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Global experts with a broad range of areas of expertise.

Ken Keen avatar

Ken Keen

Title
Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization & Management; Associate Dean for Leadership; Lieutenant General, USA (Retired)
Role
Emory University, Goizueta Business School
Expertise
Richard Aronson, Ph.D. avatar

Richard Aronson, Ph.D.

Title
Department Head | Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences
Role
Florida Tech
Expertise
Charles Figley avatar

Charles Figley

Title
Dr. Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair and Professor of Disaster Mental Health and Professor of Social Work
Role
Tulane University
Expertise

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Spotlights

Read expert insights on a wide variety of topics and current events.

Population Health and the RNC

The pandemic and who reacted better has been debate fodder for the campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden already this election. The pandemic, preparing for the next one is just one of several key public health issues that America is dealing with. Opioids, obesity and nutrition are just a few others. And as the Republican National Convention 2024 begins, journalists from across the nation and the world will converge on Milwaukee, not only to cover the political spectacle but also to dig deeper on the key issues that may decide the election. To help visiting journalists navigate and understand the depth of Milwaukee's heritage and modern vibrancy, our MSOE experts are available to offer insights. Robin Gates is a nurse executive with a wide range of experience in community home, health and hospice, organ and tissue donation, managing primary care clinics, and clinical trials involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She has also worked as a nurse educator for health care organizations and higher education. . .    . Robin Gates Assistant Professor, Nursing Expertise: Population health expert: understanding and addressing the diverse factors that influence health outcomes across different populations. View Profile “Leadership experience in various health care environments provides my ability to empower the next generations of nurses to understand the medical system for nursing practice wholistically,” said Gates. “Nurses are change agents. We are a pivotal part of a multidisciplinary team. I emphasize to nursing students their role in the community, corporations, hospitals, clinics, telehealth, home care and hospice, insurance, government and so on.” MSOE Online February 25, 2022 . .    . For further information and to arrange interviews with our experts, please contact: JoEllen Burdue Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations Phone: (414) 839-0906 Email: burdue@msoe.edu . .    . About Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Milwaukee School of Engineering is the university of choice for those seeking an inclusive community of experiential learners driven to solve the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. The independent, non-profit university has about 2,800 students and was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, business and nursing. Faculty are student-focused experts who bring real-world experience into the classroom. This approach to learning makes students ready now as well as prepared for the future. Longstanding partnerships with business and industry leaders enable students to learn alongside professional mentors, and challenge them to go beyond what's possible. MSOE graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

Robin Gates
2 min. read

Exploring Milwaukee and Wisconsin's Cultural and Urban Landscape

As the Republican National Convention 2024 approaches, journalists from across the nation and the world will converge on Milwaukee, not only to cover the political spectacle but also to uncover the rich cultural, architectural, and urban tapestry that makes this city truly unique. Milwaukee, often referred to as the "Cream City" for its distinctive cream-coloured bricks, with many historical and contemporary narratives is waiting to be explored. To help visiting journalists navigate and understand the depth of Milwaukee's heritage and modern vibrancy, our MSOE experts are available to offer insights. Discover the rich tapestry of Milwaukee and Wisconsin through the lens of two distinguished experts. Dr. Michael Carriere and Kurt Zimmerman bring unparalleled expertise in the fields of culture, architecture, and urban planning, offering deep insights into the region's unique historical and contemporary narratives. Dr. Michael Carriere Professor, Honors Program Director Expertise: Sustainability, American History, General Social Science, Honors Program, History, General Humanities, Student Affairs, Urban Studies View Profile Dr. Michael Carriere, a Professor and Honors Program Director, is an urban historian specializing in American history, urban studies, and sustainability. With a focus on the growth and challenges of Milwaukee's neighborhoods, Dr. Carriere provides valuable perspectives on urban agriculture, creative placemaking, and the Milwaukee music scene. His extensive knowledge of Milwaukee and Wisconsin history and politics makes him a key resource for understanding the region's evolving urban landscape. “To me, it’s a no-brainer,” says Carriere, now a professor of history at Milwaukee School of Engineering and author of The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America. “Cities like Louisville, like Buffalo, like Boston have really leveraged the Olmsted spaces in their cities. … The reason I’m really excited about [the bicentennial] is that this could be the chance to have useful, and in some cases uncomfortable, conversations on how public spaces should look and operate in a 21st-century city like Milwaukee.” The Lasting Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and His 3 Signature Milwaukee Parks Milwaukee Magazine April 1, 2022 Kurt Zimmerman Assistant Professor Expertise: Deep Energy, Retrofit Integrated Project, Delivery Architecture, Design, Building Envelope, Building Science, Sustainability, LEED AP View Profile Kurt Zimmerman, an Assistant Professor, offers expertise in Milwaukee's architectural history, urban planning, and sustainable design. His insights into the city's architectural evolution and design principles contribute to a deeper appreciation of Milwaukee's unique urban fabric and sustainable development efforts. “If you’re trying to build buildings that are meant to last, look back in history and see what is still standing. Those are your models. It’s all about build it once, build it right, build it to last. I’m very conscious of the environmental aspects of our projects, whether the clients ask for it or not.” The Daily Reporter October 2, 2014 For further information and to arrange interviews with our experts, please contact: JoEllen Burdue Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations Phone: (414) 839-0906 Email: burdue@msoe.edu About Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Milwaukee School of Engineering is the university of choice for those seeking an inclusive community of experiential learners driven to solve the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. The independent, non-profit university has about 2,800 students and was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, business and nursing. Faculty are student-focused experts who bring real-world experience into the classroom. This approach to learning makes students ready now as well as prepared for the future. Longstanding partnerships with business and industry leaders enable students to learn alongside professional mentors, and challenge them to go beyond what's possible. MSOE graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

