Faculty and Staff Notables | #conferences2021 | #cybersecurity | #conference


College of Education

Dr. Leah Panther, assistant professor of literacy education, published the article, “Listening for Linguistic Justice,” as part of her column “Linguistic Justice” in Georgia’s Council of Teachers of English publication Scribbles ‘n Bits.

Dr. Katherine Perrotta, assistant professor of middle grades and secondary education, presented “A Content Analysis of Depictions of Elizabeth Jennings in Historical Biographies” for the Social Studies Special Interest Group and “Tracing the origins of historical empathy and its leaders during the Cold War, 1950-1980” with Dr. Chara Bohan of Georgia State University for the Biography and Documentary Research Special Interest Group at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) virtual conference. Dr. Perrotta also served as a representative for Division F – History and Historiography for an AERA roundtable discussion of “The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing,” and she spoke on an invited speaker session, titled “The Legacy of School Busing,” for Division C – Learning and Instruction. In addition, Dr. Perrotta presented “A Wholesome Verdict: Using Historical Empathy Strategies to Analyze Elizabeth Jennings v. The Third Avenue Railway Company of 1855” at the virtual National Council of History Education conference.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Caroline Brackette, assistant dean and associate professor, was invited to speak on a panel to discuss mental health during the pandemic for employees at Truist Bank. She was featured on a March segment of The Academic Minute to present her research on mental health and college satisfaction. The radio segment is hosted by the president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and features professors and researchers from colleges and universities around the world discussing what is new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. Dr. Brackette was presented with a certificate from the United States Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for her leadership and partnership in establishing Mercer’s Cybersecurity Dual Enrollment Program in collaboration with the Atlanta FBI. The dual enrollment program is a partnership with Mercer, the Atlanta FBI and Paul Duke Stem High School to introduce high school students to cybersecurity and the FBI. Dr. Brackette led the partnership efforts with the Atlanta FBI, and Dr. Kelly Holloway, assistant vice president for enrollment management, led the partnership efforts with Paul Duke STEM High School. Dr. Brackette also served as a conference presentation reviewer for both the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 47 (Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology) for the APA 2021 Convention and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s 2021 Annual Conference. Dr. Brackette attended a virtual White House Briefing on the American Jobs Plan from the National Economic Council and other White House staff. President Joe Biden joined the briefing to address attendees and discuss his plan for capital investment in America, advancing infrastructure and creation of millions of good-paying jobs. The briefing was hosted by the White House Partnership Office in the Office of Public Engagement.

Dr. Huey Chen, professor of public health, authored “Introducing Theory-Driven Evaluation Approaches: Conventional and Innovative,” a book chapter published in Evaluation Roots. Dr. Chen and Liliana Morosanu, instructor of public health, co-authored “Proactive Evaluation: The Program Stress Test” in the American Journal of Evaluation.

Dr. Emily Gabriel, assistant professor of athletic training, was awarded a $3,200 Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association grant for “Predictors of Participation in a Home-Based Injury Prevention Program in those with a History of Ankle Sprain.”

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English, was appointed chair of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Test in American Literature Review Committee by the College Board, and he was invited to write the entry on William Faulkner for American Literary Scholarship 2020.

Dr. Gordon Johnston, professor of English, joined Janisse Ray for “Wild Words: Poetry in the Orchard,” an Earth Day reading and book debut in the new amphitheater at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon on April 22. Dr. Johnston read from two new books of poetry, Scaring the Bears (Mercer University Press, 2021) and Durable Goods (Finishing Line Press, 2021). On April 1, Dr. Johnston read in the University of Alabama MFA Program’s “Pure Products” reading series with novelist Michael Martone and poet Kwoya Maples. Dr. Johnston also wrote a poem, “Fire Song,” featured in Mercer Theatre’s Phoenix Project puppet processional on April 24.

Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, professor emeritus of history, recently published an account of research sponsored in part by Mercer. He co-authored a chapter, titled “Jamestown, Nevis: Fact, Fiction, and Fable,” pp. 177-96, in Roger Leech and Pamela Leech’s (eds.) The Colonial Landscapes of the British Caribbean, Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, Monograph 11, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press.

Dr. Achim Kopp, professor of foreign languages and literatures and associate dean, presented a paper on “Four Moravian Diaries from Colonial Georgia: Completing a Mercer University Sourcebook Project” at the 45th Annual Symposium of the Society for German-American Studies (SGAS), held April 21-24 on Zoom. In his paper, he reported on the status of a publication project in which he is currently involved with Dr. John Thomas Scott, professor and chair of history. During the symposium, Dr. Kopp also moderated a session on “Religious and Ethnic Identity.” On June 30, he will complete a four-year term as treasurer of SGAS and rotate off the executive committee. He will continue to serve on the editorial board of the Society’s Yearbook of German-American Studies.

