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Mercer’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies
to Hold Inaugural Research Conference in Atlanta Saturday

April 15, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

ATLANTA — Mercer University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies will hold its inaugural Faculty and Student Research Conference on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on the University’s Atlanta campus in the Administration and Conference Center. The conference keynote address by Dr. Stephen Morgan is titled “Forensic Analytical Chemistry: from Research to CSI.” He is a leading expert in forensic chemistry and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Morgan is also an accomplished researcher, with more than $6.7 million in funded research, and is the author of five books, as well as 15 book chapters, 114 refereed publications, and has presented more than 360 papers at professional meetings. His lecture will focus on how prime time television presentations of analytical chemical measurements to solve crimes, coupled with the publicity surrounding high profile criminal cases, have resulted in a number of effects on public perception of forensic science. The so-called “CSI effect” arises from depictions of infallible analyses, instant laboratory results and unambiguous computer matching of profiles and has fostered unrealistic expectations in the minds of the public. His lecture will highlight the state-of-the-art in forensic analytical chemistry and how it differs and, in some cases, matches this fantasy world of chemical detectives.

“The conference fits perfectly with the University’s, and our College’s, strategic goal of increasing research activity,” said organizer Dr. Kenyon Knapp, assistant dean for graduate programs and associate professor of counseling. “The conference includes research presentations by faculty and students from departments throughout the college and we’ve been pleased with the diverse array of papers that will be presented.”

In all, there will be 12 presentations by faculty and students throughout the day. There will be three sets of concurrent presentations, from 11 to 11:45 a.m., from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. and from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m.

“The faculty in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies is committed to encouraging inquiry and discovery-based learning among our students,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of the College. “We are proud of the increases in research and in conference presentations of our undergraduate and graduate students and our faculty members.” 

About the College of Continuing and Professional Studies
The College offers degree programs and lifelong learning opportunities for adults who seek leadership roles in their communities and beyond, professional transition and advancement, and lives that have meaning and purpose. The College offers undergraduate degree programs in organizational leadership, human resources administration and development, public safety, liberal studies (individualized), and human services, and graduate programs in counseling, school counseling and public safety leadership. Its programs are offered on Mercer’s Macon and Atlanta campuses, at the University’s regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County, Eastman and Newnan. In fall 2010, the College began an Education Specialist degree in School Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision on the Atlanta campus. The College will offer the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership on the Atlanta campus in the fall of 2011 and at the Henry Regional Academic Center in January 2012. Pending approval of the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the College will offer a Bachelor of Science in Informatics in the fall of 2011 on the Atlanta campus and Henry Center and on the Macon campus in fall of 2012. 

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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