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April Faculty and Staff Notables

College of Continuing and Professional Studies


Dr. Caroline M. Brackette, assistant professor of counseling, was awarded the 2011 College of Continuing and Professional Studies Award for Excellence in Teaching. She also made a presentation, titled “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Counselor Education,” as part of a panel of Mercer faculty who presented “SoTL: Building Interdisciplinary Community” at the March 2011 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference in Statesboro.


Dr. David Lane, professor of counseling, presented “Soul Care in Haiti - Progress in Post Trauma Care Training,” on Dec. 1 to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He also presented “How Good People Make Tough Choices:  The Ethics of Decision Making,” at the George Baptist College of Nursing on Feb. 2.


Dr. Lynn Tankersley, undergraduate program coordinator of public safety and assistant professor, delivered the keynote address, titled “Our History is Our Strength,” at the 3rd Medical Command U.S. Army Reserve Unit’s Women’s History Month Celebration on March 4 at Fort Gillem.


College of Liberal Arts


Craig Coleman, associate professor of art, exhibited his art in a solo show at Blackbridge Hall Gallery on the campus of Georgia College and State University. The show, titled “Dissipative Structures,” was on display from Sept. 27 to Oct. 22. As part of the exhibition, he gave a public gallery talk and presented a lecture about his art and research interests to students in the University’s Museum Studies Program. An article about the exhibition was published in the GCSU newspaper, The Colonnade.


Dr. Janell Johnson, associate professor in the Roberts Department of Christianity, completed her term as president of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, Southeast Region, on March 4 in Louisville, Ky., and delivered at paper at the conference, titled “Creative Protest and Prophetic Imagination: Examining Biblical Creation Stories through the Lens of Feminist Utopian Novels.”


Dr. Leona Kanter, chair of sociology and project coordinator of Mercer’s Asian Studies grant, and Miao Marone, Chinese language instructor, participated in the first consortium wide curriculum development workshop sponsored by the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, held on Mercer’s Atlanta campus, Feb. 25-27.


Dr. Mary Alice Morgan, professor and senior vice provost for service-learning, gave the keynote address, with Sarah Hedgis, titled Research as Activism: The University and Anti-Trafficking Community Movement-Building,” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on Jan. 19. Dr. Morgan was also on a panel titled, “Engaging Students in Research and Scholarship: Four Approaches, at the Association of American Colleges and Universities national conference on Jan. 28 and gave a presentation, titled “Linking Research and Activism,” with Hedgis at the Hart Leadership Program of Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University on Feb. 10. In addition, Dr. Morgan was the invited workshop leader on “Faculty Development in Service-Learning,” at Oglethorpe University on Feb. 25 and on panels, titled “Supporting Faculty for Service-Learning: Views and Lessons Learned from Three Georgia Institutions,” and “Mercer Service Scholars, at the Gulf South Summit on Service-Learning in Higher Education at Virginia Tech on March 4.


Dr. Bridget Trogden, assistant professor, was the supervising researcher for a student project that was presented at Pittcon Conference and Expo in Atlanta in March. Marielle Youmans, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and a research student with Dr. Trogden, presented the research poster at the conference. Luke Cohen, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, was also a student co-author. The poster was part of the Division of Analytical Chemistry poster session and described their research on developing methods for the detection of labeled biological sugars to assess small molecule interactions in malaria.


College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


Dr. Ashish A. Advani, clinical assistant professor, was appointed editor for the Princeton Review: Cracking the PCAT. He was also appointed to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Educational Affairs Committee for 2011-12.


Dr. Ajay K. Banga, professor, was appointed to the editorial board of Antibody Technology Journal.


Dr. Joseph T. Dye, assistant professor, was appointed to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Program Planning and Development Committee for 2011-12.


Dr. Philip A. Fabrizio, assistant professor, published “Anatomic variation of the iliacus and psoas major muscles” in International Journal of Anatomical Variation. 2011; (4):28–30. Dr. Fabrizio also co-authored “The anatomy of the distal attachment of the piriformis muscle: a pilot study,” in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy 41(1):A84.


