Tip sheet

Wayne State University experts available to comment on trending topics for November

Wayne State University's Public Relations team compiles a list of university experts who can speak about trending topics and significant milestones each month.

To reach an expert, please send an email to Bill Roose.


Off-year elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8 this year. Take advantage of our full roster of political pundits for incisive pre- and post-election analysis.

Investors are grappling with the stunning implosion of FTX, one of the biggest and most powerful players in the cryptocurrency industry.

  • Sudip Datta, Ph.D., is a professor of finance at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business and holds the T. Norris Hitchman Endowed Chair. He is an expert in valuation of executive and employee stock options, valuation of shareholder damages due to stock price manipulation, insider-trading related damages, private company valuation, and much more.

This month the U.S. Supreme Court returns to the question of affirmative action in higher education.

  • Jonathan Weinberg, J.D., professor of law, has been a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Christopher Lund, J.D., associate dean for research and faculty development, has had his academic work cited extensively by courts and commentators, including Supreme Court Justices Alito, Ginsburg and Breyer. Both professors are available to discuss these cases and how schools might forge a path forward if race may no longer be considered in admissions policies.

A Russian court rejected an appeal by American basketball star Brittney Griner against her nine-year jail term for drug charges. She is due to serve her sentence in a penal colony. The U.S. contends that Russia is hoping to use Griner and another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, held since December 2018, as bargaining chips.

  • Fred Pearson, Ph.D., is a recognized authority in civil and international conflict analysis.
  • Aaron Retish, Ph.D., a professor of Russian history, is the author of articles on violence in the Revolutionary era, local courts and penal reform, and has broader research interests in law and punishment, gender and ethnicity in the Soviet era.

Doctors across the country and Michigan are worried about what could be a long winter. Hospitals are seeing big spikes in RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases, the respiratory virus that primarily affects children. Add that to a likely increase in COVID-19 cases as well as peak flu season, and concerns about a tripledemic are mounting.

  • Dr. Eric McGrath is board-certified in both pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. He diagnoses and treats medical conditions caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungus, or parasites.

It's possible that one of the largest majority Black cities in the U.S. will not be represented by a Black lawmaker in Congress for the first time in almost 70 years. Detroit residents and community activists worry their economic and racial justice concerns will go unaddressed.

  • Ronald Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, has conducted research exploring citizen engagement and dialogue among Detroit voters.

Regardless of midterm election outcomes, the results may affect investors and the stock market for weeks to come. Plus, the rising cost of living and persistent inflation may accelerate depending on the volatility of the market's reaction. 

  • Julie Hollinshead, adjunct professor and director of the Student Managed Investment Fund at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, is an expert in personal finance and the stock market.

With more and more people returning to their offices and classrooms after 2 ½ years working or going to classes remotely, there can be some significant re-entry challenges, both personally and professionally.

  • Matthew Piszczek, Ph.D., assistant professor of management at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, is an expert in work-life issues, remote work, workforce aging, commuting, strategic HRM, employee/labor relations, and offers a wide range of solutions.

As the holiday shopping season shifts into full gear, consumers might be surprised and dismayed to find that the goods they've come to rely on during the holiday season aren't as readily available this year. One of the least understood issues arising from the pandemic is the severe disruptions in supply chains.

  • Kevin Ketels, a lecturer in global supply chain management at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, can offer perspective and insight about this complicated issue.

The head injury to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagoviloa has put the spotlight back on concussions in sports. But experts say concussions are an all-too-common injury in everyday life. 

  • Tamara Hew-Butler, a podiatric physician specializing in sports medicine and an associate professor of exercise physiology, is ready to talk about the impact of sports on the spread of COVID-19 as well as hydration and overhydration among student athletes.
  • Cynthia Bir, professor and chair of biomedical engineering, has conducted extensive research on sports injuries and is part of the National Football League's engineering committee reviewing head injury protocol. Bir is available to discuss the impact of sports injuries.  


Diabetes is the third leading killer in this country. It is also, in most cases, highly preventable. What can you do on a daily basis to minimize your chances of getting diabetes?

  • Berhane Seyoum, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, Division of Endocrinology, is prepared to discuss prevention and, in particular, the growing problem of diabetes in the Detroit area.
  • Zhiqiang Cao, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has conducted research into the development of an insulin-delivery device and other technology to diagnose and treat diabetes.

