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Faculty and Staff Notables

February 2012

College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Greg A. Baugher,
instructor of mathematics, published an article titled “A Brief Look at Online Tutorial Experiences of Older Students in Remedial College Mathematics” in the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching in the Vol. 7, No. 4, December 2011 issue.


Dr. J. Thompson Biggers, assistant professor, had his paper accepted as part of a program at the Southern States Communication Association convention. The paper addresses the new directions for research in the Interpersonal Communication area.  The convention will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from April 11-15.


Dr. Duane Evans Davis, professor emeritus, published his first book, titled A Light in Dark Places, with a foreword by Dr. Colin Harris, professor of religion and philosophy. The book is published by Regeneration Writers Press and is available through and The cover art is by student Yvonne Gabriel.


Dr. Kenyon Knapp, associate professor of counseling and assistant dean for graduate programs, has been asked to speak at The Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia June 7-10 in Atlanta. He will speak on “Ethics Issues related to Spiritual/Religious Counseling” and “Emotionally Focused Therapy: Theory and Techniques,” which he will be co-presenting with his Ph.D. student, Charles O’Connor. Dr. Knapp will also be co-presenting with his Ph.D. student, Mayi Dixon, on “How Childhood Sexual Abuse Affects Marital Attachment.” Dr. Knapp was also invited to speak at the 11th Annual Southeastern Conference of Cross-Cultural Issues in Counseling and Education, Feb. 10-11, in Savannah on the topic of “Understanding the Culture of Christian Clients: Applying ASERVIC Competencies,” which he will co-present with O’Connor. Also, Dr. Knapp has been invited to speak at The Marriage America Conference, April 12-14, in Orlando, Fla., on the topic of “How Childhood Sexual Abuse Affects Attachment in Marriage,” which he will co-present with Dixon.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Julie Beier
, assistant professor, presented three talks at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston, Mass., in January. The first, presented in an American Mathematical Society special session on representation theory, was titled “Weights and Combinatorics Appearing in Certain Demazure Crystals.” The other two talks were in sessions run by the Mathematical Association of America. One was titled “Statistics Scrapbooks in Elementary Statistics” and the other was a joint talk titled “Using Mathematical Cancer Models in an Introductory Differential Equations Course.”


Dr. David A. Davis, assistant professor of English, published a new edition of John L. Spivak’s 1932 novel Hard Times on a Southern Chain Gang, The novel is a powerful exposé of the southern prison system, which trapped black men in a system of labor exploitation, and the new edition includes an introduction by Davis and documents Spivak collected while researching chain gangs in Georgia.


Dr. Achim Kopp, professor of Latin and German, published an article titled “Abraham Reeser Horne’s Pennsylvania German Manual,” in Yearbook of German American Studies 45 (2010). The article traces the publication history of one of the most widely disseminated handbooks on Pennsylvania German language, literature and culture, which went through four editions between 1875 and 1910. In addition, it puts the work into the context of the author’s life and the changing attitude of late 19th Century and early 20th Century Pennsylvania educators with regard to the teaching of Pennsylvania German and English in the public schools.


Dr. Paul Lewis, associate professor, attended the Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5-8. While there, he facilitated a discussion of a paper on “Legislating Peace:  Mennonite Political Engagement in a Post-Christendom and Post-Secular Era,” and helped organize a panel on “Worship, War, and Liturgies of State,” that was co-sponsored by the Church and Academy and Liturgy and Ethics interest groups.


Scot J. Mann, associate professor, adapted and directed “Alice in Wonderland” presented at the Grand Opera House for the Grand Kids series in November. In December, Mann participated in a 10-day developmental workshop for the world premier musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkling County,” written by Stephen King and John Melloncamp. He will be choreographing violence and gunplay for the work under the direction of Artistic Director Susan Booth and Producer Norman Leer.  Recently named a Fight Master by the Society of American Fight Directors, Mann adjudicated his first skills proficiency tests with the North Carolina School of the Arts, Roosevelt University and the University of South Alabama. In January, Mann adapted and directed “Treasure Island” for the Youth Acting Company of Theatre Macon.


Dr. Tanya Sharon, associate professor, published an article, titled “Learning times two: Creating learning through a children’s museum exhibit,” in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal Teaching of Psychology. It describes an innovative service-learning component in a developmental lab course, in which students designed and constructed five developmental, and locally, appropriate museum exhibits around the theme, “Healthy Living.” 