Dr. Alyssa L. Fiss, assistant professor, co-authored “Early clinical assessment of balance for young children with cerebral palsy,” for Assessment Tool in the online journal Canchild.


Dr. Renee Hayslett, assistant professor, and Praveen Kandi, Ph.D. candidate, published “Nicotine in combination with 17beta-estradiol produces antidepressant-like effects in female ovariectomized rats,” in Brain Research Bulletin, 2011 Feb 28; 84(3):224-8.


Dr. Klugh W. Kennedy, clinical associate professor, was featured in “Showcasing an Innovative Practice: Thriving on Patient Care,” in the online journal College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacy.


Dr. Phillip S. Owen, clinical assistant professor, was appointed to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Commission on state affiliate relationships.


Dr. Gina J. Ryan, clinical associate professor, co-authoredChallenges in lipid-lowering therapy” in the online journal Power-Pak C.E. 


Dr. Leslie F. Taylor, professor, was featured in February in “Prime time for physical therapists” in Pulse for the Healthcare Professional in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Dr. Chad M. VanDenBerg, clinical associate professor, Russell J. Moore, clinical research coordinator, and V. E. Spratlin, were awarded a $122,500 contract from Johnson & Johnson Inc. for “A 15-month, prospective, randomized, active-controlled, open-label, flexible-dose study of paliperidone palmitate compared with oral antipsychotic treatment in delaying time to treatment failure in adults with schizophrenia who have been recently released from jail.”


School of Engineering


Dr. Joan Burtner, associate professor of industrial engineering, published an article, titled “Use of Outsourced Nurses in Long-term Acute Care Hospitals: Outcomes and Leadership Preferences,” in the February issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration. The article’s co-authors were Dr. M. Raymond Alvarez, Dr. Bernard J. Kerr, Dr. Gerald Ledlow and Dr. Larry Fulton.


Dr. Donald Ekong, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented a paper, titled “An After-School Robotics Module for Introducing Elementary School Students to Engineering,” at the 2011 IEEE Southeast Conference in Nashville, Tenn., on March 19.


Dr. Richard O. Mines, professor of Environmental Engineering, has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Tony Tilmans Section Service Award. The award is presented by the American Society of Engineering Education and will be presented to him at the Southeast Section award banquet in Charleston, S.C, on April 11.  This award recognizes Dr. Mines’ many contributions to engineering education and his long history of service to the ASEE.


School of Medicine


Dr. Paul Gallant, clinical director and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, recently had a single-author book chapter, titled “Narrative Analysis: The Effects on Student Learning. Experiencing a Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy,” published in Nursing Research: A Qualitative Perspective.


Dr. Warren S. Hutchings, assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine, has been appointed to the Georgia Health Information Exchange board of directors, beginning Feb. 14. The Georgia HIE board will govern the establishment of a statewide HIE, which will be charged with creating a network that will allow timely exchange of vital health information and accelerate the pace of health information technology development across Georgia.


Dr. Mike U. Smith, professor of medical education, has been selected to participate in the EvoCI Toolkit project. The project will develop conceptual inventories of evolution concepts for use in high schools and universities and is funded by the National Evolution Synthesis Center at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He was recently named to the membership and elections committee of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Dr. Smith also served as a reviewer of manuscript proposals submitted for presentation at the CDC 2011 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta and for submissions for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. His recent publications include: “Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: I.  Philosophical and epistemological issues,” in Science & Education Special Darwinian Anniversary Year Issue, 19(3-7); “Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: II. Pedagogical Issues,” inScience & Education Special Darwinian Anniversary Year Issue, 19(3-7); “Updating the Model Definition of the Gene in the Modern Genomic Era with Implications for Instruction,” in Science & Education, 19(1):1-20, co-authored with L.R. Adkinson; “The New World of Genetics:  A Changing Understanding of Genes and the Central Dogma of Biology,” in  American Biology Teacher, co-authored with L.R. Adkinson; and “Support for the CINS as a Diagnostic Conceptual Inventory:  Response to Nehm & Schonfeld (2008),” in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3):354-357, co-authored with D.L. Anderson and K.M. Fisher.