Michael Carriere, Ph.D.Kurt Zimmerman, AIA, LEED AP
3 min. read
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Key topics at RNC 2024: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cybersecurity

As the Republican National Convention 2024 begins, journalists from across the nation and the world will converge on Milwaukee, not only to cover the political spectacle but also to cover how the next potential administration will tackled issues that weren't likely on the radar or at least front and center last election: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cybersecurity With technology and the threats that come with it moving at near exponential speeds - the next four years will see challenges that no president or administration has seen before. Plans and polices will be required that impact not just America - but one a global scale. To help visiting journalists navigate and understand these issues and how and where the Republican policies are taking on these topics our MSOE experts are available to offer insights. Dr. Jeremy Kedziora, Dr. Derek Riley and Dr. Walter Schilling are leading voices nationally on these important subjects and are ready to assist with any stories during the convention. . .    . Dr. Jeremy Kedziora Associate Professor, PieperPower Endowed Chair in Artificial Intelligence Expertise: AI, machine learning, ChatGPT, ethics of AI, global technology revolution, using these tools to solve business problems or advance business objectives, political science. View Profile “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are part of everyday life at home and work. Businesses and industries—from manufacturing to health care and everything in between—are using them to solve problems, improve efficiencies and invent new products,” said Dr. John Walz, MSOE president. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Jeremy Kedziora as MSOE’s first PieperPower Endowed Chair in Artificial Intelligence. With MSOE as an educational leader in this space, it is imperative that our students are prepared to develop and advance AI and machine learning technologies while at the same time implementing them in a responsible and ethical manner.” MSOE names Dr. Jeremy Kedziora as Endowed Chair in Artificial Intelligence MSOE online March 22, 2023 . .     . Dr. Derek Riley Professor, B.S. in Computer Science Program Director Expertise: AI, machine learning, facial recognition, deep learning, high performance computing, mobile computing, artificial intelligence View Profile “At this point, it's fairly hard to avoid being impacted by AI," said Derek Riley, the computer science program director at Milwaukee School of Engineering. “Generative AI can really make major changes to what we perceive in the media, what we hear, what we read.” Fake explicit pictures of Taylor Swift cause concern over lack of AI regulation CBS News January 26, 2024 . .    . Dr. Walter Schilling Professor Expertise: Cybersecurity and the latest technological advancements in automobiles and home automation systems; how individuals can protect their business operations and personal networks. View Profile Milwaukee School of Engineering cybersecurity professor Walter Schilling said it's a great opportunity for his students. "Just to see what the real world is like that they're going to be entering into," said Schilling. Schilling said cybersecurity is something all local organizations, from small business to government, need to pay attention to. "It's something that Milwaukee has to be concerned about as well because of the large companies that we have headquartered here, as well as the companies we're trying to attract in the future," said Schilling. Could the future of cybersecurity be in Milwaukee?: SysLogic holds 3rd annual summit at MSOE CBS News April 26, 2022 . .     . For further information and to arrange interviews with our experts, please contact: Media Relations Contact To schedule an interview or for more information, please contact: JoEllen Burdue Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations Phone: (414) 839-0906 Email: burdue@msoe.edu . .     . About Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Milwaukee School of Engineering is the university of choice for those seeking an inclusive community of experiential learners driven to solve the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. The independent, non-profit university has about 2,800 students and was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, business and nursing. Faculty are student-focused experts who bring real-world experience into the classroom. This approach to learning makes students ready now as well as prepared for the future. Longstanding partnerships with business and industry leaders enable students to learn alongside professional mentors, and challenge them to go beyond what's possible. MSOE graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.

