Published: March 10, 2021

Colorado recorded its first known cases of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020. In the weeks that followed, K-12 schools and universities across the state transitioned to remote learning, while many businesses closed entirely. CU Boulder switched to remote learning on March 16, 2020. 

Nurse wearing mask and face shield administers a vaccine

COVID-19 Johnson and Johnson vaccination clinic at CU Boulder | Credit: Casey A. Cass/CU Boulder

To mark this solemn anniversary, experts from CU Boulder are available to discuss their research on various aspects of the pandemic—from vaccination policies to the toll on mental health and outlooks for the future.

COVID-19 modeling and vaccine distribution

David Bortz, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics, is a member of Colorado’s COVID-19 modeling team. He’s available to discuss how mathematical tools have informed public health decisions across the state and recent research that suggests that the coronavirus may have become established in Colorado by as early as January 2020.

Read: Mathematician on the front lines of Colorado’s coronavirus response

Daniel Larremore, a computational biologist in the BioFrontiers Institute at CU Boulder, uses mathematical tools to study everything from vaccine distribution strategies to smell tests that  can diagnose COVID-19. He is available to discuss vaccination priorities in the U.S. and the outlook for the pandemic in the months ahead.

Read: Why older adults must go to the front of the vaccine line

Mental health

June Gruber, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, can discuss the surge in mental illness that has resulted from the pandemic. Gruber is studying how the pandemic has impacted college students and launched efforts to “flatten the mental illness curve.” She teaches a free online course, #talkmentalillness, on the Coursera platform.

Read: 6 questions: Navigating life as a working mom in a pandemic

COVID-19 transmission

Jose-Luis Jimenez, professor of chemistry and fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), is a leading researcher on how aerosols contribute to COVID-19 transmission. He can speak about how aerosols behave, why masks and ventilation are so important and how carbon dioxide measurements indoors can serve as an indicator of how well ventilated or not a space is. 

Read: Singing unmasked, indoors spreads COVID-19 through aerosols

Colorado’s economic outlook

Brian Lewandowski, executive director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, contributes to regular reports on the state of the Colorado economy. They include the Leeds Business Confidence Index and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Quarterly Indicators report. He is available to discuss the economic outlook for Colorado in the months ahead.

Read: Colorado’s economy improving, but recovery may be slowing

COVID-19 and K-12 education

Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education, studies how trust is essential in creating just education policies. She is available to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on K-12 students and the importance of engaging with teachers and school communities in shaping future education policies. 

Read: How to address distrust to create lasting change in education

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 have disproportionately affected students from already vulnerable populations—and how schools might address those inequities moving forward.

Read: Answer Sheet: Lessons From the Pandemic’s Education Pod Parents

Women and work

Rachel Rinaldo, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, can discuss how remote learning has affected home life, gender roles and women’s ability to work outside the home. Her research, conducted in the Denver/Boulder area, shows that even in a fairly progressive region, women have taken on the bulk of childcare during the pandemic, often sacrificing their careers to do so.

Legal questions

Craig Konnoth, an associate professor at Colorado Law, is an expert in health law and civil rights. He can speak about the legality of evolving local, state and national public health policies around vaccinations, health privacy and social distancing rules. 

Monitoring wastewater 

Cresten Mansfeldt, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, leads CU Boulder’s wastewater monitoring project, a team of students who collect and test wastewater samples from residence halls on campus to help detect and intercept community spread of COVID-19. He can discuss how this custom-made, anonymous surveillance system works and how it has helped provide an early warning signal for cases of COVID-19. 

Read: How sampling campus wastewater aims to keep COVID-19 in check