Dr. Melton Strozier, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, presented the plenary workshop for the First American Academy of Couple and Family Psychology conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Feb. 4. The workshop was titled “PTSD: A Biopsychosocial Approach for Families.” Dr. Strozier is the Past President of the Academy.


Staff and Administration


Dave Beyer, sports information director, is receiving his 25-year award this summer for the Sports Information profession. This award is presented to CoSIDA members who have served 25 years in the profession, as of June 2011.


Stetson School of Business and Economics


Dr. Linda L. Brennan, professor of management, will have a chapter, titled “Friend or Foe?  Leveraging – and Mitigating – the Access and Immediacy of Social Media and Information Technologies,” in the new IGI Global book, Organizational and End-User Interactions: New Explorations, edited by Drs. Steve Clarke and Ashish Dwivedi.


Tift College of Education


Elaine M. Artman, associate professor of education leadership, presented a paper, titled “The effectiveness of the cohort block pedagogical design model in asynchronous online courses, “ at the Society for Information Technology in Education in Nashville, Tenn. The paper was coauthored with Dr. Bruce M. Doney of Mercer University and Karen M. McFerrin of Northwestern State University.


Sharon Murphy Augustine, assistant professor, presented a paper, titled “The CCSS’s Challenge to Pre-Service Content Area Teachers,” at the annual conference of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English in Callaway Gardens. Her paper was part of a collaborative session, titled “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Five Perspectives on Adopting Common Core Standards,” with Karen Mitcham and Kirstie Knighton, teachers from Jones County High School; Jennifer Claxton, a Ph.D. candidate in Mercer’s curriculum and instruction program; and Amy Davis Sanford, a Mercer alumna and University of Georgia doctoral candidate.


Dr. Robert Ceglie, assistant professor, along with doctoral students Vida Olivares, Mark Scott and Phillip Ramsey presented a study at the Annual Association of Teacher Educators National Conference in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 12-15. The title of their paper was “Self-Efficacy of Secondary Math Teachers: A Study of Teachers Using Different State Mandated Curricula.”


Dr. Karen Weller Swanson, associate professor, was selected as one of four representatives of the National Middle School Association to meet with officials at the U.S. Department of Education in March to discuss critical issues in middle school education. Dr. Swanson also participated with several faculty from the Atlanta campus collaborated on an interdisciplinary project to present a session at the International Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference at Georgia Southern University in March 2011. Their session was titled, “SoTL: Building interdisciplinary community. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons.”  The following faculty participated in the session: Jeannette Anderson, Caroline Brackett, Joseph Dye, Patricia Kelly and Karen Rowland.


Townsend School of Music


Dr. Douglas Hill, professor of music,  and Dr. Monty Cole, associate professor of music, recruited prospective music students at the annual Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Band and Orchestra event in Savannah, March 3-4. Dr. Hill presented a band rehearsal clinic for the Greenbrier High School Wind Ensemble in Evans, Ga. on March 7, and performed as a member of the Colony IV Brass Quintet in the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival’s Organ and Brass concert at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Macon on March 21.


Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and associate professor, performed with Steve Moretti, percussionist, in a Moretti Duo appearance for the “Best of Macon” celebration at Cox Capitol Theatre in Macon on Feb. 24.  She performed in recital with pianist Franz Mantini at the Carrollwood Cultural Center in Tampa, Fla., on March 12 and at the “Masterworks of Sight and Sound” series in Tarpon Springs, Fla., on March 13.


Walter F. George School of Law


Linda Berger, David Ritchie, and Jack Sammons, professors, delivered a presentation, titled “Inevitability in Judicial Opinions,” at the 14th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and Humanities on March 11 at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.


