For Immediate ReleasePrint | PDF
First published: March 4, 2020 Updated: May 21, 2020
Waterloo – The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world. Wilfrid Laurier University has several experts available to speak about topics related to the virus.
Steve Wilcox is an assistant professor in the Game Design and Development program and an expert on games, play, learning and knowledge mobilization. He has worked with organizations, including the Canadian Public Health Association, to develop educational games for healthcare professionals. He is available to speak about using games as educational tools, including how games like Pandemic, Pox: Save the People and Zombiepox can help players understand the scientific, social, cultural and political nature of a viral outbreak. He can also speak about how online multiplayer games like Animal Crossing, World of Warcraft and Jackbox are helping friends connect while remaining physically apart. Contact: email@example.com
Ginette Lafrenière, associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work, director of Laurier’s Social Innovation Research Group and director of the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research (MCCHR), is an expert on gendered violence, women’s health, community engagement and arts-based social development. She is available to speak about why the pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence, the obstacles victims face trying to reach safety and the increased pressures on crisis centres and shelters. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Crush is a professor in the School of International Policy and Governance who teaches at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is an expert on global migration and development, and urbanization and food security in the Global South. He is currently studying how the coronavirus will impact food security in China, as well as how to improve food access and availability there. He also recently wrote about how the coronavirus pandemic may impact Africa, especially poorer communities. Contact: email@example.com
Simon Dalby is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies who teaches at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He is an expert on governance, security and climate change. He has written recently about several topics related to the coronavirus pandemic, global security and governance, and climate change: “Pandemic Geography: What Happens Where,” "The New Security Agenda in the time of COVID19,” “Globalization, Pandemics and Shared Insecurity,” “Lessons from Wuhan? The Politics of ‘Intelligence Failures,’” and “Pandemics, Borders and Crisis in a Globalized World.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Fitz-Gerald is the director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a professor in Laurier’s Department of Political Science. She is an expert in global security, security sector governance and peace and conflict. She has facilitated internationally sponsored peace talks and has advised, and been seconded to work with, a number of countries on issues relating to national security policy and strategy issues. She has written and spoken about the policies and practices Canada should consider for the post-COVID-19 world. Contact: 519.505.6466 or email@example.com
Debora VanNijnatten, professor in the departments of Political Science and North American Studies, is an expert on environmental and climate change policy in North America; Canadian environmental politics; and transboundary cooperation on water management. She is also available to speak about how the COVID-19 crisis will impact climate change and environmental policy commitments. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hind Al-Abadleh is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is an expert on air pollution, aerosols and climate change, as well as arsenic and phosphorus in the environment. In 2018, she was named Fullbright Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry, Air Quality and Climate Change. She is currently chair of the Environment Division for the Chemical Institute of Canada. Al-Abadleh recently wrote about how physical distancing measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced the concentration of pollutants in the air and improved air quality. Contact: email@example.com
Kim Dawson, professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is an expert on sport psychology and performance. She has worked with athletes of all types, including Olympic athletes, to prepare them for top performance under pressure. She is available to speak about the impacts the coronavirus pandemic is having on athletes and ways non-athletes can maintain the motivation to stay healthy and reach their fitness goals. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Gregory is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. She is an expert in biomechanics, particularly spine health and low back pain, and ergonomics. She is available to speak about how to set up an ergonomic work space at home and other tips to reduce the risk of work-related stress and injury. Contact: email@example.com
Tom Hazell, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is studying the potential for intense exercise to reduce appetite and alter metabolism. He is also studying the short and long-term benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). He is available to speak about ways to stay fit and healthy while in isolation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Wilson is a professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on how people’s identities shift over time, how people reconstruct the past and envision the future, and how this affects the present. She has studied goal pursuit, personal and collective memories and beliefs about change and stability, among other topics. She is available to speak about several topics related to the coronavirus pandemic:
Justin Cavallo, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of Psychology, is an expert on close relationships and social support. He is available to speak about the mental health implications of isolation and what people can do to stay well. Cavallo’s research examines relationships from a social cognitive perspective, exploring how people's motivational preferences affect interpersonal thought and behaviour. Contact: email@example.com
Erin Dej is an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Criminology and an expert in social exclusion. She is available to discuss the impact of the pandemic on people experiencing homelessness and poverty, as well as the impact of loneliness on mental health in the context of self-isolation and social distancing. Dej’s research focuses primarily on homelessness, as well as mental health and homelessness prevention. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Blandford, assistant professor and program coordinator for Laurier’s Bachelor of Arts in Policing and Master of Public Safety programs, is a retired police officer with 30 years of service in operational and administrative positions. He is an expert in police training and organizational development issues. He is available to speak about the risks police officers and other first responders are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Contact: email@example.com
Ivona Hideg, associate professor of organizational behaviour and human resource management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and Canada Research Chair in Organizational Leadership, is an expert on gender equality and diversity in the workplace and how prejudiced attitudes may undermine equality and equity. She has studied the role of benevolent sexism in the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions and the effects of parental leaves on men and women’s careers. She is currently studying the gender division of household labour during the pandemic, as well as the workplace experiences of Asian Canadians and Asian Americans during the pandemic. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Walton-Roberts is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is currently researching the global migration of nurses and the challenges they face, including the non-recognition of credentials and language requirements. She recently wrote about the global migration of front-line health care workers during the pandemic and its implications in “COVID-19 and Global Human Health Resources” and about how the pandemic has exposed the degree to which we rely on and undervalue the care labour of marginalized immigrant women in “If COVID-19 is the Titanic, the economy is the iceberg.” Contact: email@example.com
Janet McLaughlin is an associate professor in the Department of Health Studies and a research associate with the International Migration Research Centre. She is an expert on migrant workers’ rights, health and safety, and compensation. McLaughlin’s research has focused on temporary foreign workers from Mexico and Jamaica who work in Ontario agriculture. McLaughlin is available to speak about how policies put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic may affect migrant workers and how this could impact the goods and services that Canadians rely on. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Russell, associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, is an economist and expert on labour, public policy, wage trends and growing inequality. She is available to comment on how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Canadian workers and the role of public policy in improving labour market conditions and promoting economic recovery. Russell was formerly senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Contact: email@example.com
Jason Dean, instructor in Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, is an expert in labour and health economics. He is available to discuss how COVID-19 may affect the employment and wages of Canadian workers. Dean’s research has focused on topics including the Canadian housing market and the work of Canadian immigrants dating to before the First World War. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Comacchio, professor in the Department of History, is an expert on the sociocultural impact of war in Canada and the history of children and youth in the late 19th to 21st centuries. Comacchio is available to comment on how historical wars and crises affected the everyday lives of Canadians, especially families and children, and what this might say about how the coronavirus pandemic could impact Canadians' lives today.