Dr. Paul Lewis, professor of religion, published an online column, titled “Easter Exposes the Idol of ‘Normal,’” for Good Faith Media on April 9.

Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, associate professor of global health and Africana studies, was inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Pre-Professional Honor Society, Georgia Epsilon Chapter, faculty adviser board on March 19. Also, an article she co-authored, titled “Robbing Health: Characteristics of Previous Rape Experiences of African American Emerging Adults in an Urban area in Georgia,” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships.

Dr. Rosalind Simson, associate professor of philosophy, delivered the Dabney Adams Hart Lecture at Agnes Scott College on Feb. 26. Her topic was “Reconceptualizing Abortion Rights.”

College of Nursing

Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, authored “Remembering Dr. Sandra Rayburn” in Georgia Nursing, 81(2), p. 8, an invited submission by the Georgia Nurses Association to write a tribute to a nurse leader and former College of Nursing faculty member. Dr. Streit co-authored “The influence of collaborative partnerships influence on the future nursing generation,” accepted to the May 24 Sigma Mu Phi at-Large Research Day. She also presented and announced the college-sponsored Nursing Leadership Award at the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Celebrating Nurses,” an event to honor nurses and nurse leaders who make a significant difference in the lives of their patients and their families through compassionate and selfless service.

College of Pharmacy

Dr. Jill Augustine, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Maria Thurston, clinical associate professor, authored “Comparing Perceptions of Student Abilities in Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Among Students, Faculty, and Patients” in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 2021 Apr 5;13(4):409–16.

Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor, authored “A Novel Technique to Evaluate Nail Softening Effects of Different Urea Formulations” in Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, 2021 Apr 1;26(4):403–11.

Dr. Christine M. Klein, vice-chair for experiential education, and Dr. Johnathan Hamrick, director of introductory pharmacy practice experiences, were approached by the Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) to develop an immunization training program for pharmacy technicians. Over the holiday break, Dr. Klein developed a six-hour continuing education program for technicians, and she and Dr. Hamrick also launched training in early February. Since then, they have trained nearly 300 pharmacy technicians. Dr. Hamrick also works with GPhA to train pharmacists. Since December, he has trained more than 150 pharmacists.

Dr. Leisa Marshall, clinical professor, authored: “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Middle Age and Beyond” in The Senior Care Pharmacist, 2021 Apr;36:191–207.

Dr. Kathryn Momary, associate professor, received the Mentor Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in March.

Dr. Pamela Moye-Dickerson, clinical associate professor, received the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Distinguished Educator Award on March 29.

Dr. Rita Nahta, assistant professor, was appointed a committee member with the American Association for Cancer Research from April 2-May 12.

Dr. Lydia Newsom, clinical assistant professor, co-authored the article “A Survey of Provider-Reported Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Medications for Symptom Management in Telemedicine and Outpatient Visits for Mild COVID-19” in Infectious Diseases and Therapy, 2021 Mar 22; 1-13.

Dr. Mohammad Nassir Uddin, assistant professor, authored “Microneedles: A New Generation Vaccine Delivery System” in Micromachines, 2021 Apr 14;12:435-53.

College of Professional Advancement

Awatef A. Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of health informatics, attended the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Virtual Conference from Oct. 14-17. The multi-day event gathered a dedicated and engaging community of health information professionals and leaders to share, learn, and innovate best practices and effective solutions that impact patient care. Dr. Ben Ramadan co-organized and co-moderated Mercer’s Informatics Day: Career Pathways 2021 on Feb. 24, which included a panel with five seasoned professionals from informatics and health informatics fields. Dr. Ben Ramadan also co-developed and co-presented an online webinar, titled “Creating an Inclusive, Diverse, and Equitable Learning Environment,” on March 10. She attended the Georgia Technology Summit Conference on April 28-29, where the most prominent technology, business and thought leaders assembled to explore and engage around the latest trends that are igniting and driving innovation today. Dr. Ben Ramadan moderated and was a co-author in a student-showcase at the Atlanta Campus Research Conference, titled “Does the Use of Health Apps to Monitor Hypertension Improve the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of African-Americans towards Hypertension Self-Management and Active Management in the Healthcare Process?” She also presented the following posters at the Atlanta Campus Research Conference: “Preference and Perception of Mobile Health Applications Educating African American Women on Sexual and Reproductive Health,” “Assessment of Mercer University Students’ perceptions and Attitudes about the University’s Sudden transfer to the Total Online Learning Environment due to COVID-19 Pandemic,” and “Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) Survey about COVID-19 and Telehealth and Virtual Medicine Services of Atlanta College of Professional Advancement students.” Dr. Ben Ramadan published a peer-reviewed journal article, titled “Health Professionals’ EHR Post-Implementation Incompetency in St. Joseph Regional Hospital, New Jersey,” in the Public Health and Healthcare Journal in December. In February, she published a peer-reviewed journal article, titled “A Case Study: Enhancing the Learning Process and the Quality of the Students’ Work in Online Courses Using Multiple High Impact Practices and Civic Strategies,” and in April, she published a peer-reviewed journal article, titled “A Case Study: Assessment of Civic Learning Knowledge amongst Informatics Faculty and Undergraduate Students’ Attendees of Civic Workshops at Mercer University.”

Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to the Composite Board for Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists. The board processes license applications, renewals, rules, legal issues and discipline issues for professional counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists for the state of Georgia.

Jacqueline S. Stephen, instructional designer, instructor and director of the Office of Distance Learning, co-authored “The Efficacy of a Blended Peer Mentoring Experience for Racial and Ethnic Minority Women in STEM Pilot Study: Academic, Professional, and Psychosocial Outcomes for Mentors and Mentees” in the Journal for STEM Education Research. She and her co-authors were presented the Mentorship and Mentoring Practices Special Interest Group’s Distinguished Research Paper Award at the American Educational Research Association’s virtual annual meeting in April. Dr. Stephen also presented on “Evidence-Based Strategies to Promote Online Learning Self-Efficacy” using Canvas Learning Management System at the Georgia Canvas User Virtual Conference on March 24. Dr. Stephen, Dr. Nadia G. Barnett, assistant professor of human services and coordinator for the graduate human services program, Dr. Awatef A. Ben Ramadan, assistant professor of health informatics, and Dr. Laurie Lankin, professor of counseling and human sciences and coordinator of the human resources administration and development program, facilitated a virtual workshop on the shared implications of inclusivity, diversity and equity on the design of learner-centered course syllabi and pedagogical and instructional design practices in the online learning environment.

School of Business

Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, was the discussant for a paper, titled “Distilling Smart Cities Harms and Prevention Tools,” as part of the 2021 Data Law and Ethics Research Colloquium co-hosted by the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He also was a participant in several other workshops over the three days of conference activities. Dr. Blanke also attended a webinar, titled “How Online Commerce Has Changed the Way that We Think and Behave, and the Business, Ethical and Other Implications,” presented by Villanova School of Law Professor Brett Frischmann, as part of “The Indiana University Ethics, Value and Tech: Developing Character for a Digital World” series.

James L. Hunt, professor of law and business and associate dean for Macon graduate studies, was named Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Law at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, was one of the winners of the 2021 United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research Idea Pitch Competition for her research proposal, “Skill Variety and the Impacts on Serial Entrepreneurship.” She was invited and presented her research proposal in a research spotlight session at the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference on April 16.

School of Engineering

Dr. Arash Afshar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Dorina Mihut, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and students David Carter, Gregory Baker and Nicholas Cordista presented the poster, “Investigation of Flexural Strength and Abrasion Resistance Improvement by Using Micron Size Glass Beads and Alumina Nanoparticles Reinforcement of Epoxy Matrix,” to the 23rd International Conference on Wear of Materials, an online event held April 26-29.

Dr. Sarvestani Alireza, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, co-authored “A model for stress‐dependence of apparent permeability in nanopores of shale gas reservoirs” in the AIChE Journal 66, No. 10.

Dr. Pam Estes Brewer, professor of technical communication, led students in her usability class this semester on testing of the REAL ID microsite for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Susan Codone, professor of technical communication and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, was accepted to present at the 11th Annual South Alabama Conference on Teaching and Learning on May 12. Her presentation topic will be “Raising Awareness Among Faculty about Direct and Indirect Instruction Requirements During an Instructional Pivot.” Dr. Codone is an alumna of the University of South Alabama’s Ph.D. program in instructional design and development.

School of Law

Sharon Bradley, digital and scholarly resources librarian, presented “Scratching the Repository Itch: Establishing an Institutional Repository from Scratch” at the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting on March 18.