Walter Schilling, Jr., Ph.D.Jeremy Kedziora, Ph.D.Derek Riley, Ph.D.
3 min. read

Can you benefit in transferring high-interest credit card debt?

Photo credit: paulaveryevans According to Lendingtree, Americans have over $1 trillion in credit card debt. The average American has around $6,500 in credit card debt. When you factor in the high interest credit cards change, it can be a daunting task to get the balance to zero. Many cards offer 0% APR on balance transfers for certain length of times. But is it worth it if you don’t plan on paying off the entire balance during the promotional period? Wendy Habegger, PhD and senior lecturer in the James M. Hull College of Business said you need to be careful when taking advantage of such offers. “The benefit one would get in this situation is short-lived,” said Habegger. “While one might enjoy no interest for the promo period, when that period is over, the interest rate they are charged could be more than the credit card from which they transferred. My recommendation is that if one does a balance transfer, then only do so if you are able to pay off the balance before the period ends.” Some may think of doing a second balance transfer but Habegger said that it not a good idea and could have a negative impact on a person’s credit score. It also gives the appearance the customer is at increased risk of default, which could trigger an even higher interest rate and higher fees. Not only may one incur higher rates, it could certainly impact their credit score which can have a long-lasting financial impact. Even a large purchase on a 0% APR card will affect someone’s credit score. “A large purchase indirectly impacts one’s credit score based on credit utilization,” she added. “If one uses more than 30% credit utilization, it could impact credit scores.” Personal debt and credit are trending and important topics in America today - and if you're looking to know more, we can help. Wendy Habegger is a respected finance expert available to offer advice on making the right money moves during volatile times. To arrange an interview, simply click on her icon now.

Wendy  Habegger, PhD
2 min. read

Expert Q&A: Should We Permit AI to Determine Gender and Race from Resumes?