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Ajay K. Banga,
professor, was awarded a grant of $28,750 for “Formulation development, stability testing and delivery of skin lightening agents” from Skin Medica Inc. Dr. Banga also co-authored two other articles, titled “Iontophoresis of a 13 kDa protein monitored by subcutaneous microdialysis in vivo” in the journal Bioanalysis, 2011; 21(3): 2419-2426 and “In vitro and in vivoiontophoretic transdermal delivery of an anti-parkinsonian agent,” in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2011; 420(1), 20-25.

Dr. William K. Kennedy,
clinical associate professor, co-authored a book, titled Nourishing the Soul of Pharmacy: Stories of Reflection, published by ACCP Press in 2011.


Dr. Christine M. Klein, clinical assistant professor, was appointed to the 2011-2012 expert panel for the American Pharmacists Association/American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy MTM Curricula Project.


Dr. Lisa M. Lundquist, clinical associate professor, Dr. Angela S. Shogbon, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Kathryn M. Momary, assistant professor, co-authored  “Communication skills: students’ perceptions and faculty evaluation of performance on therapeutics oral examinations” in Let’s Think About It! 2011;13(1):2-4. Dr. Lundquist and fourth-year student Jill M. Augustine also co-authored “Critical appraisal of the efficacy and safety of abatacept in the treatment of refractory rheumatoid arthritis” in Open Access Rheumatology: Research and Reviews. 2011;3:1-11.


Dr. Diane F. Matesic, professor, and Timothy Burns, Ph.D. student, co-authored “p38 MAPK activation, JNK inhibition, neoplastic growth inhibition, and increased gap junction communication in human lung carcinoma and ras-transformed cells by 4-phenyl-3-buteonic acid,” in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry: 2012; 113(1):269-281.


Dr. Susan W. Miller, professor, published “When medicating older adults, what’s most important: quality of care or quality of life?” in Generations Winter 2011/2012; 35(4): 19-24. Dr. Miller also published a book chapter, titled “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in the Geriatric Patient,” in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, (Murphy JE, editor), Bethesda, Md., ASHP, 2012:45-71.


Dr. Nader H. Moniri, assistant professor, and Rebecca N. Burns, Ph.D. student, co-authored “Agonist- and hydrogen peroxide-mediated oxidation of the β2-adrenergic receptor:  evidence of receptor S-sulfenation as detected by a modified biotin-switch assay,” in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 2011; 339(3):914-921.


Dr. Chalet Tan, assistant professor, and Usha Katragadda, Ph.D. student, co-authored “Multi-drug delivery to tumor cells via micellar nanocarriers,” in International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2011; 419(1-2): 281-28.  Dr. Tan also co-authored “Sulfonamides as a new scaffold for hypoxia inducible factor pathway inhibitors,” in Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry Letter, 2011; 21(18): 5528-5532.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Dr. Laura Kim Baraona
, clinical instructor, presented “Reducing Risk for Low Birth Weight: An Educational Tobacco Cessation Intervention for Obstetrical Practices” at the March of Dimes Prematurity Prevention Symposium in Washington, D.C., in January. 


Dr. Freida Fuller, professor, will be serving as team leader for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s site visit to Drew University in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 27-29.


Dr. Susan S. Gunby, professor, presented “Thriving in a Legalistic Environment” at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Faculty Development Conference Feb. 11 in Atlanta.


Grace G. Lewis, clinical associate professor, contributed to the publication of “Lippincott’s Review for Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification,” 5th edition, 2012.


Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean and professor, will serve on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools site visit team to Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 7-9.


Dr. Tanya Sudia-Robinson, professor, took part in a podium presentation at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Doctoral Conference held Jan. 25-28 in Naples, Fla. She presented “Successful Scholarly Community Building among DNP & PhD Students in Hybrid Doctoral Studies.”

McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Thomas Slater
, professor, recently spoke at the 68th Founders’ Celebration and Pastors’ Conference for Phillips School of Theology convening at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Atlanta Jan. 9-12. The conference theme was “The Foundations of an Essential Church:  The Sacred Text and Tradition” and Dr. Slater spoke from the topic, “Cleaving and Leaving: How Much is too Much Tradition.” Dr. Slater’s first presentation focused on Luke 4:38-44. He argued that preaching the gospel is the foundational tradition and that too many have substituted a “prosperity gospel” for the true gospel: the message that the Lord of the universe loves each of us, regardless of our social standing, social location or emotional state, as if each one of us were an only child. The second presentation drew from Amos 5:21-24 and argued that God never intended for “good church” to replace good ethics.  Dr. Slater argued that celebrative worship without accompanying good ethical practices is “like using bubble gum when you need super glue.” Phillips School of Theology is one of the founding seminaries of the Interdenominational Theological Center, a predominantly black seminary in the heart of Atlanta, and is the seminary of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  Dr. Slater is an ordained minister in the Christian Methodist Episcopal tradition.

