Faculty/Staff Accomplishments & News Briefs 4/13/22

In this issue, we celebrate the accomplishments of faculty and staff in history, interior design, mathematics, music, nutrition, religious and ethical studies, Spanish, and the Universities Studying Slavery research team. In News Briefs, learn about new Meredith backgrounds available for Zoom and an opportunity to have Marketing take employee headshots.

Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Steven A. Benko had his third edited volume published. Better Living Through TV: Contemporary TV and Moral Identity Formation addresses the moral meanings that audiences might take from television shows of the last 20 years. The volume contains essays on The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Justified, Lucifer, Hannibal, and others. In addition to editing the text, Dr. Benko authored the introduction and co-authored with Meredith alumna Ellie Jones, ’20, a chapter on moral decency in the television show The Unicorn. Dr. Alisa Johnson, associate professor of English and assistant dean, Arts and Humanities, and Benko are the authors of the final chapter of the book, “A Black Captain America: Race in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” an analysis of race and representation in the recent Disney+ series. The cover was designed by Meredith alumna Bailey Birtchet, ’21. 

In March, Dr. Margaret Evans, piano faculty, Music Department, presented a talk and demonstration at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Her topic was “The Art of Repertoire Selection” was the topic. Dr. Evans presented this topic to teachers at Carthage College last spring. The Green Bay musicians heard about this and requested she share the same presentation there.   

Assistant Professor of Food and Nutrition Rebecca Hagedorn-Hatfield had two articles published in the March edition of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. The first, the editorial “Re-envisioning Nutrition Education in Higher Education” focuses on hybrid modes of learning, defining rigor, and compassion in higher education, and describes key experiences for future nutrition educators. The second, Newly Food-Insecure College Students in Appalachia During the COVID-19 Pandemic, investigated if the COVID-19 pandemic influenced levels of college student food insecurity and describes factors that might contribute to a student becoming newly food insecure. 

Associate Professor of Mathematics Tim Hendrix was the featured guest on Episode 58 of the Teaching Math Teaching Podcast on February 23. This is a national podcast that interviews mathematics educators and discusses topics of relevance to mathematics teacher educators. The episode can be found on the front page of the podcast website, linked above. Dr. Hendrix shared that the “focus of the podcast was on service and leadership in the mathematics education community, and we discussed issues of recruiting and teaching pre-service teachers of mathematics, as well as issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how increased focus on these important issues is changing the landscape of mathematics education.”

Associate Professor of Political Science Whitney Ross Manzo presented two papers at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Political Science Association in Chicago on April 8. The first paper is about using social media posts to teach students about public policy and was written with Kristina M.W. Mitchell of San Jose State University. The second paper is about unaffiliated voters in North Carolina, and was written with Michael Bitzer of Catawba College, Chris Cooper of Western Carolina, and Susan Roberts of Davidson College. Dr. Manzo was a guest on Charlotte Talks on April 5, discussing the political parties in North Carolina and how they might react to the recent rise in unaffiliated voters, which is now the largest registered group in the state.

Assistant Professor of History Amy O’Keefe recently presented a six-session lecture series on the History of Pandemics for senior living community The Cardinal at North Hills.

Associate Professor and Interior Design Program Coordinator Laura Prestwood has been selected to serve as a CIDQ Ambassador and NCIDQ Exam. An Ambassador for the NCIDQ Exam is a practitioner, educator, or advocate who is committed to promoting the value of the NCIDQ Exam and NCIDQ Certification. Ambassadors are charged with remaining up to date on the latest news on the NCIDQ Exam and are on the front line of the industry to educate, mentor, and engage various audiences on the importance of the NCIDQ Certification. Dr. Prestwood has been NCIDQ Certified since 1993. Dr. Prestwood is also a Registered Interior Designer in the State of North Carolina.

Professor of Spanish Jonathan Wade presented “Confessions of a Prologue: Portuguese-authored Paratexts of the Dual Monarchy” at the 15th Biennial Conference of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry at Clare College, University of Cambridge, on March 24, 2022. 

Universities Studying Slavery (USS) Research Team Presents at Conference
The Universities Studying Slavery Research Team from Meredith College presented its preliminary findings about the College’s history regarding slavery and race at the USS Conference hosted by Wake Forest University and Guilford College from March 30-April 2.  The team’s presentation took place on March 31 on the campus of Guilford College. The theme of the panel was Meredith College: Confronting a College’s History and Traditions in a Time of Cultural Transformation. The team members’ contributions are listed below.

Dr. Sarah Roth, Dean of Arts & Humanities, Professor of History, described the College’s ongoing Anti-Racism Initiative and then addressed former Meredith trustee James Yadkin Lux’s role in creating North Carolina’s Jim Crow educational system in the early 20th century.

Dr. Angela Robbins, Associate Professor of History, demonstrated former campus physician Delia Dixon-Carroll’s contributions to the woman suffrage movement as well as her ongoing work for the Democratic Party following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, during which she encouraged white women to vote in order to preserve white supremacy.

Dr. Daniel Fountain, Professor of History, addressed Thomas Meredith’s decades-long slaveholding and his considerable influence as a proslavery 19th-century newspaper editor and Baptist minister.

Carrie Nichols, Head of Technical Services, Carlyle Campbell Library, reviewed the Meredith College Archives’ efforts to identify problematic racial images within the institution’s yearbooks. She also described the Archives’ collaboration with faculty in teaching HIS 390, a course on Meredith College history.

Janice Sniker, Archives & Collection Management Associate, Carlyle Campbell Library, discussed racial themes that appear in student writing featured in 20th-century volumes of The Acorn, an early Meredith College literary publication.

News Briefs

New Zoom Backgrounds Available
New Meredith College backgrounds for use on Zoom have been added to MyMeredith. New options include Meredith Lake, Johnson Hall, and spring campus scenes. These can be found on the Technology Services MyMeredith site Remote Work Resources page

Headshot Session April 25
Meredith faculty and staff have an opportunity to have professional headshots taken by the Department of Marketing on Monday, April 25, from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.  All headshot sessions will be conducted behind Johnson Hall in the Courtyard in front of Brewer Residence Hall (Rain location will be on the second floor of the SMB Atrium).  Headshot sessions will take place Monday, April 25th from 10-11 a.m.  Employees may come by any time during the hour session. The headshots will be automatically added to employee profiles on the Meredith College Website.  To help with scheduling, please register using this form. Walk-ins will also be welcome! If you have any questions please contact Charlotte McKinney at
Melyssa Allen

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