Three Mercer Professors Named Governor’s Teaching Fellows


ATLANTA/MACON – Three Mercer University faculty members were recently selected as Governor's Teaching Fellows, a highly selective program designed to develop important teaching skills through emerging technologies and instructional tools and sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Kenyon Knapp, professor of counseling and coordinator of the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program in Penfield College, participated in the program's intensive two-week summer symposium.

Dr. Tammy Barbé, assistant professor and student and faculty development coordinator in the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, and Dr. Michael K. Moore, professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts, will participate in the 2016-2017 academic year fellowship consisting of six three-day symposia.

Dr. Knapp teaches master's and doctoral counseling courses, and his research and teaching interests include crisis counseling, Christian counseling, sexuality-related issues, and marriage and family counseling. He founded the annual Mercer Atlanta Research Conference.

He also serves on the Georgia Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking and is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) evaluator and Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) site team chair. He is in the midst of a five-year term as a board member for CACREP.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Taylor University, Master of Science degrees from Georgia State University and the Psychological Studies Institute and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.

“I am grateful for having had the experience of being a Governor's Teaching Fellow. It was a great learning experience, and I look forward to applying a number of the things I learned,” said Dr. Knapp.

Dr. Barbé has more than 15 years of teaching experience following a career as a critical care nurse with a focus on cardiovascular nursing. Her research interests include the professional development of students, nurses and nursing faculty.

She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and a past president of the Pi Gamma Chapter. She is a certified nurse educator by the National League for Nursing and the 2016 recipient of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award.

She earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Gulf Coast Community College, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama and Ph.D. in nursing education from the University of Northern Colorado.

“It is an honor to be selected to participate in the Governor's Teaching Fellows program, and I am excited to collaborate with faculty across the state,” said Dr. Barbé.” I am working to develop targeted interventions to decrease attrition of qualified nursing students, with a specific emphasis on how social determinants influence attrition of diverse students. I believe the skills I acquire through the Governor's Teaching Fellows program will inform instructional interventions to retain and graduate diverse nursing students.”

Dr. Moore has 20 years of experience teaching undergraduate science courses in the areas of natural history, zoology, evolution and environmental science. His research interests include patterns of biodiversity, ecology and evolution of species inhabiting tropical rainforests.

Several of his current research projects address the community ecology of animals in freshwater environments that are found in plants (phytotelmata) of the tropical forest canopy. Additionally, he is interested in determining the population status of the rare Golden tree frog (Phyllodytes auratus), a Trinidad endemic species.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in zoology with an emphasis in natural history from Humboldt State University, Master of Science in zoology with an emphasis in systematics from Louisiana State University and Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from the University of Louisiana.

“In recent years, I have become a strong proponent of an activity-based, scientific approach to teaching and learning,” said Dr. Moore. “As I continue along the path of pedagogical innovation and expand the use of novel techniques in the courses I teach, participation in the Governor's Teaching Fellows program will provide an outstanding opportunity to exchange ideas with teaching scholars from throughout the state of Georgia. The experience will translate into increased learning opportunities and the academic success of students studying the sciences at Mercer.”

The Governor's Teaching Fellows Program was established in 1995 by then-Gov. Zell Miller to provide Georgia's higher education faculty with expanded opportunities for developing important teaching skills. Miller envisioned that this program would address faculty members' pressing need to use emerging technologies and instructional tools that are becoming increasingly important for learning in today's society.

To date, more than 89 subject areas, professions and teaching areas have been represented and Fellows have come from more than 61 public and private institutions statewide. For more information, visit