Tip sheet

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

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


With more and more people returning to their offices and classrooms after 18 months working or going to classes remotely, there can be some significant re-entry challenges, both personally and professionally.

  • Matthew Piszczek, assistant professor of management, is an expert in work-life issues, remote work, workforce aging, commuting, strategic HRM, employee/labor relations, a wide range of solutions.


Mental and emotional stress can have a negative impact on our physical health. Emotional Wellness Month emphasizes managing feelings and stress in healthy, positive ways.

  • Sarah Kiperman, assistant professor of educational psychology in the College of Education as well as a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, and registered play therapist, is available to talk about strategies for promoting emotional wellness among LGBTQ+ youth. She can also discuss PS: LGBTQ Youth Matter, a free, online psychoeducational video series she and her research team created to encourage LGBTQ+ youth to prioritize their mental health and reduce barriers that prevent them from accessing mental health services.
  • Brandi Pritchett-Johnson, a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of educational psychology and director of clinical training for the doctoral program in counseling psychology in the College of Education, is prepared to discuss the Strong Black Woman archetype and its impact on Black women's willingness to seek mental health care, strategies Black women can use to manage stress and anxiety, and Invincible Black Women, a virtual group therapy space for Black women.
  • As a licensed family therapist, associate professor of educational psychology in the College of Education, and the principal investigator of the Families and Mental Wellness Lab, Erika Bocknek is prepared to discuss strategies families can use to create joy and improve emotional wellness as the world continues to deal with COVID-19.
  • Kristen Kaszeta, program coordinator and lecturer of the Lifestyle Fitness Activities program, is available 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 improve their emotional wellness.
  • Roland Sintos Coloma, professor of teacher education, is prepared to talk about "They Didn't Know We Were Seeds: Detroit Tales of Resilience," a photo exhibit and film screening scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 23. The event is the culmination of "Shifting Urban Narratives," a project funded by the Schultz Family Foundation as part of the Gates Foundation's Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge, through which young changemakers aged 18 to 24 who are dealing with the pandemic used videos and photographs as platforms for sharing stories to inspire leadership and resilience, educate others about responsible citizenship and uncover various pathways of economic success and food security.


American Pharmacists Month is a time to recognize pharmacists' commitment to health care and all that they contribute to the community.

  • Joseph Fava, Pharm.D., assistant professor (clinical), is an expert in community pharmacy practice advancement and ambulatory care.
  • Brittany Stewart, assistant professor (clinical), is an expert in transition of care, disease state management, immunizations and medication therapy management.


Established in 2003, National Work and Family Month highlights progress toward and celebrates efforts to create more flexible work environments and to help individuals improve work-life balance.

  • Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, interim dean and professor of learning design and technology in the College of Education, is available to discuss the future of work, flexible work arrangements and the gig economy as a means to improve work-life balance and opportunities to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace through hybrid work.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 252,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, and the disease is the most common type of non-skin cancer in women across the nation, accounting for 15% of all new cases. Breast cancer is second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women.

  • Michele Cote, Ph.D, associate professor, Department of Oncology, has conducted extensive research on breast cancer risk among African American women and has worked closely with the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System. Cote is also a co-investigator on a study of ovarian cancer in African American women, an active member of the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium and a Midwest regional center investigator with the Women's Health Initiative.


Research indicates that 70.6% of young people and 70.4% of staff have witnessed bullying in school. Wayne State College of Education faculty can discuss ways to help students, staff and parents recognize, address and prevent bullying and create a safe, supportive school climate.

  • Elizabeth Barton, associate professor in research, is available to speak about bullying, youth violence, conflict resolution and victimization.
  • Cheryl Somers, professor and assistant dean of the Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations, is prepared to address bullying and how it affects the mental health of young people.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 9.4% (6.1 million) of children 2-17 years old had been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to parent surveys in 2016. One of the most common childhood behavior disorders, ADHD can impact students' behavior and progress at school.

  • Susan Gabel, professor of inclusive education, can discuss signs and symptoms of ADHD, suggest interventions, and share strategies parents and teachers can use to provide support and structure for learners with ADHD.


  • Tami Wright, clinical director of the counseling program, can share how to recognize the signs of depression and highlight the free mental health services available to the community through the College of Education's Counseling and Testing Center. Older adults (65+) are at greatest risk of suicide, and factors such as depression, undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses, and feelings of helplessness can contribute to it.
  • Scott Branson, assistant professor of counselor education, is prepared to discuss warning signs and behaviors and what individuals can do if they suspect an older adult in their life is suffering from depression.
  • George Parris, coordinator and assistant professor (clinical) in the rehabilitation counseling program, can talk about the work he does to assist veterans dealing with trauma and PTSD and how to help veterans manage their mental health.


According to the International Dyslexia Association, "one-half of all the students who qualify for special education are classified as having a learning disability (6-7%). About 85% of those students have a primary learning disability in reading and language processing."

  • Susan Gabel, professor of inclusive education, is ready to speak about the signs of dyslexia and what individuals — particularly parents and educators — can do to support children with dyslexia.


Initiated by the National Cyber Security Division within the Department of Homeland Security and the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance, the month raises awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

  • Garrett McManaway, senior director of information security and compliance at Wayne State's Computer and Information Technology (C&IT), can discuss ransomware, examining what it is and how damaging it is to municipalities, local governments, school districts and other institutions. He can also offer tips on protections that should be taken to avert the possibilities of hacking and ways to minimize vulnerabilities.


World Mental Health Day raises awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizes efforts in support of mental health. The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what needs to be done to make mental health care a reality across the globe.

  • David Rosenberg, M.D., chair of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences, is ready to talk about mental health issues and the significance of mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. A widely published researcher, Dr. Rosenberg is sought by the national media as an expert on child psychiatry. He wrote the first textbook on pediatric psychopharmacology, Textbook of Pharmacotherapy for Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders, which is now in its third edition.


What is it about music that appeals to almost everyone on some level? The goal of Universal Music Day is to enrich communities with the knowledge and power of music, musicians and music-making.

  • Joshua Duchan, associate professor of music history and director of graduate studies, is prepared to discuss the importance of music and its universal appeal. An ethnomusicologist specializing in American popular music, Duchan has authored two books, Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella (2012) and Billy Joel: America's Piano Man (2017).


  • Nate McCaughtry, professor; assistant dean of the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies; and director of the Center for Health and Community Impact, is available to highlight the center's role in improving health outcomes for youth, seniors and families in Michigan through a variety of programs aimed at providing nutrition education, promoting physical activity and increasing access to healthy food.
  • Noel Kulik, assistant professor in health education (community health), can discuss child and adolescent health, obesity prevention and treatment, nutrition and physical activity behavioral interventions, and social support.


United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into the U.N. Charter in 1945. Oct. 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by member states as a public holiday.

  • Paul Kershaw, visiting assistant professor, is a historian of 20th century U.S. and Mexican history, specializing in the United States, the world, the politics of economic development and capitalism. His current book project investigates the intellectual and political development of International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programs and demonstrates how those programs became the first-line response to a series of international debt crises.