Faculty and Staff Notables

Fall Convocation 2018

Dr. Jeannette Anderson, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, was appointed to the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy’s task force on identifying best practices to enhance awareness of student-clinician mental health and wellness.

Dr. Joseph Donnelly, clinical professor of physical therapy, co-edited the book Travell, Simons and Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, 3rd edition, with Dr. Jennifer Freeman, adjunct clinical assistant professor of physical therapy. Dr. Nora Beth Collier, clinical assistant professor, Jeffrey Ebert, clinical assistant professor, Timothy McMahon, clinical assistant professor, Deborah Wendland associate professor, Ann Lucado, associate professors, Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor, and, Dr. Amanda Blackmon, Dr. Margaret Gebhardt, and Dr. Laura Gold, adjunct clinical assistant professors of physical therapy, also authored chapters.

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor of physical therapy, co-authored a manuscript, titled “Determinants of Playfulness of Young Children with Cerebral Palsy,” electronically published in the journal Developmental Neurorehabilitation on May 10.

Dr. Jonathan Addleton, adjunct professor of international and global studies, wrote an opinion piece, titled “Yoho’s initiative benefits Mongolia, US,” for the Gainesville Sun in Florida. He also spoke to students at the NEH Summer Seminar “Enduring Legacies of a Global Mongol Empire,” hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in August and sponsored by the American Center for Mongolian Studies, of which he is executive director. Dr. Addleton gave presentations on his book, The Dust of Kandahar, at several venues, including the Third Age Summer Lecture Series in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and the Downtown Macon Rotary Club.

Dr. Craig D. Byron, associate chair and associate professor of biology, co-published with Mercer students Meghan Segreti, Katelyn Hawkinson, Katelyn Herman and Shivam Patel a paper, titled “Dietary Material Properties and Cranial Suture Complexity in the Mouse Calvarium,” which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Anatomy.

Craig Coleman, professor of art, had five of his works purchased and placed into the permanent collection of the University of West Georgia in May. The five works will be on display in the offices of the Biology Department and the Art Department and feature botanical imagery that speaks to ideas and issues in both art and science.

Dr. Garland Crawford, associate professor of chemistry and director of University Honors, and Dr. Kathryn Kloepper, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Quality Enhancement Plan, presented “Laboratory exit interviews: promoting engagement and reflection in analytical chemistry” at the Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education held July 29-Aug. 2 in South Bend, Indiana. They also co-organized and co-presided over the symposium “Communication in chemistry: engaging students with oral communication in lecture and laboratory classes.”

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English and associate director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies, gave the plenary address at the Southern Writers, Southern Writing Conference July 18-22 at the University of Mississippi. His talk was titled “A Good Mayonnaise is Hard to Find: Flannery O’Connor and Culinary Codependency.” Three students also presented at the conference, including Meghan Duffey on “The Silencing of Clytie Sutpen: An Intersectional Feminist Critique of Absalom, Absalom!,” Madeline Cole on “Flannery O’Connor’s Abject Divine Corpses,” and Ashlyn Rebel on “Seeing Red and Green in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘A View of the Woods.’” Dr. Davis also gave a talk, titled “The Great War in Mississippi,” for Historic Macon on Aug. 14.

Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science, participated in the 2018 Advanced Placement exam reading and grading for computer science June 1-10 in Kansas City, Missouri. He helped in the grading of a record 66,000 exams of students from all over the world.

Dr. Abigail P. Dowling, assistant professor of history, Kathryn Wright, archivist at Tarver Library, and Kristen Bailey, research service librarian at Tarver Library, published an article, titled “Academic collaboration for experiential learning: Perspectives on using archival collections and information literacy in history education,” in the June issue of College and Research Libraries News. The article explained student use of artifacts from the Holmes Collection recently donated by Dr. Y. Lynn Holmes and held at Tarver Library. College and Research Libraries News is the publication of record for the Association of College Research Libraries.

Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History, presented “‘I Was Not Made to Be Separated from My Loved Ones’: Guilt and Despondency in Exile,” at the meeting of the Society of Civil War Historians on June 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also spoke at a roundtable discussion on gender discrimination in the academy at the meeting of the Southern Association for Women Historians May 25 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Gardner was appointed to the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Book Jury, which awards its prize to the best book published in social history.

Dr. Elizabeth Harper, assistant professor of English, presented a research paper, titled “Rape, Rehabilitation, and the Wife of Bath’s Tale,” at the biennial meeting of the New Chaucer Society in Toronto, Ontario, in July. Her paper was part of a panel discussing sexual violence in the works of Chaucer, with an emphasis on how to handle such issues in the undergraduate classroom.

