Fifth Annual Mercer Atlanta Research Conference to Showcase Student and Faculty Scholarship


ATLANTA – The fifth annual Mercer Atlanta Research Conference will be held April 11 on the Cecil B. Day Campus and will feature 89 students presenting and 16 faculty presenting from six of the University's 12 schools and colleges.

Penfield College Assistant Coordinator of the Doctoral Program and Associate Professor of Counseling Dr. Kenyon Knapp first organized the conference in 2011 “out of a desire to encourage and inspire both students and faculty to become more involved in research activities, as well as provide a venue where they can share their findings.”

This year's Monroe F. Swilley Jr. Student Research Award will be presented to Michelle Vu. The award, which includes a $250 cash prize, recognizes a student who best incorporates the use of the University Libraries' collections and services and demonstrates active critical thinking. This year's runner-up, Cathy Liu, will receive a $100 prize.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Rueben Warren, director of the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University. Dr. Warren earned his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, Doctor of Dental Science degree from Meharry Medical College, as well as Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He completed a two-year residency at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in dental public health. Dr. Warren also holds a Master of Divinity degree in ethics and theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, where he currently serves as director of the Institute for Faith-Health Leadership and adjunct professor of public health, medicine and ethics.

Dr. Warren's keynote address is titled “Think Globally and Act Locally: Engage in Community Based Participatory Research,” and is based on an article, titled “A Foundation for Public Health Ethics at Tuskegee University in the 21st Century,” that he co-authored for the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Following the welcome and keynote address, from 9:30-10:45 a.m., poster presentations and concurrent speaker sessions will be held in the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center until 2:40 p.m. Presenters will represent Penfield College, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Tift College of Education, College of Pharmacy, McAfee School of Theology and College of Health Professions.

The research conference has grown steadily over the last five years, mirroring the university-wide increased focus on research and scholarship.

Joining Dr. Knapp on the conference's planning committee are Dr. Nancy deClaissé-Walford from McAfee School of Theology, Dr. Karen Swanson from Tift College of Education, Dr. Lanell Bellury from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Dr. Nader Moniri from the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Sheena Brown from the College of Health Professions, Florence Tang from University Libraries, and Dr. Caroline Brackette, Dr. Wesley Barker, Dr. Lynn Tankersley, Dr. Sabrina Walthall, Dr. Kevin Williams, Dr. Cameron Miller and Dr. Margaret Eskew from Penfield College.

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.