Cathy Cox, dean and professor of law, was appointed by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to serve on the Federal Nominations Advisory Commission, which will review and recommend individuals for federal judgeships, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal positions in the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia. Cox was quoted in the following news articles: “Georgia prosecutor probing Trump taps leading racketeering attorney,” by Linda So in Reuters on Mar. 6; “Rachel Maddow explains how prosecutors could nail Trump in Georgia criminal investigation,” by Sarah K. Burris, SALON, Mar. 10; and “Tears in the Senate over voting and the past,” by Patricia Murphy, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Feb. 24. Cox was keynote speaker for “Expressions of Justice” at the Phi Theta Kappa Virtual Spring Conference on March 19. The virtual conference included 32 Georgia chapters of the honor society. She also moderated the panel, “Civil Rights Law: Legal Questions,” surrounding a non-discrimination ordinance as part of a Macon/Bibb virtual community conference on April 22, “Understanding Comprehensive Civil Rights: A Two-Day Event,” and she chaired a Substantive Change Committee for SACSCOC in April that involved an institution’s form of governance.

Linda D. Jellum, associate dean for faculty research and development and Ellison Capers Palmer Sr. Endowed Chair in Tax Law, published “Judicial Review Developments in 2020” in ABA Administrative and Regulatory Law News, Vol. 46 No. 2, Winter 2021. Jellum, Billie Jo Kaufman, law library director and professor of law, and Dr. David Ritchie, director of international initiatives and professor of law, released the newest episode of their podcast, “Talking Legal Ed.” The episode is about COVID-19 and the Texas energy grid as examples of failures of administrative expertise. The show features professors Elizabeth Fisher (Corpus Christi, Oxford) and Sid Shapiro (Wake Forest).

Stephen Johnson, professor of law, presented, “The Evolution of Supreme Court Jurisprudence on the Clean Water Act,” on April 9 at the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium at the George Washington University Law School (virtual), commemorating the 50th anniversary of the institution’s Environmental Law Program.

Brian Kammer, director of The Habeas Project, argued Bryant v. Emmons before the Georgia Supreme Court on April 10. In this habeas corpus case, a new trial was granted, but the attorney general appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Mercer Habeas Project was recruited by the Supreme Court to represent the unrepresented prisoner Steven Bryant. Krammer and the students studied the record and filed the Appellee’s Brief on March 24.

Billie Jo Kaufman, law library director and professor of law recorded and shared a video about leadership, with The Moth: Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries Leadership Edition. Kaufman also presented “Marketing in Libraries” for the 21st Century Law Library Management Course, University of North Texas, School of Information Science (virtual).  Kaufman also presented “Engage & Assess Students with Interactive and Auto-Grading Legal Research Exercises” at the Empire State Legal Writing Conference (virtual).

Jeremy Kidd, associate professor of law, presented “Lessons from the Founders Fear of Faction” for the Federalist Society, Long Island Lawyers’ Chapter, on Feb. 3. He also presented “What Can Corporate Personhood Teach Us About Algorithms” at the Public Choice Society Annual Meetings on March 13. He published “Saving Class Members from Counsel” in 58 San Diego Law Review (2021) (forthcoming).

Dave Oedel, professor of law, was interviewed by 13WMAZ reporter Bre’onna Richardson on April 12 for the story “VERIFY: Can Your Employer Require that You Get a COVID 19 Vaccine?” Oedel was also interviewed by former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis for Middle Georgia Spotlight on April 21. Topics discussed were the Chauvin verdict in the death of George Floyd, Georgia’s new voting law, the stabbing death of Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Christopher Wilson Knight and segregation in the JROTC program long after Brown v. Board of Education. 

Gary Simson, Macon Chair in Law, published “The Uncertain Good of Overruling Employment Division v. Smith” in the Emory University Canopy Forum. The essay addresses the interactions of law and religion. Simson also published “Constitutional Law and the Culture Wars: When Religious Liberty and the Law Conflict, Which Should Prevail?” in Freedom and Society: Essays on Autonomy, Identity, and Political Freedom, published by Mercer University Press in March and edited by Yi Deng, Creighton Rosental, Robert Scott and Rosalind Simson.

Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law, and David Hricik, professor of law, wrote “Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon.” Sneddon also presented “Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After: Engaging Student Learners from the First Minute to the Last Minute of Class Time” at the 2021 Nova Law Review Symposium on Feb. 26, and she published “Dead Men (and Women) Should Tell Tales: Narrative, Intent, and the Construction of Wills” in the Law Journal (2021).

