Published: July 28, 2020

Student reads book in classroom while wearing a mask.

As K-12 schools across the country face tough decisions on how to reopen, continue remotely or offer hybrid models, education experts from the University of Colorado Boulder are available for media interviews on a variety of pandemic-era topics.

Reopening schools

Kathy Schultz, dean and professor in the School of Education, can discuss the importance of listening to and engaging with teachers and communities as schools grapple with decisions about how best to begin the new school year. She studies how addressing distrust in education can help create lasting and just policy decisions.

Children’s stress and anxiety

Julia Zigarelli, associate director of the Renee Crown Wellness Institute, can discuss stress and anxiety among children, and how families can support a child’s mental health and wellness as they transition back to school. Zigarelli is a licensed child psychologist who specializes in working with youth.

Teens, and brain development

Roselinde Kaiser, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, studies brain development, emotional wellbeing and stress resilience. She can speak about brain changes in adolescence and young adulthood, how brain activity is linked to stress coping and motivation and how disruptions related to COVID-19 and stress are impacting teens and college students.

Mental health among college students

June Gruber, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, specializes in the study of mental health in young adults. She is currently conducting a study exploring the impact the pandemic has had on college students. She’s also spoken about the challenges of navigating life as a working mom during the pandemic.

Eliminating the SAT and ACT

Derek Briggs, professor in the School of Education, can talk about how many colleges and universities have eliminated application requirements for standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT, during the COVID-19 pandemic. His research focuses upon building sound and equitable methodological approaches for measuring and evaluating the growth in student learning.

Talking to kids about tough topics

Elizabeth Dutro, professor in the School of Education, studies trauma and how students learn better when their teachers incorporate difficult life experiences into school curricula. She can discuss the challenges facing many children as they return to school in the fall and how teachers can acknowledge these difficulties in the classroom.

Digital media as a remote learning tool

José Lizárraga, assistant professor in the School of Education, studies how digital tools from social media to video games can, under the right circumstances, help kids to learn better. He can discuss the challenges and possible opportunities of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

COVID-era parent involvement

Silvia Noguerón-Liu, assistant professor in the School of Education, can speak about the ways that parents and family members are becoming more involved in their children’s educations, especially as many schools continue to promote remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. She can touch on the challenges and possible opportunities that this greater engagement raises. 

Measuring COVID-19 impacts on students

Lorrie Shepard, distinguished professor in the School of Education, studies the use and misuse of standardized tests in K-12 schools. This summer, she argued against proposals for Colorado to conduct standardized testing of students statewide to assess how their learning may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other states are considering similar proposals, which she says can do more harm than good.

Worsening educational inequality

Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center and professor in the School of Education, studies local and national education policy and inequity in education. He can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic impacts are disproportionately affecting students from already vulnerable populations. In addition, he can discuss the no-win situation facing policymakers in Colorado and how federal policy has, thus far, embraced what he calls “a dangerous austerity approach.