School of Medicine

Dr. Richard L. Elliott
, professor and director of medical ethics, published “Genetic diseases: Is there a duty to a patient’s family members?” in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia volume 100, no. 3, 28-29 2011 with Megan Sutton, and “Childhood obesity and child neglect” in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia volume 100, no. 4, 24-25, 2011, with student Whitney Black.


Dr. Steven Hobbs, professor and director of the Ph.D. program in clinical medical psychology, represented Mercer’s newest Ph.D. program at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology. The Mercer Clinical Medical Psychology Program was granted associate membership in the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, a 180-member group comprised almost exclusively of American Psychological Association accredited Ph.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology. At the same meeting, Jan. 12-14, Dr. Hobbs completed all requirements to be credentialed as a site visitor for the Committee on Accreditation of American Psychological Association.


Dr. Melissa A. Kling, director of the animal care facility, attended the annual North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 13-18. She was invited to moderate the exotic companion mammal session on Jan. 14 in addition to participate in a reception held for veterinary medical students and veterinary technician students interested in pursuing a career involving exotic animals.


Dr. Dabin Ren, postdoctoral fellow, and Dayle A. Daines, assistant professor of microbiology, co-authored a paper, titled “Characterization of extended co-culture of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae with primary human respiratory tissues,” which was accepted in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine. Additional authors were Peter N. Uchakin, associate professor, along with Kevin L. Nelson and Arnold L. Smith from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Xin-Xing Gu of the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Staff and Administration

Dr. Heather I. Scott,
Douglas County Regional Academic Center coordinator, was a featured guest on the television show, “District Dialogue.” Dr. Scott was interviewed by Douglas County Commissioner Kelly Robinson as a higher education expert regarding her outlook on the future of higher education, for the show, which is produced in Douglas County and aired in January.

Tift College of Education

Dr. Robert Ceglie,
assistant professor, recently had an article published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. The article was titled “Underrepresentation of Women of Color in the Science Pipeline: The Construction of Science Identities.”

Townsend School of Music

Dr. Douglas Hill,
professor of conducting, has been invited to conduct the Banda de Conciertos de San Jose in Costa Rica on March 25. He will be the guest of their revered conductor, Maestro Juan Bautista Loaiza Mayorga. On April 20, The Mercer University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Hill, will present the Georgia premiere of “Rhythm of the Americas” composed by Bob Mintzer. This work will feature professional saxophonists Miles Osland, Lisa Osland, Jay Gilbert and Dr. Monty Cole, associate professor. The concert will be presented on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Zuver Auditorium at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon.


David Keith, director of graduate studies and director of the McAfee Institute for Church Music, was the guest conductor for the Macon Symphony Orchestra in a concert, featuring SPECTRUM. In addition, Keith recently conducted a concert of the Fort Worth Baroque Society and Orchestra in Fort Worth, Texas. Also, during the first week of January, Dr. Keith took 10 graduate music students to Nashville, Tenn., and spent the week as students intersected with church staff and laity. As part of the McAfee Institute for Church Music, students had the opportunity to take an in-depth look at administrative and pastoral roles of the church musician in the 21st Century.

Walter F. George School of Law

Jessica Feinberg
, assistant professor, was a panelist for a presentation, titled “Out in the Classroom and the Academy,” at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., in January.


Patrick E. Longan, W. A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism, presented “Teaching About Bar Discipline in a Required First-Year Course,” at the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism in Palmetto in November.


David Ritchie, associate professor, presented at the Annual Association of American Law Schools Law and Interpretation panel in January. The panel, titled “Law as a Discourse Community,” was conceived of and developed by Ritchie. He was the outgoing chair of the Law and Interpretation section. Carolina Academic Press will publish the presentations from the panel in book form and Ritchie will edit the volume.


Jack L. Sammons, professor, will present a paper, titled “Listening to Law,” at the Religious Legal Theory Conference at Pepperdine University in February. He will present a paper titled “The Origin of the Opinion as a Work of Art,” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Law, Culture and Humanities in March. His article, “Confronting the Three Apprenticeships,” will be published as part of the book Character, Practical Wisdom, and Professional Formation Across the Disciplines, edited by Mark Jones, professor; Dr. Paul Lewis, associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Kelly Reffitt, associate professor in the Tift College of Education; and published by Mercer University Press.