As the CU Boulder community responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic, our researchers are available to discuss various aspects of this disease and its impact on people in Colorado and beyond.
For ongoing updates, frequently asked questions and more on how COVID-19 is impacting campus, visit the CU Boulder coronavirus resource page.
To schedule interviews, contact CU Boulder media relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How people will spend stimulus checks
Tony Cookson, co-director of the Leeds School of Business Center for Financial Decision Making, can talk about what people will likely do with their stimulus payments. His recently published research into how people spend financial windfalls shows many people will likely pay down debt, lower delinquencies and improve their credit, rather than spend their check immediately.
Paid sick leave
Emily Gallagher, assistant professor of finance in the real estate track of the Leeds School of Business, can discuss how changes in paid sick leave, especially for those in low-income households, could impact the spread of the virus as well as mortgage and rental delinquencies longer-term.
Christina Lacerenza is an assistant professor of organizational leadership and information analytics at the Leeds School of Business. Her work focuses on identifying effective leadership and teamwork practices for the 21st century and beyond. She can speak about how to best lead and work in a remote team, the transition from face-to-face to virtual teaming, and unique challenges faced by virtual teams.
Impacts on Colorado’s economy
Brian Lewandowski works in the Leeds Business Research Division (BRD). BRD collects some of the most comprehensive information on the Colorado economy through various regular reports and forecasts, including the Colorado Business Economic Outlook, the Leeds Business Confidence Index and Colorado Secretary of State’s Quarterly Indicators report.
What brands are doing to respond
Kelty Logan is an associate professor of advertising, public relations and media design. Logan can discuss approaches brands are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, from Amazon removing products making false claims to Starbucks providing coffee to first-responders to clothing manufacturers pivoting to make masks and distilleries producing hand sanitizer. She can also discuss how brands will need to change their ads and messaging to remain successful going forward. Logan has more than 20 years of experience as a marketing executive in the advertising, broadcast network and product marketing industries. She studies changing patterns of media usage resulting from digital technology and its impact on the advertising industry.
Impacts on global supply chains
Gregg Macaluso is an instructor of supply chain management and faculty director of the Leeds School of Business Masters in supply chain management. He focuses on creating supply chains for Fortune 1000 companies across several industries. He can speak to the coronavirus’ impacts on global supply chains.
Entrepreneurship, COVID and climate change
Jeffrey York is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and sustainability at the Leeds School of Business. He can explain how entrepreneurship can help solve some of the crises stemming from COVID-19. He can also talk about the similarities between solving COVID-19’s challenges and beating climate change.
COVID-19 is a dress rehearsal for entrepreneurial approaches to climate change
Corporate issues and relief packages
Erik Gerding, professor at the University of Colorado Law School, focuses on finance and banking law, as well as corporate governance. He can explain how major corporations were so vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts. He can also talk about federal and state relief packages.
On contracts and cancellations
Andrew Schwartz, professor of law, teaches courses on contract law. He can speak to contracts and events being canceled due to coronavirus.
Breaking contracts over coronavirus: Can you argue it’s an ‘act of God’?
Scott Skinner-Thompson, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School, can talk about legal responses to the pandemic, including the criminalization of COVID, the importance of nondiscrimination, and the law’s role in promoting public health. Skinner-Thompson draws on his expertise regarding HIV and the law. He has served as editor for “AIDS and the Law.”
CARES Act hurdles
Sloan Speck, an associate professor at Colorado Law, studies tax law and policy. He can explain the hurdles some people may find in getting their $1,200 stimulus check. He can also explain how decisions small businesses make to get federal and state relief could impact them in the future.
Engineering & Health
How COVID-19 is affecting the electric power grid
Kyri Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering and Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (by courtesy), can speak about how increased residential electricity consumption and decreased commercial electricity consumption due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing is dramatically changing the way the electrical grid operates, as well as how this impacts the generation and use of renewable energy.
Risks of splitting ventilators
Mark Borden, a mechanical engineering professor, can explain how ventilators work and how car companies could begin manufacturing them. He can also talk about the risks of splitting ventilators between patients.
Disinfection of the built environment
Mark Hernandez is the SJ Archuleta Professor of Civil Engineering, and his expertise is in the characterization and control of bioaerosols and fomites in the built environment. He can speak about the detection, distribution and abundance of indoor microbes and their persistence in response to different cleaning practices.
Disease networks and evolutionary strategies
Daniel Larremore, assistant professor in the BioFrontiers Institute and Department of Computer Science, is available to discuss the theory behind how diseases spread in networks. He uses mathematical tools to understand how pathogens evolve to evade the human immune system, with a focus on malaria. His work also probes the theory behind the spread of information, disease or neural excitations, all of which grow as cascades in complex networks.
Indoor air quality and infectious disease transmission
Shelly Miller, professor in the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering, can speak about how people can minimize their exposure to indoor air pollutants, even in the age of social distancing. She also studies how hospitals and other facilities combat the spread of airborne diseases through engineering tools like ultraviolet light.
Using stimulus funds for disaster preparedness
Keith Porter, research professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, can speak about using COVID-19 recovery stimulus funds to reduce Colorado's risk from inevitable future natural disasters. Wise investment of stimulus funds could help the state to recover from the current disaster while saving lives and money in the future, Porter says.
COVID-19 in the developing world
Evan Thomas, associate professor of environmental engineering and director of the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering, is an expert on water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in the developing world. He can discuss how underlying, chronic inequalities such as access to safe water may accelerate the spread of COVID and steps researchers, governments and NGOs can take to improve outcomes.
Air quality and ventilation
John Zhai is a professor of building systems engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. He can speak to the effectiveness of and reasoning behind the use of face masks, even for those who are not sick, in public spaces (elevators, stores, public transportation) where social distancing is not easily possible. Although the CDC has not changed its official guidance on the matter, it now recommends the use of face masks for the general public.
