Tip Sheets

Cornell experts on coronavirus - Societal impact

Media Contact

Gillian Smith

If you are interested in other angles to this story, please find experts to discuss vaccines and the pandemic's effects on healthcare systems, COVID's impact on the economy, its effects on countries around the world, and the science and public health aspects of this crisis.

Samuel Bacharach

Professor of Labor Management

Sam Bacharach, expert in labor management, negotiation and organizational politics, is available to discuss tips for managers who are now working with remote staffs. He says the working relationship does not have to be hierarchical all the time, especially in a remote work situation.

Natalie Bazarova

Associate Professor of Communication

Natalie Bazarova, professor in the Department of Communication and director of the Cornell Social Media Lab, examines social-psychological and communication processes in social media and mobile interaction. With the Prosocial Behaviors Collaborative project supported by the Cornell Center for Social Sciences, she and her collaborators are examining how students deal with these disruptions, as reflected in their discourse on university subreddits, and how stress peaks correspond to crisis response decisions and announcements at the university, local, state, and federal levels.

Sahara Byrne

Professor of Communication

Sahara Byrne, professor of communications, studies when and why youth resist campaigns, interventions and policies designed to protect them from engaging in risky behaviors. She is concerned about teens who may be secretly vaping during this coronavirus pandemic, because their parents may not take them to the hospital if their symptoms worsen. Byrne is part of a team of researchers who are studying the most effective health warnings to include in advertisements for electronic cigarettes. 

Erin York Cornwell

Associate Professor of Sociology

Erin York Cornwell examines neighborhood context and social connectedness of older adults, and how it shapes their health and well-being. She can talk about how social distancing could exacerbate already high levels of social isolation among older adults in rural areas and the importance of maintaining a connection with older adults who may be especially vulnerable to both the coronavirus and the behavioral changes that we’re making to reduce its spread.

Thomas Gilovich

Professor of Psychology

Tom Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has studied the happiness people derive from experiences, is available to discuss the impact quarantine can have a person's happiness and perspective about the world. 

Kim Haines-Eitzen

Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Kim Haines-Eitzen, expert in religious studies, is available to discuss isolation and solitude. Her teaching focuses on about ancient apocalyptic thinkers in early Judaism and early Christianity. These ideas may offer hope in a time that seems dire.

Michael Huyghue

Visiting Professor of the Practice at the Law School

Michael Huyghue is visiting professor of practice at the Law School and an expert in the professional sports industry. He comments on the impact that tournaments cancellations will have on sports leagues, their financial situation as well as that of the athletes they employ.   

Theomary Karamanis

Senior Lecturer of Management Communication

As the virus progresses, comms from healthcare officials as well as elected officials becomes more crucial, Theomary Karamanis, expert in crisis and health communication, can discuss what authorities need to keep in mind when addressing the public about the coronavirus public health crisis.


René Kizilcec

Assistant Professor of Information Science, Director of the Future of Learning Lab

René Kizilcec is director of Cornell's Future of Learning Lab and assistant professor of information science. He can speak about the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on how students learn and how teachers teach, and what it means for the long-term future of instruction.

Sarah Kreps

Professor of Government

Sarah Kreps, professor of government, studies artificial intelligence and misinformation. She says that tech firms are highly influential in the spread of information, and that the coronavirus will be a test of their ability to combat fake news. Kreps also recently conducted a nationally representative survey of Americans showing that contact-tracing apps, including the Apple model, face significant adoption obstacles.

Douglas L. Kriner

Professor of Government

Douglas Kriner, professor of government, is an expert on presidential privilege and the separation of powers. He is the author of "Investigating the President: Congressional Checks on Presidential Power" and can speak to how the COVID-19 crisis has and will impact presidential power and congressional oversight, in particular, how the crisis may influence the election in November. 

Neil Lewis, Jr.

Assistant Professor of Communication

Neil Lewis, Jr. is an assistant professor of communication and social behavior at Cornell University and assistant professor of communication research in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is available to discuss how racial and economic disparities in coronavirus cases reflect a persistent problem throughout U.S history and may exacerbate the pandemic we are currently facing.