Dr. Clara Mengolini, assistant professor of Spanish, and Dr. Antonio Saravia, associate professor of economics, obtained a Mercer University Provost Office Seed Grant for their project titled “Marxist Indoctrination in Children’s Literature and Visual Media: The Case of Latin America’s 21st Century Socialism.” Dr. Mengolini also presented “Conflict and Racial Identity in Latin-American Youth Literature: Graciela Rendón’s La Marca en la Tierra” at the Fifth International Conference on Language, Literature and Society in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from July 19-21.

Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo, assistant professor of anthropology and global health studies and director of Mercer Service Scholars, published an article, titled “‘Witchdoctors’” in White Coats: Politics and Healing Knowledge in Tanzania,” in the journal Medical Anthropology.

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, assistant professor of global health, received a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship in May to co-develop an associate’s degree curriculum in gender and climate change for Egerton University in Kenya. Because of expressed need and interest, she also created two certificate programs in gender and climate change for the same university. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to increase Africa’s brain circulation and build capacity at the host institutions. Dr. Obidoa also delivered a presentation on gender and climate change at the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee planning meeting held June 19-21 in Naivasha, Kenya.

Dr. Randall D. Peters, professor emeritus of physics, published an article titled “Order out of HRV complexity,” where HRV stands for “heart rate variability,” one of the presently hot topics in both medicine and the sports world.

Dr. Jill Augustine, assistant professor, received an honorable mention in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching competition.

Dr. Ajay Banga, professor, co-authored three publications: “Poly (vinyl alcohol) microneedles: Fabrication, characterization, and application for transdermal drug delivery of doxorubicin” in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Official Journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V, 129, 88-103; “Effect of ablative laser on in vitro transungual delivery” in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 544(2), 402-414; and “Qualitative and quantitative analysis of lateral diffusion of drugs in human skin” in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 544(1), 62-74.

Dr. Candace Barnett, associate dean, received special recognition by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for 10 years of service on the University Assessment Council and for fostering assessment excellence in the College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Clint Canal, assistant professor, was named chairperson for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Dr. Martin D’Souza, professor, received the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Award for Excellence in Research. He also received a $462,658 grant from the National Institutes of Health for “Whole cell Neisseria gonorrhoeae micro particulate vaccine.”

Dr. Martin D’Souza, professor, and Dr. Kevin Murnane, assistant professor, co-authored the publication “Nanoparticle formulations that allow for sustained delivery and brain targeting of the neuropeptide oxytocin” in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 548(1), 698-706.

Dr. Christine Klein, clinical assistant professor, was accepted into the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leadership Fellows Program, an intense program to develop emerging leaders in academic pharmacy.

Robert Lamb, director of finance and administration, was named the chair of the Administrative and Financial Officers Special Interest Group for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, and Dr. Renee Hayslett Rowe, associate professor, co-authored ”Therapy for Open-Angle Glaucoma” in The Consultant Pharmacist, 33(8), 432-445.

Dr. Susan Miller, professor, was named a member of the Bylaws Committee with the Georgia Pharmacy Association.

Dr. Kathryn Momary, associate professor, co-authored “A qualitative study of nuisance bleeding and medication-related beliefs with dual antiplatelet drug therapy” in Heart and Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care.

Dr. Pamela Moye-Dickerson, clinical associate professor, received the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Award for Excellence in Service.

Dr. Kevin Murnane, assistant professor, received the Best Podium Presentation Award at the Eighth Annual Mercer University College of Pharmacy and School of Medicine Joint Research Symposium.

Dr. Lydia Newsom, clinical assistant professor, Dr. Nicole Metzger, clinical associate professor, Dr. Jill Augustine, assistant professor, Dr. Reid Proctor, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Kathryn Momary, associate professor, received $1,450 from the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning for “Script Concordance Testing to Assess Clinical Reasoning with a Pharmacy Curriculum.” Dr. Newsom also co-authored “Professional development series in postgraduate pharmacy residency training: Experiences and opportunities” in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 10(9).

Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, was named chair of the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student and Resident Committee. Dr. Thurston was also named a professional teaching mentor for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, presided over the 93rd Annual Conference of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business in Portland, Oregon, as president. He presented a paper, titled “Top 10 Reasons to Be Optimistic about Privacy,” and chaired a panel discussion about “Best Practices for ALSB Sections.”

Dr. Antonia Saravia, associate professor of economics, and Dr. Clara Mengolini, associate professor of Spanish, obtained a Mercer University Provost Office Seed Grant for their project titled “Marxist Indoctrination in Children’s Literature and Visual Media: The Case of Latin America’s 21st Century Socialism.” Dr. Saravia also authored a paper “Pope Francis on Poverty and Economic Inequality: Good Intentions, Unfortunate Ideas,” which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Private Enterprise Education. He also was featured on WABE – NPR Atlanta twice recently speaking about microloans programs for refugees and gas price increases in Georgia.

Dr. Lane Wakefield, assistant professor of sports marketing and analytics, presented research and helped organize a social event at the 2018 American Marketing Association’s Summer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. His research is titled “Hedonic Forecasting of Sponsorship Promotions.” He also helped lead the Sport and Sponsorship-Linked Marketing Special Interest Group for a tour and lunch at Fenway Park with Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. Dr. Wakefield also was mentioned in the Portland Business Journal on July 9 in an article, titled “Big Brands on Campus: The NCAA conferences that get the most money from Nike, Adidas, UA.”

Suzanne Applegate, clinical assistant professor, Fran Kamp, clinical associate professor, and Dr. Daphnee Stewart, clinical instructor, presented “The Calm After the Storm: Creating a Community Focused Disaster” at INACSL in June. Applegate, Kamp and Daniel Dale, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy, presented “Assessing Collaboration, Communication and Understanding of Roles” in an Interprofessional Education event between nursing and physical therapy students in the ICU and acute care environments. They also received a Mercer University Health Sciences Center Interprofessional Education Development Grant.

Dr. Tammy Barbé, associate dean for the undergraduate program, presented “Transparent Assignments to Support Diverse Learners” at the Teaching Professor Conference in Atlanta in June.

Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, professor and coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, had an article accepted in the Western Journal of Nursing.

Dr. Justus Randolph, associate professor, co-authored “Hartman’s procedure or research with primary anastomosis—a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials in Techniques in Coloproctology. He also co-authored “Three-dimensional versus two-dimensional laparoscopic right colectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis” in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease.

Dr. Darlene Rogers, clinical assistant professor, co-designed, co-developed and taught “M 3 GAALTEC IPE – Train-the-Trainer” classes at Mercer, Clayton State and Dalton State as part of Interprofessional Curriculum Advisory Network in July and August.

Dr. Maura Schlairet, associate professor, presented “Gerontological Society of America: Accuracy of Self-Reported Physical Activity Level for Assessment of Older Female Breast Cancer Survivors.”

Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, contributed a chapter, titled “An Examination of the Songs of Ascents and Psalm 119 in 11QPsa” to a memorial volume for Peter W. Flint to be published later this year by Brill in their Studies of the Texts of the Desert of Judah series. In June, she completed editing of the November issue of the journal Review & Expositor on the topic “The Matriarchs in the Book of Genesis.” Also in June, she contributed a chapter, titled “The Importance of Place in Book Five of the Psalter,” to a book that grew out of a conference on “Land in South Africa” at the University of Pretoria in 2016. The book is being published in the Society of Biblical Literature series titled International Voices in Biblical Studies. In August, she contributed an article, titled “The Unheard Voices in Psalms 90, 91, and 92,” to Acta Theologica, a journal published by the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Dr. Thomas B. Slater, professor of New Testament studies, published “Afrocentric Interpretations of Paul and the Pauline Tradition” in July. Dr. Slater edited nine essays, three of which he wrote, on topics and passages in the study of the tradition around the Apostle Paul. The study includes seven articles and two sermons. Each provides a distinctively new way of understanding the life and ministry of Paul. This is his fourth book along with a monograph on the book of Revelation, a commentary on Ephesians and another volume of essays on Jesus, all with Edwin Mellen Press. Dr. Slater has published more than 40 articles across the spectrum of early Christian studies in journals and other scholarly projects around the world. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

Dr. Arla Bernstein, assistant professor of communication and Dr. Carol Isaac, assistant professor of research, collaborated on a research project that was accepted for presentation at the 19th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations at University of Patras, Greece, in June. The proposed presentation is titled “Community Bridge Building: Conversations with Students, Academia, and Neighborhood Stakeholders.”

Dr. Caroline Brackette, associate professor of counseling, presented “Mental Health Disparities: Addressing the Issue From a Cultural Competency Lens” at the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Justice Research at Emory University. She also served as a grant reviewer for the 2017-18 Psi Chi Unrestricted Travel Grants – Summer Grants Competition. Dr. Brackette attended Beyond the Physical: A Symposium on Mental Health in Sports hosted by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. She was also an invited guest to participate in a Georgia Public Broadcasting televised taping, “Opioid Crisis Town Hall.” Panelists for the broadcast included Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr; Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal; and representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug and Enforcement Agency and Georgia Drug and Narcotics Agency. The event was moderated by Bill Nigut and co-sponsored by the FBI, FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association and GPB.

