Tip sheet

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

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

To reach an expert, contact:

Ted Montgomery, 248-880-6838, tedmontgomery@wayne.edu

Tom Reynolds, 248-884-9179, treynolds@wayne.edu

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – FEBRUARY

What were the beginnings of Black History Month? Our history expert is prepared to discuss the significance of Black History Month and how it has developed over the last several decades.

  • Kidada E. Williams, associate professor of history, is an internationally recognized expert on African Americans' lived experiences of racist violence. She teaches courses on African American and American history and historical research methods.

HEART AWARENESS MONTH – FEBRUARY

Our expert can share the risk factors of heart disease and offer best practices for prevention.

  • Dr. Phillip Levy, professor of emergency medicine, has expertise in hypertension, hypertensive heart disease and heart failure.

NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY – FEBRUARY 7

How have the statistics changed in terms of who is likeliest to contract HIV, and what is the typical demographic profile of African Americans who contract HIV and AIDS? Our expert can talk about this, as well as discuss how prevention and treatment have improved life spans for those with AIDS.

  • Dr. Christine Heumann, assistant professor, clinical director and medical director of the Detroit Public Health STD Clinic, is ready to address HIV/AIDS issues among African Americans.

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY – FEBRUARY 12

Based on our historical knowledge of former President Abraham Lincoln's written work and political beliefs, what do we think he would say about President Donald Trump? These are two Republicans on opposite ends of the political popularity spectrum. Our expert can discuss this and other aspects of Lincoln's life.

  • Marc Kruman, professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Citizenship, is prepared to talk about the influence of President Lincoln's term in office and the tumultuous Civil War.

LIBRARY LOVERS' DAY – FEBRUARY 14

Are libraries going the way of eight-track tapes and bell bottoms? Hardly. Our experts can explain why libraries remain a vital part of the communities they serve.

  • Tom Walker, associate dean of the School of Information Sciences, is prepared to examine the topic.

PRESIDENTS DAY – FEBRUARY 15

Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is often referred to as "Washington's Birthday." Traditionally celebrated on Feb. 22, Washington's actual birthday, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents Day after it was moved as part of 1971's Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Now, we honor all American presidents on this day. Our experts can tell you why Washington's life is worth observing every year.

  • Marc Kruman, professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Citizenship, is an expert in the study of U.S. presidents.
  • Karen Marrero, assistant professor of history, is an expert in the era of the Revolutionary War.
  • Sandra F. VanBurkleo, professor of history, has expertise in American legal history. 

IWO JIMA DAY – FEBRUARY 19

The Battle of Iwo Jima (Feb. 19-March 26, 1945) was a pivotal moment toward the end of World War II in which the United States Marine Corps landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army. Our expert can discuss the details of the American invasion — known as Operation Detachment — and explain why the photo of the U.S. Marines raising the flag on the island is still iconic.

  • Elizabeth Lublin, associate professor of history, specializes in the history of Japan.

INTRODUCE A GIRL TO ENGINEERING DAY – FEBRUARY 25

Our experts can talk about gender trends in the engineering industries and why it is especially important to introduce young girls to the prospect of a career in engineering.

  • Eranda Nikolla, professor of chemical engineering and materials science, is ready to discuss opportunities available to women pursuing engineering careers.
  • Harini Sundararaghavan, associate professor of biomedical engineering and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, is prepared to talk about the importance of girls pursuing STEM disciplines such as engineering.

WHAT HAS THE PANDEMIC TAUGHT US ABOUT HOW WE EDUCATE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS?

Throughout the last year, we learned many valuable lessons about being nimble in our classrooms and best practices for providing an excellent education in different learning environments. Our education experts can talk about what the pandemic has taught us as we deliver public education from kindergarten to high school.

WHAT HAS THE PANDEMIC TAUGHT US ABOUT THE WORKPLACE?

Perhaps one of the most positive epiphanies the pandemic spawned was that we can thrive as organizations even when staff work remotely. How will this change how managers and employees view where they do the work moving forward?

  • Carolyn Hafner, Wayne State's associate vice president and chief human resources officer, can talk about what companies and organizations are considering in terms of flexible work schedules as a result of the pandemic.

IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS MOVING FORWARD

As the Senate prepares for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump — which is set to begin Feb. 9 — what can be expected? What lessons, if any, were learned during the first impeachment trial?

  • Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science.
  • Jonathan Weinberg, professor of law and associate dean of research.