David Hricik, professor, was quoted in the February 2011 ABA Journal in an article titled “Seduced: For Lawyers, the Appeal of Social Media is Obvious by Steven Seidenberg.” He appeared with a panel on ethical issues in patent practice at the AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute in Orlando Fla. on Feb. 2 and spoke in Austin Texas on “Current Ethics Issues” in Patent, La. at the 12th Annual Intellectual Property Law Symposium sponsored by the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal on Feb. 18. Also on Feb. 18, Hricik spoke on “Ethical Issues in Social Media” in San Antonio, Texas at the 10th Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice sponsored by the St. Mary’s Law Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics. On March 4, Hricik gave the luncheon presentation at the 24th Annual Advanced Intellectual Property Law Course 2011 in Dallas, Texas, titled “Current Malpractice Claims in Patent Practice and Litigation: Better them than You!” Hricik and Karen Sneddon continued their regular “Writing Matters” column for the Georgia Bar Journal, promoting better writing and the law school’s position as the No. 1 legal writing program in the country. In addition, one of Hricik’s books published by Oxford University Press was reviewed favorably by David L. Schwartz of Chicago-Kent College of Law in The IP Law Book Review in February. Finally, Hricik was invited by three separate law reviews to submit articles, which will be published over the coming months.


David Oedel, professor of constitutional law, was appointed by then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as deputy special attorney general to represent Georgia in the 26-state challenge to the constitutionality of health care reform. In December 2010, Oedel appeared for Georgia at the final argument before U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla. After taking office in January, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens re-appointed Oedel to the position of special assistant attorney general.  On Dec. 27, 2010, Oedel wrote a widely discussed op-ed article with Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett in the Wall Street Journal explaining how health care reform’s “individual mandate” to buy insurance is not the only constitutional problem with health care reform. In January, Oedel spoke in San Francisco at the annual meeting of law professors on the special “Hot Topics” panel “Our Pending National Debate: Is Healthcare Reform Constitutional?” Oedel is publishing two articles in the Mercer Law Review about the constitutionality of health care reform: “Healthcare Reform, the Spending Clause, and Dole’s Restrictions,” and “Reply to Professor Metzger: Crossing the Constitutional Line in Spending From Persuasion to Compulsion.” In the past three months, Oedel has been a guest on nationally syndicated radio programs and has been quoted in various print media on several pressing issues of constitutional law.  During this 2011 session of the Georgia legislature, Oedel has been consulted by Georgia legislators and key interested organizations as an expert on several pending legislative matters.  In January, Oedel wrote an op-ed in The Telegraph, “The Scab that Binds Us,” about racial politics in Macon. Oedel coached two teams of Mercer Law School students that placed highly in southeast regional competitions in February. Oedel’s American Bar Association Client Counseling team of Craig Cooper and Emilie Leech made it to the championship round at the ABA’s 2011 Southeast Regional Client Counseling Competition at Emory Law School before finishing a close second.  Oedel’s Lefkowitz Trademark Law Moot Court Team of Michael McNeil and Rhonda Sadler finished third in the southeast in a field of 19 teams. Also in January, Oedel hosted Dean Ed Rubin of Vanderbilt Law School in his constitutional law class, where they discussed and debated contemporary issues of federalism with the class.


Scott C. Titshaw, assistant professor had the following articles published:  Sorry Ma’am, Your Baby is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology,” in the Florida Coastal Law Review 47 (2010); and “A Modest Proposal: to Deport the Children of Gay Citizens, & etc.: Immigration Law, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Children of Same-Sex Couples,” in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 407 (2011). A short article he co-wrote with Noemi Masliah, titled “Ignoring Family Ties: LGBT Couples and Children” will also appear this summer in the 2011-12 edition of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook. He participated in a national telephone call-in panel presentation co-sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association and Immigration Equality on the topic of “LGBT Immigration & Asylum Seekers,” on March 16 and is scheduled to make the following presentations as well: a presentation to the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford, Miss., titled “The Reactionary Road to Free Love: How Opponents of Same Sex Marriage May Destroy the Civil Institution They Love,” on April 11; a panel presentation at AILA National Conference in San Diego, Calif., titled “LGBT Immigration Law Issues,” on June 15; and a New Scholars presentation as part of at Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference in Hilton Head, S.C., titled “The Reactionary Road to Free Love: How Opponents of Same Sex Marriage May Destroy the Civil Institution They Love,” on July 29.


University Libraries


Kim Eccles, associate director for public services in the Division of Library Services, has been selected to serve as second vice-president-membership chair for the Georgia Library Association.