David Little

Senior Extension Associate, Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association

David Little is the executive director of the Rural Schools Association and is available to talk about how New York state’s rural schools have had to overcome significant challenges to comply with the school closure mandate given COVID-19 crisis.

Jonathan Lunine

Professor of the Physical Sciences

Jonathan Lunine, professor of physics and chair of the astronomy department, can speak to the impact of coronavirus on the astronomy community. He says most scientific exchanges already happen by teleconferencing and that the coronavirus crisis may force a long-term rethinking of scientific gatherings that reduces travel.

Suzanne Mettler

Professor of American Institutions

Suzanne Mettler is a professor of government and an expert on social welfare policies and the congressional stimulus package. She can talk about how the response to the coronavirus relates to American's low sense of confidence in government and concerns about democracy.

Jamila Michener

Assistant Professor of Government

Jamila Michener is an assistant professor of government and an expert on poverty and racial inequality. She says during times of public health crisis the consequences of inequalities surface and it’s going to be a huge challenge to support K-12 students facing school closures at home and also in their communities.

Anthony Ong

Professor of Human Development

Anthony Ong, professor of human development, can talk about the emotional impacts of self isolation. He says while self isolation may intensify feelings of loneliness, it’s also an opportunity to connect virtually and learn from each other.

Huiju Park

Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design

Huiju Park, an expert in functional apparel design, researches ways to improve the mobility and thermal comfort of personal protective clothing. He is available to discuss the design and evaluation of protective clothing related to heat and stress, disposable and reusable protective gear, manufacturing issues and quality evaluation.

Thomas Pepinsky

Professor of Government

Tom Pepinsky, professor of government, is an expert on the interaction between domestic politics and the global economy. His current work analyzes the partisan response to coronavirus, finding that partisan identity predicts attitudes toward coronavirus (social distancing, washing hands) more accurately than education, income or any other factor. 

Karl Pillemer

Professor of psychology and of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine

Karl Pillemer, expert on human development and social relationships, is available to discuss the impact of surviving crisis from the perspective of a generation who has done it before. His work is informed by interviews with people who lived through the Great Depression, World War II and the 1918 Influenza. He can also discuss the fear of dying alone

Valerie Reyna

Professor of Human Development, Director of the Human Neuroscience Institute, Co-director of the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

Valerie Reyna, professor of human development, studies the neuroscience of risky decision making and its implications for health and well-being. She says changing advice contributes to the perception that experts might not know what they are doing, which is false. Emotions and actions in reaction to a risk depend crucially on how people understand the gist of the risk.  Providing the facts is important, but it is how people interpret those facts that determines behavior. 

Noliwe Rooks

Professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies

Noliwe Rooks, professor of American studies and author of the book “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and The End of Public Education,” says economically vulnerable students will be at a disadvantage when it comes to learning online due to school closures. She says for students who utilize free internet at libraries, navigating the academic landscape and social distancing will be difficult. 

Astrid Van Oyen

Assistant Professor of Classics

Astrid Van Oyen is a Roman archaeologist with a special interest in material culture. She can speak about hoarding trends associated with coronavirus and how prepared we are as a society to store goods and supplies — the way our ancestors have done in prior crises.

Qi Wang

Professor of Human Development

Qi Wang, professor of human development, is able to address impacts of social distancing in the current context of COVID-19. She says social isolation can cause loneliness, but people can be proactive to counter the negative ramifications by staying connected via social media and other technological means.

Arthur Wheaton

Director of Labor Studies, ILR School

Arthur Wheaton, professor of labor and an expert on the automotive sector, is available to speak about how manufacturers are shifting production towards safety gear to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stephen Wicker

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Stephen Wicker, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is an expert in information network privacy issues. He says in the age of increased internet use due to coronavirus, personal data can be collected and manipulated, and that Congress needs to introduce regulations.

Max Zhang

Professor of engineering and faculty director at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability

Max Zhang, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for Sustainability, studies sustainable energy systems and the effects of pollutants on air quality and climate change. He can speak about the short and long-term impact of the coronavirus on carbon emissions and pollution, and recently engaged on the topic with VICE News.

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.