The banner ads on your browser, the route Google maps suggests for you, the song Spotify plays next: algorithms are inescapable in our daily lives. Some of us are already aware of the mechanisms behind a targeted ad or a dating profile that lights up our phone screen. However, few of us may actually stop to consider how this technology plays out in the hiring sector. As with any major technological advancement, it usually takes society (and legislation) a while to catch up and adjust for unintended consequences. Ultimately, algorithms are powerful tools. Like any tool, they have the potential for societal benefit or harm, depending on how they’re wielded. Here to weigh in on the matter is Assistant Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management Prasanna Parasurama, who recently joined Emory Goizueta Business School’s faculty in fall of 2023. This interview has been edited for clarity. Describe your research interests in six words. Six words…that’s difficult to do on the spot. How about “the impact of AI and other digital technologies on hiring.” Is that condensed enough? That works! What first interested you in the intersection of AI and hiring practices? Before I did my PhD, I was working as a data scientist in the HR analytics space at a start-up company. That is where my interest in the topic began. But this was a long time ago. People hadn’t started talking much about AI, or algorithmic hiring. The conversation around algorithmic bias and algorithmic fairness picked up steam in the second or third year of my PhD. That had a strong influence on my dissertation focus. And naturally, one of the contexts in which both these matters have large repercussions is in the hiring space. What demographics does your research focus on (gender identity, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, all of the above)? Do you focus on a particular job sector? My research mostly looks at gender and race for two main reasons. First, prior research has typically looked at race and gender, which gives us a better foundation to build on. Second, it’s much easier to measure gender and race based on the data that we have available—from resumes, from hiring data, like what we collect from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They typically collect data on gender and race, and our research requires those really large data sets to draw patterns. They don’t ask for socioeconomic status or have an easy way to quantify that information. That’s not to say those are less important factors, or that no one is looking at them. One of the papers you’re working on examines resumes written by self-identified men and women. It looks at how their resumes differ, and how that influenced their likelihood of being contacted for an interview. So in this paper, we’re essentially looking at how men and women write their resumes differently and if that impacts hiring outcomes. Take resume screening algorithms, for example. One proposed way to reduce bias in these screening algorithms is to remove names from resumes to blind the applicant’s gender to the algorithm. But just removing names does very little, because there are so many other things that serve as proxies to someone’s gender. While our research is focused on people applying to jobs in the tech sector, this is true across occupations. "We find it’s easy to train an algorithm to accurately predict gender, even with names redacted." Prasanna Parasurama What are some of those gendered “tells” on a resume? People write down hobbies and extracurricular activities, and some of those are very gendered. Dancing and ballet tend to denote female applicants; you’re more likely to see something like wrestling for male applicants. Beyond hobbies, which is sort of obvious, is just how people write things, or the language they use. Female applicants tend to use a lot more affective words. Men, on the other hand, use more of what we call agentic words. Can you explain that a little more? In social psychology, social role theory argues that men are stereotyped to be more agentic, whereas women are stereotyped to be more communal, and that their communication styles reflect this. There’s essentially a list of agentic words that researchers have come up with that men use a lot more than women. And women are more likely to use affective words, like “warmly” or “closely,” which have to do with emotions or attitudes.  These communication differences between men and women have been demonstrated in social sciences before, which has helped inform our work. But we’re not just relying on social science tools—our conclusions are driven by our own data. If a word is able to predict that an applicant’s resume belongs to a female versus male applicant, then we assign different weights, depending on how accurately it can predict that. So we’re not just operating on theories. Were there any gendered patterns that surprised you? If you were to assign masculinity and femininity to particular words, an algorithm would likely assign “married” to be a feminine term in most contexts. But in this particular case, it’s actually more associated with men. Men are much more likely to use it in resumes, because it signals something different to society than when women use it. "One of the most predictive terms for men was references to parenthood. It’s much easier for men to reference kids than for women to reveal information about their household status. Women face a penalty where men receive a boost." Prasanna Parasurama Studies show that people perceive fathers as being more responsible employees, whereas mothers are regarded as less reliable in the workplace. We haven’t studied this, but I would speculate that if you go on a platform like LinkedIn, men are more likely to disclose details about fatherhood, marriage, and kids than women are. There were some other tidbits that I didn’t see coming, like the fact that women are much less likely to put their addresses on their resume. Can AI predict race from a resume as easily as it can predict gender? There’s surprisingly very little we know on that front. From existing literature outside of algorithmic literature, we know differences exist in terms of race, not just on the employer side, where there might be bias, but we also on the worker side. People of different races search for jobs differently. The question is, how do we take this into account in the algorithm? From a technical standpoint, it should be feasible to do the same thing we do with gender, but it just becomes a little bit harder to predict race in practice. The cues are so variable. Gender is also more universal – no matter where you live, there are probably men and women and people who identify as in between or other. Whereas the concept of race can be very specific in different geographic regions. Racial identities in America are very different from racial identities in India, for instance. And in a place like India, religion matters a lot more than it does in the United States. So this conversation around algorithms and bias will look different across the globe. Beyond screening resumes, how does AI impact people’s access to job opportunities? A lot of hiring platforms and labor market intermediaries such as LinkedIn use AI. Their task is to match workers to these different jobs. There’s so many jobs and so many workers. No one can manually go through each one. So they have to train algorithms based on existing behavior and existing design decisions on the platform to recommend applicants to particular jobs and vice versa. When we talk about algorithmic hiring, it’s not just hiring per se, but spaces like these which dictate what opportunities you’re exposed to. It has a huge impact on who ends up with what job. What impact do you want your research to have in the real world? Do you think that we actually should use algorithms to figure out gender or race? Is it even possible to blind AI to gender or race? Algorithms are here to stay, for better or worse. We need them. When we think about algorithmic hiring, I think people picture an actual robot deciding who to hire. That’s not the case. Algorithms are typically only taking the space of the initial part of hiring. "I think overall, algorithms make our lives better. They can recommend a job to you based on more sophisticated factors than when the job was chronologically posted. There’s also no reason to believe that a human will be less biased than an algorithm." Prasanna Parasurama I think the consensus is that we can’t blind the algorithm to gender or other factors. Instead, we do have to take people’s demographics into account and monitor outcomes to correct for any sort of demonstrable bias. LinkedIn, for example, does a fairly good job publishing research on how they train their algorithms. It’s better to address the problem head on, to take demographic factors into account upfront and make sure that there aren’t drastic differences in outcomes between different demographics. What advice would you give to hopeful job candidates navigating these systems? Years of research have shown that going through a connection or a referral is by far the best way to increase your odds of getting an interview—by a factor of literally 200 to 300 percent. Hiring is still a very personal thing. People typically trust people they know. Prasanna Parasurama is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Prasanna’s research areas include algorithmic hiring, algorithmic bias and fairness, and human-AI interaction. His research leverages a wide array of quantitative methods including econometrics, machine learning, and natural language processing. Prasanna is available to talk about this important and developing topic - simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Is the U.S. banking system on the edge of collapse? Our #expert can explain

