issues. A French translation of Dr. Barkin's Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning was requested by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The measure will be implemented into their prenatal mental health clinic as an outcomes measure.

Dr. Richard F. Camino-Gaztambide, clinical associate professor, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and psychiatry clerkship director, was recognized as a distinguished fellow by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Camino, along with colleagues from Vanderbilt University, the University of Puerto Rico and Southside Medical Center, presented “Telehealth in Mental Health” May 12 at the VII Intercontinental Psychology Convention Hominis in Havana, Cuba.

Dr. Shi-Wen (Albert) Jiang, professor of molecular biology and genetics, co-authored “miR-424(322) reverses chemoresistance via T-cell immune response activation by blocking the PD-L1 immune checkpoint” in Nature Communications.

Dr. Richard Leighton, professor of internal medicine, recently finished writing a memoir, titled Dear Folks: A Memoir From 500 Letters, based on letters written to his parents from the 1940s to the 1980s. He will discuss a portion of these letters recounting his experiences as a navy flight surgeon in the Western Pacific during the 1950s Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler.

Dr. Jinping (Jennifer) Li, assistant professor of histology, received the International Association of Medical Science Educators 20th annual meeting travel award in June.

Dr. Rob McKallip, associate professor of immunology, Dr. Hao Ban, postdoctoral scientist, Dr. Olga Uchakina, research technician III, and Bryan Hostetler, graduate student in the biomedical sciences master's program, published an article, titled “Inhibition of hyaluronic acid formation sensitizes chronic myelogenous leukemia to treatment with doxorubicin,” in the journal Glycobiology. Dr. McKallip and Dr. Dayle Daines, associate professor of microbiology, was issued a patent, titled “Alternative splicing constructs and methods of use,” by the United States Patent Office on July 26.

Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education and director of AIDS research education, recently published “On the relationship between belief and acceptance of evolution as goals of evolution education: twelve years later” in Science and Education, 25(5-6):473-496.

Dr. Melton Strozier, professor emeritus in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, recently received an honor of recognition from the American Psychiatric Association for six years of service on the editorial board of the journal Academic Psychiatry

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, and Puja Parikh, third-year medical student, recently published a research article, titled “PAHs and PM2.5 emissions and female breast cancer incidence in metro Atlanta and rural Georgia” in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research. Parikh has worked with Dr. Wei on this research project since summer 2014.

Staff and Administration

Kim Adams, administrative assistant for religious life and Mercer On Mission, earned her Master of Business Administration from the Stetson School of Business and Economics.

Michael Junod, director of the University Center, was promoted to the rank of colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He was pinned by his wife, Leigh Ann Junod, and mother, Emily Junod, in July. Col. Junod has more than 27 years of service, four combat deployments and 31 unit and individual awards and decorations, which include the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Col. Junod currently serves as the Detachment No. 3 Commander at Corpus Christi Army Depot for the Army Reserve Sustainment Command.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor of education, Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor of education, and Dr. Justin Ballenger, assistant professor of education, recently made presentations at the Best Teaching Practices Conference in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. The conference was a collaborative initiative with Tift College and Universidad Central del Este to provide professional learning for Dominican teachers. Dr. Carr's presentations were titled “Getting Students to Show What They Know,” “Increasing Student Talk about Content” and “Increasing Active Student Participation.” Dr. Vaughn's presentation was titled “SMART Goal Setting for You and Your Student,” and Dr. Ballenger presented on the topic “Critical Thinking and Questioning Strategies.”

Dr. Carol Isaac, assistant professor of education, was invited to present “Strategies for Gender Equity for Educators in STEM” at the American Association of Physics Teachers in Sacramento, California. Her presentation was based on her co-authored work “Difficult dialogues: faculty responses to a gender bias literacy training program” in Qualitative Report, 21(7), 1-12.

Dr. William Lacefield, professor of mathematics education, attended the Love Learning Conference held Aug. 4-5 in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Lacefield participated in a roundtable discussion and shared information on mathematics education in the United States.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor of education, and dr. debra leigh walls rosenstein, associate professor of education, published “Provisional admission and other predictors of attrition in a graduate program of education” in the Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, 4(2), 113-119.

Dr. Karen Swanson, associate professor of education and chair of the Tift College Regional Academic Centers, Dr. Jane West, associate professor of education, Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor of education, dr. debra leigh walls rosenstein, associate professor of education, and Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor of education, recently presented “Faculty Professional Learning Community: Blending Brookfield and Fink to Redesign Syllabi and Learning Experiences” at the Lilly Conference on Designing Effective Teaching in Asheville, North Carolina. The International Teaching Learning Cooperative hosted the conference.

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Richard Kosowski, associate professor and director of graduate studies, narrated the Macon Symphony Orchestra's (MSO) performance of Prokofiev's beloved children's symphony “Peter and the Wolf” for two capacity crowds of Bibb County school children and at the MSO's subscription performance of “Once Upon a Symphony,” with Dr. David Keith, dean, conducting. He also served as chorus master for the Mercer University Youth Choir's (MUYC) performance of three movements from “The Nursery Rhyme Cantata” in the same concert. Dr. Kosowski conducted the complete seven-movement work with the MUYC in Macon during the ensemble's spring concert as part of the “Music and Arts” series at Vineville United Methodist Church and on the ensemble's eight-day national tour to Nashville, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois, during June.

Amy Schwartz Moretti, associate professor, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings, performed the complete cycle of Beethoven's string quartets with the Ehnes Quartet June 25-July 3 in Seoul, South Korea. The six concerts, titled “Four Days–Six Concerts–18 Pieces,” took place in the IBK Chamber Hall of the Seoul Arts Center for the 2016 DITTO Festival: “Beethoven: Beyond the Limits.” She also performed at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival in Washington, July 5-11, presenting music by Beethoven, Dvo?ák and Strauss in Benaroya Hall; the Napa Valley “Music in the Vineyards” Chamber Music Festival in California, July 28-31, performing Mozart, Brahms, Pugnani and Boccherini; and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival on Long Island in New York, Aug. 14, 15 and 19, performing works by Fauré, Martinu, Brown, Harbison and three of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Moretti served as one of the judges of the Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings June 2-3 in San Francisco, a competition where she was the violin winner in 1997.

Walter F. George School of Law

Steve Johnson, professor of law, recently presented “We Can Do More: The Course Source” at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Conference in Atlanta. Johnson's article “#Better Rules: The Appropriate Use of Social Media in Rulemaking” will be published in the Florida State University Law Review later this year.

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor of law, was recently appointed as a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Karen Sneddon, professor of law, co-presented a teaching workshop on “Challenges and Strategies for Changing Times” at the biennial conference of the Legal Writing Institute July 12 in Portland, Oregon. She was also a discussion group participant and moderator for “Teaching Trusts and Estates in the Age of Assessment” at the meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Aug. 6 in Amelia Island, Florida. She was selected as a member of the SEALS New Scholars Committee and the SEALS Trusts and Estates Resource Group for 2016-2017 and editor-in-chief of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.