Experts in the Field of Coronavirus

There are few corners of our national life that have been left untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers expertise in a number of aspects of the national response. They can discuss topics such as mental health care, contact tracing, economics, supply chain management, international travel and remote working and learning, among others.

Bio

Jennifer Ryan, chair of supply chain management and analytics, can broadly discuss issues related to the U.S. supply chain, including recent disruptions in the production and distribution of goods from other countries; the increased demand for products such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and toilet paper; the security of the food supply; and why medical items take longer to produce.

Bio

Liang “Leon” Xu, assistant professor of supply chain management and analytics, is an expert in pharmaceutical supply chains. He recently published research on the Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval process that earned national media attention. His research addresses important and urgent issues facing the U.S. health care system, such as exorbitant drug prices; drug shortages; drug innovation and approval; and the opioid epidemic

Bio

Özgür Araz, associate professor of supply chain management and Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute faculty fellow, specializes in applying data and quantitative modeling techniques to health care. Recently published research involves school-closing policies in pandemics and the stockpiling of ventilators.

Bio

Barney McCoy, professor of broadcasting and journalism, has studied Gen Z as part of his ongoing research on digital distractions in the classroom. McCoy believes his findings indicate a change in the way Gen Z uses technology, as well as changes in the way instructors teach. He adds that both factors could have implications for successful remote learning strategies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bio

Tawnya Means, assistant dean and director for the Teaching and Learning Center in the College of Business, has nearly 20 years of experience with online learning for higher education. Based upon her course on leadership, communication and teams in the virtual world, Means created a webinar on managing remote teams during the pandemic. Key points include setting communication expectations, staying connected, maintaining productivity and supporting staff during personal disruption.

Bio

Hospitality expert Ajai Ammachatharam recently adapted his food and beverage management course to discuss issues relating to COVID-19. His students developed projects to address how the industry will recover. Ammachathram brings years of hospitality management experience from various areas including hospitals, airlines, and the Ritz Carlton. He serves as director of education on the board of the Central Federation of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Education.

Bio

Chris Bilder, a statistics professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has advised the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory on its use of group COVID-19 testing. When testing materials are in short supply, he has shown how tests can be conducted in batches to accurately diagnose infections while reducing the total number of tests required. Bilder and his colleagues reported that the lab spent 58% fewer tests over its first six days of pooling, which could allow them to test 137% more people. Bilder and his colleagues developed an app to streamline this process.

Bio

Bilal Khan has developed a software application that will help rack contacts with COVID-19. If an app user is diagnosed with COVID-19, health officials can send in-app notifications to a list of all ID numbers potentially exposed to that person during the past 14 days. Khan develops new technology for sociological data collection in work that spans data science, machine learning, simulation, operations research and network science.

Bio

Cody Hollist directs the Marriage and Family Therapy program, which has established the Coming Together for Wellness website to provide support to families and others who may not have access to therapy and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member and chaplain for the Air National Guard, Hollist also helped military members and their families cope with trauma. He was also recently awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to study Brazil’s suicide epidemic. Hollist’s research focuses on Latino adolescent mental health issues and Latino family resilience.

Bio

As global safety and security director at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dave Long led the team that coordinated the safe return of study abroad students as the coronavirus pandemic arose. He is responsible for developing and implementing university policies and procedures related to international risk management and mitigation.

Bio

Eric Thompson, economist and direcgtor of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, can answer questions about how the COVID-19 response has affected Nebraska’s economy. Thompson routinely analyzes how the state economy is performing, including leading economic indicators and consumer and business confidence. The bureau issues regular short-term and long-term forecasts for the Nebraska economy.

Bio

As director of Education Abroad at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rebecca Baskerville coordinated the return of UNL stuents from study abroad programs that were cut short by the coronavirus. Her work focuses on safety and health, management and financial oversight, among other topics.

Bio

Mathematics Professor Glenn Ledder developed a mathematical module to help students and the general public conduct experiments to learn about the population dynamics of COVID-19. The model employs a simple model designed specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic.