Featured Stories

Dr. Liza ChapmanDr. Liza Chapman

College of Pharmacy

I aspire to serve.

As a pharmacist, the nature of my profession involves serving others. But to me, service is not simply about doing my job. I believe in giving back and strive to make a difference in my profession and community. 

During my time as a pharmacy student, Mercer was incredibly invested in me. I was surrounded by faculty and staff who took the time to help me develop as a student pharmacist and were committed to helping me succeed and achieve my goals. Mercer’s College of Pharmacy truly guided who I am today, and this is the main reason I stay involved as an alumna: my role is to give back. I benefited from the support of the alumni, and now I have the opportunity to continue that legacy of caring. I greatly enjoy interacting with our current students, and I encourage them to network and maintain connections to their classmates and fellow alumni. The Mercer family is strong and remains an asset in our personal and professional lives.

My service as First Vice President in the Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) also stems from my time in pharmacy school. Mercer prepared me for a leadership role. Thanks to Dean Ted Matthews and Associate Dean Jim Bartling, I learned about the importance of GPhA, and was exposed to how the group works. I graduated with the experience and confidence required to help lead a statewide organization of my peers. GPhA allows pharmacists to have an impact on how the profession is seen by the public and other health care groups. The organization ensures that we have a voice in issues that affect and advance our profession.

I want students to remember that it’s easy to go to work, go home, and not invest time and money in your alma mater, your profession, and your network. When you’re a student, there are numerous ways to be involved, but you need to stay involved after you graduate, even if it requires more initiative on your part. You have to choose to make this commitment. If you do, it will come back to you ten-fold.

ShawnShawn McClendon

School of Engineering
2007, 2012

I aspire to empower.

When I graduated from Mercer University in 2007 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and again with a Master's in the same area in 2012, I had no idea that my education was building my skills for an entirely different line of work.

I have a real passion for motivating and empowering others to live healthy lives. I had this passion even before I became an undergraduate, although back then it was more of a real interest in physical fitness and healthy eating. By the time I graduated from college and began my engineering career, my passion had evolved from being a general interest in health-related activities to more of a strong desire to see others around me living healthy lives and avoiding preventable lifestyle diseases. I began to conduct many different kinds of related activities at my church, including showing health documentaries, conducting weight loss challenges, and organizing events where healthy food ideas could be shared. I also began a blog in 2013 called Your Health At The Crossroads (YourHealthAtTheCrossroads.com), with the purpose of it being to help people to understand that it really is in their power to take control of their health. Now, everyone knows that engineers aren't particularly known for their writing skills. Needless to say, with my blog I was doing a lot of writing, and I believe my Mercer engineering degree prepared me in a sense because of how engineering classes train you to think - you have to be organized, methodical, and thorough.

I've had several more amazing chances to empower others about healthy living since then. I've spoken to other churches and groups in the Middle Georgia area. I was blessed with the opportunity to become the Health and Exercise Columnist for The Macon Telegraph just this year. I've also become an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and have run a couple of small group classes, and I've designed customized workout plans for individuals that they can use on their own to achieve their goals. The greatest part of all of this is the feedback I get. Every now and then I get an e-mail or a comment from someone telling me that they're encouraged by what I do and what I write about, and that's how I know that I am indeed empowering others. I'm thankful for the opportunity, thankful for how my Mercer education helped, and I aspire to empower even more people as I continue this work.

Scott Alan TurnerScott Alan Turner

College of Liberal Arts

I aspire to teach.

When I graduated from Mercer University in 1994 one of my professors gave me some advice on saving money, which I promptly ignored. When I graduated I had student loans, then added on a car loan, credit card debt, and eventually bought more house than I should have. I’ve lost tens-of-thousands-of dollars being a lousy investor. It’s all too common, and debt is a crushing feeling.

These days, I am an entrepreneur and personal finance expert. I am the host of Financial Rock Star, a new podcast featuring simple and actionable money, business, and life advice, released on November 2nd, 2015. Within two days, it was ranked #1 on iTunes New and Noteworthy in three categories: business, education and society & culture. 

As soon as I started blogging about personal finance, I noticed the same questions popping up from readers, from ages 18 to 77. People wanted help with the basics of money. “How can I get out of debt and break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle?”  “What can I do to start saving?” “How can I stay motivated when I’m paying off my credit cards and student loans?” “How can I get my partner on board with spending less?”

My show features topics on getting out of debt, budgeting, money saving tips, beginning investing, answers to questions sent in by listeners, inspiring stories, and, of course, rock music. Money can be a boring topic. This isn't your father's financial show. For listening options on iTunes, iHeart Radio and Stitcher Radio, visit http://www.ScottAlanTurner.com/show

Years after graduation from Mercer, I realized not only did I get a great education that allowed me to pursue my passions, but I got a lot of valuable life advice from professors who truly cared about us students (one even hired me to wallpaper his kitchen to earn a few extra bucks). That’s part of why I aspire to teach others.

Shaine McClendonShaine McClendon

School of Engineering

I aspire to inspire.   

I set out to be an electrical engineer in 2003, along with my twin brother, Shawn. Prior to high school graduation, it seemed to be a good fit for me, considering my desire to create things. However, any engineering alum or current student can attest to the fact that an engineering curriculum is anything but a walk in the park! I struggled along the way, but eventually found my groove and, in 2008, graduated from the School of Engineering and entered the work force.

But my time at Mercer not only cultivated my technical and problem solving skills; it also gave me some important experiences and connections that would heavily influence another creative and growing outlet of mine: music. I came to know several fellow Mercerians who had a passion for the creation of music alongside their studies, much like myself. We all knew what we were going to school for, but could not shake the feeling of purpose that our music hobbies brought about.

Since then, we've all moved on to our respective lives and locations (and one of those connections became my wife). But the music would continue to be a part of my life. The connections established in college inspired me to step out on faith and create a music company in 2011 called S.J.Mak Music (www.sjmakofficial.com). It began merely as a means for me to create music based on my faith, my inspirations, and my experiences, but in time it has begun to take part in the lives of other middle Georgia musicians. And though I continue my engineering career along with my music production venture at the moment, I am absolutely certain in my heart that my aspirations to change the lives of others through creative and compelling music will evolve and grow.

My mission as a musician is simply to change the way someone sees the world, even if it's just one person. The state of local, national and world affairs gives us plenty to be concerned about, not to mention the variability of personal circumstances. But in a society filled with negative media, the necessity of a sound that elevates the spirit and brings hope to the soul is unquestionable.

I want to help to create that sound.