What are the employment trends in industries, small business, global economy and technology? As students, mid-career professionals, individuals with special needs and retirees enter the job market, what are their work options, career opportunities and potential obstacles?

  • Susan Gabel, Ph.D., professor of inclusive education, is ready discuss working with individuals with special needs in the workforce. 
  • Nannette McCleary, university counselor – career planning, is prepared to address career development topics.

National Family Literacy Month is an opportunity for families to learn and read together. It also celebrates the work literacy programs do to empower families. National Family Literacy Day is Nov. 1

  • Kathryn Roberts, Ph.D., interim assistant dean of the Division of Teacher Education and professor of reading, language, and literature, is prepared to discuss the importance of literacy and the role it plays in helping young people become productive, independent citizens. She will provide tips parents and guardians can use to promote reading at home and strengthen children's literacy skills as well as recommend books that families can enjoy reading together.


Research demonstrates that practicing gratitude offers several health benefits, including increased happiness, self-esteem, and optimism, improved sleep, reduced stress, and stronger family relationships and friendships.  

  • Erika Bocknek, a licensed family therapist and associate professor of educational psychology in the College of Education, is available to talk about gratitude and its positive effects on mental and physical health. As the principal investigator of the Families and Mental Wellness Lab, she can also discuss how expressing gratitude can increase joy, foster positive attitudes, strengthen bonds, and improve physical health in families as well as share tips for raising grateful children.


National Stress Day seeks to help people identify their stressors and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate stress in their lives.

  • Andria Eisman, assistant professor of community health and a member of the Michigan Model for Health Steering Committee, is ready to talk about recent revisions to the state's health education curriculum incorporating trauma-skilled approaches, and how this may help young people manage stress. 

  • Kristen Kaszeta, associate professor of teaching and program coordinator of the Lifestyle Fitness Activities program, is prepared to discuss how to develop healthy coping habits to prevent or reduce stress. She can talk about yoga, meditation, breathing, and other strategies individuals can use to alleviate stress. 

The observance of Daylight Savings Time has a history of legislation and possibly more changes coming soon. It's also a time that reminds people of safety tips and health effects that come with this time change.

  • Safwan Badr, M.D., chair of WSU's School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, is an internationally known sleep disorders researcher and research mentor with current funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health.
  • Caroline Adamczyk, a doctoral student, has done research on daylight savings and the effects it has on school attendance in Detroit.


National School Psychology Week provides U.S. schools with the opportunity to acknowledge the vital role school psychologists play in helping students do well.

  • Rachel Evans, assistant professor of teaching in educational psychology and interim program director of the school and community psychology program, is ready to discuss the shortage of school psychologists and how students, parents, and families need them more than ever because of the pandemic.  


According to the nonprofit Every Child a Reader, Children's Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative in the U.S. The purpose is to bring children, adults, authors and illustrators together to help promote a love of reading.

  • Kathleen Crawford-McKinney, associate professor of reading, language and literature, is available to share age-appropriate activities and books to help K-8 students develop and strengthen literacy skills. She can also discuss censorship of children's books and its potential impact on young readers, schools and communities.


The purpose of National STEM/STEAM Day is to provide opportunities through which students can explore and advance their interests in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics.

  • Roland Sintos Coloma, professor of teacher education, is ready to talk about the Metro Detroit Teaching Residency in Urban Excellence (TRUE) Project, a collaborative effort that seeks to enhance student learning, address the critical shortage of STEM teachers, and support the region's workforce development. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the initiative prepares highly qualified, diverse individuals to become middle and high school STEM teachers in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and Dearborn Public Schools. The project is currently recruiting candidates for its second cohort. Recent graduates and mid-career professionals in STEM fields can earn their master's degree and teaching certification in 18 months and receive a $40,000 living stipend for the first 12 months of the program. For more information, visit education.wayne.edu/true-project.
  • Sandra Yarema, associate professor (clinical) of science education and regional director of the Southeast Michigan Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, is prepared to discuss the 59th annual symposium, which is scheduled to take place at Wayne State on Feb. 24, 2023. Sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, the initiative engages high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Participation in the symposium is free for all eligible high school students and their teachers. The application deadline is Jan. 16, 2023. For more details, visit https://cvent.me/WXmq4W.
  • Yarema is also ready to talk about the Department of Defense STEM K-12 virtual summer camp and Saturday sessions that help participants develop skills in collaboration, communication, critical thinking and problem solving. Co-hosted by the Department of Defense-U.S. Army Development Command (DEVCOM) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and the College of Education, the program is for students who are part of the virtual Great Lakes Region and Tribal Nations. Because of the popularity of the summer camp, sessions will also be offered monthly from 1 to 3 p.m. on Zoom on the following Saturdays: Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 28, Feb. 25, Mar. 25, Apr. 22, and May 20. To learn more and register, visit tinyurl.com/DoDSaturday.