Mark Humphries is an associate professor in Laurier’s Department of History, the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience, and director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. He is available to comment on how Canada is reacting to COVID-19 in comparison to the 1918 influenza pandemic. Humphries wrote a book in 2013 titled The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada. Contact: email@example.com
Julie Mueller, associate professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Education, is available to speak about the importance of keeping children active while at home; the many sites and apps available to broaden their learning online (e.g., virtual field trips to museums, zoos and historical sites); the need for critical evaluation of information children hear and see; and the social connections they are able to make through digital platforms and social media. An expert on digital technology and learning, as well as physical activity and learning, Mueller is also a former elementary school teacher. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn FitzGerald, assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education, is an expert in mental health in education. She is available to speak about how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact the mental well-being of children and youth and what parents can do to help their children during these uncertain times. FitzGerald’s research focuses on the mental health of pre-service teachers, teachers and school administrators, as well as ways in which educators can offer effective programs to respond to the mental health needs of Ontario’s children and youth. Read FitzGerald's suggestions for how to build resiliency in children during the pandemic. Contact: email@example.com
Tammy Schirle is a professor in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and a research fellow with the C.D. Howe Institute. She is available to comment on income support programs announced by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Schirle is an expert on labour economics, public policy and the economics of gender and aging. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierre Siklos is a professor in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. He is available to speak about the possible impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Siklos specializes in macroeconomics with an emphasis on the study of inflation, central banks and financial markets. Contact: email@example.com
Jurek Konieczny, professor of Economics in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, is available to speak about how the coronavirus has affected the world economy and markets, why the Bank of Canada has lowered its key interest rate and what can be expected if the virus continues its course. Konieczny is an expert in macroeconomics, monetary economics, monetary and fiscal policy and the Great Recession. He is the former director of the Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis and has spoken recently about the possibility of another recession. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Blay-Palmer is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, the founding director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies. She is an expert in sustainable food systems (from growing and harvesting to consumption and disposal) and food security, especially in Canada. Blay-Palmer is the author of Models and Best Practices for Building Effective Local Food Systems in Ontario and available to speak about the potential impacts the coronavirus pandemic could have on local food systems and communities. She can be reached at email@example.com
Michael Haughton is a professor and CN Fellow in Supply Chain Management in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. He is an expert on the management of operations in the international transportation of goods via land and water. Haughton is available to speak about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the flow of goods and services internationally, from the disruption of manufacturing operations to troubles meeting consumer demands. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Anderson is the community pastor at thirdspace_, an alternative worshipping community at Martin Luther University College. She is an expert on alternative worship and new ways to encourage youth and young adults to explore and connect with their faith. Since late last week, thirdspace_ has been offering services online. Anderson is available to speak about alternative ways for religious communities to gather and worship. Contact: email@example.com
Stephanie DeWitte-Orr, an associate professor in Laurier’s Health Sciences and Biology programs, is a virologist and immunologist. She studies how human and animal bodies detect and respond to viral infections. DeWitte-Orr is available to speak about how viruses affect human health, how they spread across populations and how infections can be prevented and treated. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Wenn, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is available to speak about the potential impacts of the coronavirus on the upcoming Summer Olympics Games in Japan. Wenn is an expert on sport and commerce; Olympic history and scandals; and the financial and logistical challenges of hosting the Olympics. He is the co-author of Selling the Five Rings: the IOC and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism and the lead author of Tarnished Rings: The International Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City Bid Scandal and the recently released The Gold in the Rings: The People and Events that Transformed the Olympic Games. Contact: email@example.com or 519.884.1970 x4160.
Penelope Ironstone is an associate professor in the Department of Communications and director of the master’s in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory program. She can speak about how fear and misinformation around the virus are generated and perpetuated and how they can contribute to racism and xenophobia. In a follow-up to her research project, “From Seasonal Flu to Pandemic Influenza: The Cultural Life of a Virus,” she is monitoring media portrayals of viruses, including the coronavirus, and analyzing how our understanding of viruses can help or hinder public health efforts. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ahmad Firas Khalid is a faculty member in Human and Social Sciences, a medical doctor and a health policy advisor. He is available to speak about what the public can do to protect themselves from the virus, the Canadian government's role in controlling the spread of the virus, what other countries are doing to control its spread and what the future might look like. He recently published an article about ways to put evidence about coronavirus into action. Contact: email@example.com
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