As we prepare to give thanks and eat pumpkin pie, CU Boulder experts are available to discuss a variety of Thanksgiving-related topics, including the origins of the holiday, mental health struggles, politics at the dinner table and how to safely gather with family this year. 

Managing mental health issues  

For many families, Thanksgiving and other holidays will look different again this year, without the large get-togethers and public festivities the season often brings. June Gruber, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, can discuss how to manage expectations and mental health struggles surrounding the holidays, and how to, as she puts it, “flatten the mental health curve.”

Mixing politics with pumpkin pie 

With the country still politically divided, and the ongoing pandemic sparking heated conversations about vaccines and masks, psychology professor Leaf Van Boven can talk about how to or whether to discuss tricky subjects at the family gathering. Van Boven's research has repeatedly shown that Democrats and Republicans have more in common than they think they do. 

History of Thanksgiving  

Honor Sachs is an assistant professor of history who specializes in early America. the American Revolution. and the early republic. She has written about the 19th century origins of Thanksgiving and can speak about the founding myths that inform and distort this national holiday. 

Travel, family gatherings and COVID-19

Jose-Luis Jimenez, fellow in the Cooperative Institute of Research Sciences (CIRES) and distinguished professor of chemistry at CU Boulder, is a top 10 cited scientist on the subject of aerosols—the dominant route of transmission for the virus that causes COVID-19. He can speak about how this virus spreads in the air, and the easy and important measures we can take while traveling and gathering with family this season to reduce the risk of contracting the disease or giving it to others.  

Gyms and COVID-19

As the holidays approach, people may be eager to return to the gym for a variety of reasons, whether to get in shape or to lose unwanted weight. Mark Hernandez, a professor of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, can speak specifically to ventilation, air filtration, and enhanced cleaning in gyms which affect their risk levels of COVID-19 transmission.