Mercer to Host Inaugural Service Leadership Conference


MACON – Mercer University will host its inaugural Service Leadership Conference Jan. 30, beginning at 9:30 a.m., on the Macon campus. The event will feature presentations by undergraduate and medical students exhibiting their commitment to community engagement.

More than 20 unique projects, many of which were implemented through the School of Medicine's Distinction in Service to the Community (DISC) program, will be represented.

The DISC program seeks to address various health, educational and socioeconomic disparities in Macon, Savannah and Columbus, Mercer's three medical school locations. Examples of these projects include teaching basic science at elementary schools, coaching young children about healthy snack choices, restructuring wait times at the health department and pushing physically disabled children across race finish lines.

“Because of their hard work and dedication, Mercer students are making their community a better place, developing valuable leadership skills and building relationships through their various volunteer projects,” said Jennifer Boryk-Ratner, coordinator of service learning and community engagement for the School of Medicine.

“Community members are invited to attend the Service Leadership Conference not only to learn about ongoing community partnerships with Mercer medical students, but also to learn how their organization or church group might become involved in a partnership.”

The conference will take place in the Medical School Auditorium, located at 1550 College Street. Refreshments will be served and poster presentations will be available for viewing from 9:30-10 a.m., followed by presentations from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. For more on the event and featured projects, click here.

About the DISC Program

Mercer University's Distinction in Service to the Community (DISC) program was established to encourage students to participate in service-learning through creating partnerships with local organizations and providing programs that will enrich and benefit the community. The DISC program adds an academic component and allows Mercer University School of Medicine students to be recognized for their commitment to community service. For more information, visit

About the Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School's primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master's degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. and Psy.D. in clinical medical psychology.

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.