Dr. Tim Craker, associate professor of comparative literature and philosophy, published “Testimony and Place in the Work of Victor Montejo” in the journal Studies in Testimony, Vol. 1, Issue 1. In addition, he published “Assessing Assessment: General Education, CLAC, and the Development of Responsible Global Citizens” in Developing Responsible Global Citizenship through Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum (CLAC) (CARLA: University of Minnesota).

Dr. Tri Le, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, and Dr. Awatef Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of mathematics, science and informatics, 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. Tri Le, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, Dr. Awatef Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of mathematics, science and informatics, Dr. Arla Bernstein, assistant professor of communication, Dr. Vikraman Baskaran, assistant professor of informatics, Dr. Greg Baugher, assistant professor of mathematics, Dr. Laurie Lankin, professor of counseling and human sciences, Dr. Margaret Eskew, professor of English, and Dr. Andrea Winkler, assistant professor of history, had project proposals that were accepted to participate in an event facilitated by the Office of Distance Learning. These faculty members facilitated a weeklong Summer Institute for Online Course Design in July on the Macon campus. Activities consisted of 12 presentations on topics centered around the themes of learner engagement and innovative online teaching practices. Participants engaged in hands-on activities in the use of technology tools to support teaching and learning and evaluated relevant technology tools and strategies to promote learner engagement and success in the online learning environment.

Dr. Hollis Phelps, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, appeared on Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Late Night Live” discussing the relationship between American evangelicalism and the Trump presidency.

Jacqueline Stephen, instructor of instructional design, was elected program chair of the Association Supporting Computer Users in Education (ASCUE) in June 2018. ASCUE is an international community of individuals committed to the innovation, implementation and furtherance of technology trends, equipment and practices within higher education. Stephen also co-authored “Revisiting the Historical Roots of Task Analysis in Instructional Design” in TechTrends in June.

Dr. Lynn Tankersley, associate professor of criminal justice, offered a presentation about “Integrating Technology into Traditional Face to Face Classroom Courses” at the Association Supporting Computer Users in Education’s 51st Annual Conference June 10-14 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Dr. Donald Ekong, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, participated in the Goodie Nation Hack[athon] for Development to hack cancer and STDs. This event was held at Google in Atlanta from June 22-24. The team he worked with won the Best Overall Software Design award for developing web and mobile apps that will be used in a digital advocacy campaign. The campaign will raise awareness to promote that college students need access to 24/7 safe, secure, and confidential HIV prevention tools and information. Dr. Ekong worked with another developer to create mobile (Android and iOS) apps for the advocacy campaign.

Mark L. Jones, professor, helped to organize and participate in two immigration-related events hosted at the Mercer Law School in April and August. The April event was for approximately 60 Georgia immigration coalition registered participants, addressing the general situation in Georgia with regard to deportation, immigrant detention, refugees, and DACA, as well as various faith-based and grassroots immigration-related initiative. At the August event, the bipartisan organization FWD.us provided an intensive immigration-focused digital accelerator advocacy training for approximately 30 registered participants. On April 28, Jones also participated on an immigration-focused panel in Johns Creek, hosted by the Nazeera Chai and Just Chat monthly program series organized for the Atlanta Indian community.

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor, authored a new book, Mastering Sales, which is a comprehensive overview of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, through Carolina Press. Written in clear, easy-to-understand language, it navigates the reader through the various provisions of the code, from contract formation to performance, breach and remedies. Complicated concepts, such as the notorious Battle of the Forms and the parol evidence rule, are broken down and explained plainly, but without losing any of the nuances of the rules.

Brandi A. Russell, director of admissions and financial aid, was recently elected a member of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Minority Network Executive Committee.

Karen J, Sneddon, professor, published an editor’s note in 22 Journal of Legal Writing Institute i (2018). She served as a speaker on “Happily Ever After: Fostering the Role of the Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller” at the Biennial Conference for Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills at the Emory Center for Transactional Drafting, Emory Law School on June 1 with Professor Susan Chesler. Sneddon also served as a discussant for “New Directions in Trusts and Estates Scholarship” at the Southeastern Association of American Law Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Aug. 9, and as a moderator and discussant for “More than ‘Stiffs and Gifts’ – Topic Coverage of a Modern Trusts and Estates Course” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Aug. 10.

Scott Titshaw, associate dean for academic affairs, was selected to serve as a grand marshal in the 2018 Atlanta Pride Parade. In June, the European Court of Justice delivered a judgment where, within the context of EU immigration, same-sex spouses have equal immigration rights as opposite-sex spouses. Earlier this year, the Advocate General cited Titshaw’s definition of “spouse” in his opinion on the topic.