How is Veterans Day celebrated nationwide? What do veterans do on this day?

  • Matthew McLain, assistant director, Wayne State's Colonel Gregory Gadson Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence, is prepared to discuss how Veterans Day is observed.

American Education Week honors the team of people who work in our nation's public schools, from the bus drivers and classroom teachers to the cafeteria workers and administrative staff, and more.

  • Roland Sintos Coloma, Ph.D., assistant dean of the Division of Teacher Education, is ready to talk about the importance of public education and the role Wayne State University plays to ensure children in metro Detroit have access to quality education.

Our fundraising experts can talk about how philanthropy makes a difference in countless lives.

  • Tracy Utech, associate vice president, principal gifts, Wayne State University, can talk about the significance of philanthropy in our society.

Does recycling really make a difference? Our expert can give you the hard facts about how recycling makes a positive difference in this country.

  • Daryl Pierson, sustainability officer, Wayne State University Office of Sustainability, is available to examine the importance of recycling both at home and the workplace.

Many of today's societal issues are rooted in intolerance. Our expert can talk to you about intolerance and building an inclusive community.

  • Marquita Chamblee, Ph.D., Wayne State University associate provost for diversity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer, is prepared to discuss intolerance and building an inclusive community.


This day celebrates how great teachers are. It is a time to acknowledge their service and commitment to the profession.

Roland Sintos Coloma, Ph.D., professor of teacher education, is available to discuss the Next Gen Teachers program, a two-week, residential college and teaching career readiness program for young people who plan to become PK-12 school educators. The initiative is coordinated by the Wayne State University College of Education and the Michigan Education Association and funded by a National Education Association Great Public Schools grant, the initiative is one component of Project MITTEN (Michigan Initiative to Transform Educational and Equity Networks). The college will host up to 40 students during the spring/summer semesters of 2023 and 2024. Learn more at education.wayne.edu/project-mitten.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Learn about tips to help you quit.

  • David Ledgerwood, Ph.D., clinical psychologist within the Substance Abuse Research Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, is ready to talk about the treatment and etiology of substance use and behavioral addiction disorders.

How to avoid gaining weight over the long holiday weekend. Our nutritionist expert can offer tips on how you can enjoy yourself without the guilt that comes from overeating and drinking too much.

  • Cathy Jen, Ph.D., nutritionist and professor in the department of nutrition and food science, can provide tips to avoid overeating as the holiday season approaches.

The origins of how our obsession with shopping led to the establishment of this relatively new "holiday." Americans' rampant consumerism and desire for material goods says a lot about us as a society. Our expert can explain what all of this means.

  • Jeffrey Stoltman, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and director of entrepreneurship and innovation programs at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, is prepared to examine the origins of Black Friday and offer a historical analysis of the year's biggest shopping day.


With every mass shooting, there are elements that are closely examined: why it happened and could it have been prevented.

  • Pontus Leander, director of Wayne State's Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, can talk about public reactions to and the social psychology of mass shootings, as well as the psychology of hate crime denial.

With the Supreme Court recently repealing Roe v. Wade, there are several legal, ethical and medical issues that require clarity. Wayne State offers several experts who can provide incisive analysis.

Law/Ethics/Precedent/State/Federal Issues

  • Lance Gable, professor of law, can talk about bioethics and the law and public health law.
  • Christopher Lund, professor of law, can talk about matters related to constitutional laws and religious liberty.

Medicine/Public Health

  • Megan Hicks, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, can talk about risk and protective factors influencing health disparities among Black youth
  • Ijeoma Nnodim Opara is a double-board certified assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She can talk about health equity and justice in medicine.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease from the same family of viruses as the smallpox virus. 

  • Laurie Lauzon Clabo, dean of the College of Nursing and Chief Wellness Officer, is prepared to discuss the virus, its transmission and campus health protocols.
  • Patricia Wren, chair of the department of public health, is available to speak about the virus, its transmission and how messaging can shape public health.