School of Medicine

Dr. Brian H. Childs, professor of bioethics and professionalism and chair of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, edited a special double issue of HEC Forum, an international ethics journal. The topic of the double issue is “COVID 2020: Historical and Ethical Perspectives.” The issue (Vol. 33, 1-2, June 2021) consists of 13 essays, including essays by Dr. Lauren Bunch, assistant professor of bioethics and professionalism, and Vivian Anderson, MS3. Dr Bunch’s essay addresses COVID-19 hesitancy as promoting racial justice, and Anderson’s essay is on the experience of a pre-clinical medical student wanting to be involved in the care of COVID-19 patients. Dr. Childs’ essay, “A Journal of the COVID-19 (Plague) Year,” outlines the theme of the special issue and offers four areas of concern including ecological and environmental considerations, health care disparities, health care delivery and medical education; and the problems of resource allocation.

Dr. Edward C. Klatt, professor of pathology, was appointed a mentor for faculty at the Health Information and Management Systems Society 2021 Global Health Conference and Exhibition.

Dr. Anne Montgomery, assistant professor of community medicine, co-authored an article, titled “Comprehensive Initiative to Decrease Trauma Venous Thromboembolism,” in the Journal of Trauma Nursing, along with first author Tracy Johns. Dr. Montgomery had four co-authored presentations accepted for this year’s National Rural Health Association conference, and she presented two of the four. The papers were titled “Vitamin D Levels in Two Rural Georgia Hospitals,” “A Data-Driven Health Priority Tool for Rural Georgia,” “Healthcare Access in Rural Georgia: A Practical Community Survey” and “Determining the Health Literacy Needs of Rural Communities.” The last presentation on health literacy was led by Stephanie Basey, Ph.D. student in rural health sciences. Dr. Montgomery also co-authored an accepted presentation, titled “Prospective Randomized Trial of Metal vs Resorbable Plates in Surgical Stabilization of Rib Fractures,” along with first author Dr. Dennis Ashley, Will C. Sealy Endowed Chair of Surgery. The paper will be presented at the Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery in Atlanta. Additionally, the team at the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center received a grant from the Department of Public Health to complete a COVID-19 and Flu Vaccine Hesitancy Needs Assessment worth $70,000. The four main contributors were Dr. Kimberly Carr, community resource specialist, Chris Scoggins, director of special projects, Dr. Brad Lian, associate professor and vice chair of community medicine, and Dr. Montgomery.

Dr. Sarah Rotschafer, assistant professor, worked with the Rural Health Innovation Center to create the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Resources in Georgia website, which helps parents throughout the state locate ASD resources near where they live, learn about ASD and developmental delays and provides links to ASD on-boarding programs.

Dr. Yudan Wei, professor of community medicine, and Madison Cook, a medical student in the Class of 2022 who is supervised by Dr. Wei, presented their research, titled “Blood lead levels and risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease: an 18-year follow-up of a national cohort,” at the 2021 American College of Medical Toxicology Annual Scientific Meeting in April. Cook was the only medical student who was selected for the oral presentation round at the conference. The peer-reviewed abstract was recently published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology.

School of Music

Dr. Nathan Myrick, assistant professor of church music, along with colleague Dr. Andrew Mall of Northeastern University, was awarded a grant from the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association to study the role of religious and musical nostalgia at Furnace Fest 20 (FFXX) in Birmingham, Alabama, in September. Dr. Myrick and Dr. Mall will be pioneering a model of collaborative ethnography for researching festivals, while simultaneously studying the role that festivals such as FFXX play in the negotiation of musical and religious values in relation to feelings and memories of an earlier “scene” (many attendees are in their mid- to late-30s and are fans of bands that are reuniting specifically for the festival) in the context of branding and market-based identity construction. Dr. Myrick also published a peer-reviewed article, titled “Music, Emotion, and Relationship in Christian Worship,” in the journal Liturgy.

Dr. Katie Rios, associate professor of music history, authored This Is America’: Race, Gender, and Politics in America’s Musical Landscape, to be published by Lexington Books in June.

Staff and Administration

Tony Kemp, associate vice president for events and special programs, judged Georgia High School Association oral presentation literary events for Regions 6-A and 7-A in Milledgeville on April 13.

Hannah Vann Nabi, associate director of the QEP, and Dr. Pam Estes Brewer, professor of technical communication and director of the M.S. in technical communication management program in the School of Engineering, published “Communicating Ethical Engagement Abroad: A Content Analysis of Service-Learning Study Abroad Third-Party Provider Websites” in Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad.



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