Mental Health Impacts
Supporting your mental health
Sona Dimidjian, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, can discuss strategies for supporting mental health. Dimidjian is director of the new Renée Crown Wellness Institute, with a research focus on wellness for women, children and families. Her work examines the clinical application of contemplative practices, including mindfulness meditation, and behavioral approaches in healthcare settings, as well as social emotional learning in schools.
On mental health for working parents, college students
June Gruber, an assistant professor of psychology, can discuss the mental health challenges facing working parents and college students amid the pandemic. Gruber specializes in the study of emotion, happiness and mood disorders and is currently conducting research on emotional wellness among undergraduate college students in Colorado.
Mental health in a time of disaster
Courtney Welton-Mitchell, can speak about mental health challenges—particularly for vulnerable groups including children, adults with pre-existing mental health issues and recent immigrants—in the time of disaster. She can also discuss how different groups interpret and comply with public health messaging. She is a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center on the CU Boulder campus and an assistant professor in the Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response Certificate Program at the Colorado School of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Education & Remote Learning
As K-12 schools across the country face tough decisions on how to reopen, continue remotely or offer hybrid models, education experts from CU Boulder are available for media interviews on a variety of pandemic-era topics.
Barbara Dix is a CIRES research scientist who works with satellite data to analyze anthropogenic emissions. She can speak to how the effects of the lockdowns are reflected in satellite images.
Global climate change
Kris Karnauskas is a climate scientist and CIRES Fellow who works on the dynamics of climate change, from its basic causes to its impacts on humanity. He can speak to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carbon emissions, measured CO2 concentrations and the bigger picture of climate change mitigation and emissions targets.
Opportunities for urban streets and transport
Kevin J. Krizek, professor of transport in the programs of Environmental Design and Environmental Studies, can speak to how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted what is acceptable and possible with street space in cities, and how urban planners, elected officials and researchers could use this time to build stronger networks for cycling infrastructure, and create opportunities for human-scaled transport for decades to come.
Impacts on climate change research
Bruce Vaughn, research associate and fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), can discuss how COVID-19 is impacting measurements of global greenhouse gases and causing disruptions to ongoing international scientific research projects, such as the East Greenland Ice-core Project.
Society & Religion
On Zoom funerals, online grief and technology at the end of life
Jed Brubaker, an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science and director of the Identity Lab studies how life and death are experienced online. He can discuss how technologies like Zoom and social media platforms like Facebook are enabling people to grieve loved ones in the age of social distancing, and some of the challenges that arise.
American Indian response
Carla Fredericks, director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School, has represented Indian tribes on a variety of litigation and policy matters. She can speak to the unique issues facing tribes as they navigate their COVID-19 response.
Anti-Asian discrimination and racial profiling
Jennifer Ho is a professor in the department of Ethnic Studies and the director of the Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) at CU Boulder, and the president of the Association for Asian American Studies effective April 8, 2020. She can discuss the history of Asian discrimination in the U.S. and the causes and effects of racial profiling and anti-Asian racism related to COVID-19, as well as general history, culture and literature associated with Asian Americans in the U.S.
COVID-19 Pandemic (Communication Matters: The NCA Podcast)
Coloradans howling to connect
Joanna Lambert, a professor in the Program of Environmental Studies, can discuss how wolves communicate, what the purpose is of their howls and how this relates to the recent phenomenon of Coloradans howling each night to connect with each other while staying at home.
Adapting Passover traditions
Jewish Studies professor Samira Mehta is available to speak about how religious institutions and the Jewish community are adapting holiday traditions amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Anti-Asian discrimination, impacts on vulnerable populations
Sociology Professor Lori Peek, director of the Natural Hazards Center, can discuss ongoing anti-Asian discrimination and the social impact the epidemic could have longer-term on vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and low-income families. Peek is the author of two books: Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 911; and Children of Katrina, which documents the long-term impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children.
Deciphering fake news and impacts on the presidential campaign
Associate Professor Elizabeth Skewes, chair of the journalism department in the College of Media Communication and Information (CMCI), is available to discuss how to identify reliable news sources and spot fake news amid the coronavirus crisis. Skewes, a former newspaper reporter and author of Message Control: How News Is Made on the Presidential Campaign Trail, can also discuss how the situation is impacting the presidential campaign.
How to be a better voter (TEDxCU)
On conflicting messaging around stay-at-home orders
Burton St. John III, a professor of advertising, public relations and media design, can discuss conflicting messaging coming from public officials around stay at home orders, what’s driving it and the potential consequences. St. John studies public relations and the management of risk and crisis at the CU Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information and is the author of the 2017 book, Crisis Communication and Crisis Management: An Ethical Approach.
On coronavirus and the radical right
Benjamin Teitelbaum is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology and international affairs and a scholar of the radical right. He can discuss the role extremist groups are playing in protesting stay-at-home orders and exploiting the pandemic to recruit new members. He can also discuss how the coronavirus pandemic fits into the spiritual worldview of one ultraconservative ideology known as Traditionalism. Teitelbaum is the author of a new book about Traditionalism, War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers.
On faith and religion
Deborah Whitehead is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and a senior research fellow in the Center for Media Religion and Culture. She can discuss how religious institutions are coping with the cancellation of large gatherings via technology, the role of religion in times of persistent uncertainty, and the role emergency-preparedness has historically played among certain religious groups.
On the flu epidemic of 1918
Susan Kent, a professor in the Department of History, can discuss the origins, spread, impacts and global consequences of the influenza epidemic of 1918. Kent is an expert in British, European and global history and author of the book, The Global Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919 (2012).