Dr. Hamza Awad, assistant professor of community medicine, published a paper, titled “Spontaneous Resolution of Symptomatic Hepatic Sarcoidosis,” with fourth-year medical student Viva Nguyen in the journal Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine.

Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, associate professor of community medicine and obstetrics and gynecology, was designated a Key Opinion Leader in Women’s Mental Health for the State of Georgia by SAGE Therapeutics. SAGE Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel medicines to transform the lives of patients with life- altering central nervous system disorders.

Carolann Curry, library assistant professor, and Anna Krampl, library assistant professor, led a grand rounds presentation at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin on June 11. The presentation was titled “Evidence-Based Medicine: Locating the Best Evidence for Clinicians and Patients.” Curry and Alisha Howard, interlibrary loan assistant, had a poster accepted at the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta. The poster was titled “DynaMed Plus and UpToDate: Which Resource Do Medical School Libraries Subscribe To?” and was presented on May 20.

Dr. Hemant Goyal, assistant professor of internal medicine, served as a senior author for “Does ‘July effect’ exist in colonoscopies performed at teaching hospitals?” published in Translational Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the May issue. Dr. Goyal also published “Big-data Clinical Trial Column Opening the black box of neural networks: methods for interpreting neural network models in clinical applications” in Annals of Translational Medicine in June. He also served as a co-author for “Mechanism of death: There’s more to it than sudden cardiac arrest” published in the Journal of Thoracic Diseases in the May issue, and he co-authored “Bioinformatics analysis of differentially expressed miRNA-related mRNAs and their prognostic value in breast carcinoma” published in Oncology Reports in the June issue.

Dr. Doris Greenberg, associate professor of pediatrics, was awarded the Leila Denmark Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The lifetime achievement award recognizes years of dedication to the children of Georgia. Dr. Denmark, the award’s namesake, was the longest practicing pediatrician in Georgia. She practiced until she was 103 and died at the age of 112.

Dr. Nancy De-Claisse-Walford, Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, Dr. Jill Augustine, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Dr. Samantha Murfree, associate dean of students, Carrie Ingoldsby, director of campus life and student involvement, Rhonda Lidstone, associate vice president of human resources, and Candace Whaley, director of human resources services, were recognized by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) for exemplary annual assessment reports. The office is providing this recognition for the first time, beginning with the 2016-17 assessment cycle. The 2017-18 reports will be reviewed in the coming spring term. These reports were vetted by OIE as well as by members of the University Assessment Council and were chosen based on the commendable clarity of their outcomes and methods, meaningful results and analysis of data, and notably reflective updates and future plans based on results. The plans will be posted on the OIE website under “Assessment,” “Assessment Calendar” in the section on “Annual Peer Review of Assessment Reports.”

Dr. Sherah Carr, associate professor, Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor, Dr. Carl Davis, associate professor, Dr. Michelle Vaughn, assistant professor, and Dr. Jean Walker, assistant professor, made presentations at the Third Annual Best Learning and Leading Practices Conference in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, on Aug. 13-15. The conference was a collaborative initiative with Tift College of Education and Universidad Central del Este to provide professional learning for Dominican teachers, university professors and leaders. For the pre-conference sessions, Dr. Davis presented “Four Styles of Leadership,” Dr. Anderson presented “What the Numbers Tell Us: Using Data to Determine Professional Learning Needs,” Dr. Carr, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Davis presented “Identifying Effective Instruction: Strategies Proven to Increase Student Learning,” and Dr. Walker and Dr. Vaughn presented “A Blueprint for Effective Instruction for Higher Education Faculty.” During the regular conference sessions, Dr. Carr presented “Formative Assessment: The Proven Power Tool” and “Differentiated Instruction: Adding Variety and Meeting Student Needs.” Dr. Anderson presented “Teaching the Hard to Reach: Reaching the Hard to Teach.” Dr. Davis presented “Classroom Management: Strategies that Work.” Dr. Vaughn presented “Comprehension in the Content Areas” and “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy,” and Dr. Walker and Dr. Carr also presented “Planning and Organizing Instruction.”

Dr. Jack Mitchener, director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music, directed the Mercer Piano Camp from June 26-29. He also served as an adjudicator for the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Playing at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists July 2-3 in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition, he was a lecturer, clinician and service organist for the Alleluia Church Music Conference July 15-20 at Baylor University. In August, Dr. Mitchener began a new post as organist and artist-in-residence at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. He also gave recent recitals at St. Philip’s Cathedral and at Stetson University. In July, he began a two-year term as dean of the Atlanta chapter of the American Guild of Organists.