Faculty/Staff Accomplishments 11/6/19

In this issue, we celebrate the accomplishments of faculty and staff in education, fashion, history, nutrition, political science, psychology, religious and ethical studies, and the School of Business. We also share a reminder from HR regarding Benefits Open Enrollment.

Professor Steven Benko, of the Department of Religious and Ethical Studies, had his co-edited volume The Good Place and Philosophy published by Open Court Press. The book, co-edited with Andrew Pavelich of the University of Houston-Downtown, is a collection of essays on the TV show The Good Place. Essays address how the show engages philosophical questions around free will, torture, existentialism, and ethics. In addition to co-editing the book, Professor Benko authored the introduction and has an essay included in the collection (“Like Boxing Gloves of Sadness”) that explores the relationship between ethics and authenticity. His chapter is a version of the paper that he presented at the 2018 national meeting of the American Academy of Religion (“Ethics without Religion: How Teaching the Good Place Taught Me What Ethics Is and Is Not”), the 2019 meeting of the American Culture/Popular Culture Association (“The Good Place and Authenticity: Being for Yourself Before You Can Be For Others”); and as an invited keynote speaker for The Examined Life: An Undergraduate Conference in the Liberal Arts at Lebanon Valley College in Lebanon, Pa.

Professor of Psychology Cynthia Edwards traveled to Toronto with a group of current Meredith students and recent graduates to present their work at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood. Temperence Lampe, ’18, Colleen McKeel, ’17, Julia Johnson, ’20, Alyson Mann, ’18, Cynthia Edwards, and Director of Teacher Education Heather Bower developed a symposium presentation, Finances, relationships, and confidence: Themes of young womens’ college to workforce transition – A qualitative analysis., while Allison Kvasnicka, ‘20, presented a poster on The impact of a summer symposium experience on adjustment and persistence among diverse first-year students.

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Director and Instructor in Food & Nutrition Rachel Findley was featured in a three-part podcast series about school meal programs in North Carolina. The podcast is through the NC Alliance for Health and can be found on the podcast player Soundcloud under the title of Voices of Hunger.

Professor of History Dan Fountain was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article about artist Kehinde Wiley’s new statue, “Rumors of War,” which is a response to Civil War statues.

Associate Professor of Strategic and International Management Stephanie Hurt had a paper accepted at the International Atlantic Economic Society conference, which was held in Miami in October 2019. She presented her paper at the conference and was also invited to be a discussant for the conference.

Professor of Accounting Mary Jane Lenard, Professor of Economics Anne York, and Professor of Finance Bing Yu had their article “Female Trustees and University Financial Performance” published in International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues. Their results indicate that a higher percentage of women on the board of trustees increases the likelihood of having a passing financial responsibility composite score.

Professor of Political Science David McLennan had two op-eds published in The Hill—the first arguing that voter anger poses electoral risks to both Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the second arguing that despite the impeachment inquiry that Democrats should not take winning the White House for granted. His work, along with that of Assistant Professor Whitney Ross Manzo, was also featured in major stories in Newsweek, the News and Observer, and many other news outlets.

Assistant Professor of Marketing Lisa Monahan’s paper, “I’ll have the usual: how restaurant brand image, loyalty and satisfaction keep consumers coming back,” has received the Bright Idea Award, sponsored by the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. The paper was published last year in the Journal of Product and Brand Management and was identified as one of the Top 10 papers from more than 132 publications.

Professors of Education Cece Toole and Julie Schrock and Director of Research, Planning and Assessment Dianne Raubenheimer presented a paper titled “An Examination of Gender Bias in Student Course Evaluations” at the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL) conference, which was held during October in Charlotte, N.C.

Eunyoung Yang, Associate Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Design and Department Head, earned an award in a juried gallery exhibition at the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) 2019 annual conference in Las Vegas. Yang’s design submission, “Indigo Lantern,” was accepted for the juried gallery exhibition and received the Sandra Hutton Award for excellence in fiber art. Her design, “Indigo Lantern,” synchronizes the cultural design components through construction techniques and highlights sustainable practices used to create a modern look. This project explored the use of a family heirloom hemp fabric that was deteriorated from aging and insect damage. The dress created rhythmic characteristics by using structural patchwork with flat-felled seams.   The structural design created a 3-D lantern shape which contributed to the harmony and unity reflected in the final design. This is the fourth award that Yang has won at the ITAA conference. These designs can be viewed at

Departmental News

Reminder: Open Enrollment for Benefits Ends Nov. 11
The Open Enrollment period for Meredith benefits continues through Monday, Nov. 11. All required forms must be received no later than 5 p.m. on November 11 to have elections processed for benefits plan year 2020. Visit the Open Enrollment page to access and download forms, as well as the 2020 Benefits Guide, rate information, brochures, and flyers. You can also access the Open Enrollment Page by visiting the HR MyMeredith home page or by using the menu bar on the left side of the screen after you log in to the portal. Continue to utilize the Action Items Checklist as you navigate the open enrollment process. Attend to each item on the Checklist to determine if your action is required: The Office of Human Resources is available to assist. Please come and see us or contact us at x8898 or

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330