University of Richmond faculty and staff experts are often asked to add perspective to the news of the day, and that’s certainly been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. From mathematical modeling of infectious disease to healthy eating and the economic impact, many of our experts have conducted research in related areas.

More than 60 faculty and staff experts have been featured in over 230 media outlets on COVID-19 related topics, spanning 15 different areas on campus, including all five schools, as well as international education, admissions, information services, and career services.

Eugene Wu, associate professor of biology and biochemistry, has spent his academic career studying viruses, and he shared his expertise on potential antivirals and testing options. 

Wu penned a story for The Conversation titled “Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate.” The Conversation is an independent news outlet that specializes in articles written by academics for a general audience.

“Widespread testing for SARS–CoV–2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is critical to knowing if, when and how people can start to return to their normal lives,” Wu said. “An antigen test for the coronavirus could be a huge help in expanding testing.”

Laura Knouse, a psychology professor and clinical psychologist, early in the pandemic began sharing tips with the campus community on how to stay grounded during uncertain times by focusing on and accomplishing smaller daily tasks. She shared her insights on self-regulation at home on her YouTube channel and posted them on campus communication channels to assist faculty, staff, and students.

Her advice was also highlighted in a Fast Company article, “6 ways to build emotional resiliency in uncertain times.”

“Goals and activities that generate a sense of accomplishment, mastery, difference making, or positive emotions such as joy are especially good choices,” Knouse said. “But it can still feel good to accomplish even seemingly mundane tasks.”

Rania Kassab Sweis is a medical anthropologist who’s studied healthcare workers and medical aid in the midst of warfare and crisis. Much of Sweis' fieldwork has taken place in the Middle East and North Africa.

She provided insight on what U.S. healthcare workers facing COVID-19 might learn from those on the front lines of war in her piece “Hospital Warzones: What Syrian and US Health Workers Now Share,” which she authored for The Globe Post.

"The trauma, fear, and frustration American healthcare workers are currently experiencing resemble the emotional burdens many Syrian doctors have carried for years now," Sweis said.     

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