The recent bailout of First Foundation Inc, parent of First Foundation Bank, by a group of investors has reignited concerns about the stability of the U.S. banking system, specifically banks exposed to debt in the commercial real estate market teetering on the verge of collapse. First Foundation Bank reported more than $6 billion in commercial real estate mortgages on its financial statements for the first quarter of the year, equal to almost six times its equity capital and almost half of its $13.6 billion in total assets. Bank regulators consider any exposure greater than three times equity to be excessive. An analysis by Rebel Cole, Ph.D., Lynn Eminent Scholar Chaired Professor of Finance in the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University, previously found that the First Foundation Bank was fourth highest among the largest banks in the nation in terms of its exposure to commercial real estate debt. It’s likely that other banks are also at similar risk: among banks with more than $10 billion in total assets, there are 67 that exceed this 300% concentration ratio, Cole’s analysis showed. Among the approximately 4,600 banks of any size, Cole reports that 1,871 have total CRE exposures greater than 300%, 1,112 have exposures greater than 400%, 551 have exposures greater than 500%, and 243 have exposures greater than 600%. Cole is available for expert commentary on the stability of the U.S. banking system, other banks at risk due to their CRE exposure, and investor confidence.

Rebel Cole, Ph.D.
1 min. read

Opening the Debate on Enforcing Fireworks Laws

Lawrence Levy, associate vice president and executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies, talked to Newsday for a article about the challenges of enforcing the New York state law that says the use of fireworks by anyone other than a certified pyrotechnic is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. “Broad enforcement of laws forbidding fireworks is virtually impossible for local police departments, and perhaps even perilous for politicians,” Levy said. “Cops and fire departments already have their hands full with serious emergencies, including some due to mishandling of illegal fireworks, plus everything else they need to do on a busy holiday when people are drinking too much.” Lawrence Levy is available to speak with media - simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Lawrence Levy
1 min. read

Expert: Historic password breach creates public urgency for better password protection

Cybercriminals recently executed a significant breach, stealing the world’s most extensive collection of passwords. These stolen credentials, a staggering 10 billion unique passwords, have been uploaded to the notorious RockYou2024 database, a hub for cybercriminal activity. Tulane University cybersecurity expert Demetrice Rogers says the stolen passwords are a significant vulnerability for most users and underscore the need for strong password management. With malicious actors now armed with an extensive database of nearly 10 billion unique passwords, the risk of successful hacks on unsuspecting users is significantly higher. "The massive growth of the RockYou2024 password list shows just how tough it’s getting to keep our accounts safe. Hackers will love this list, making it a go-to tool for breaking into accounts. We need strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication to stay one step ahead. Think of it like locking your doors and setting the alarm—essential steps to keep the cybercriminals out." Rogers can cover: • How users can check to see if their information and passwords are included in the leak. • The importance of creating strong, unique passwords for each account and using reputable password managers to generate and store them securely. (Many users use the same password across multiple websites, making an attacker’s job much easier.) • Why adopting multi-factor authentication is increasingly important to ensure account security.

Demetrice Rogers
1 min. read

On the T-Swift beat? Our expert can fill any of the blank spaces you might have in your coverage

She's everywhere - and this month Taylor Swift restarts her world tour meaning coverage of this American mega-star will be global. Recently TCU's Naomi Ekas was featured in USA Today and Time Magazine where her expert opinion and insight into Taylor Swift's impact on American psychology is helping to explain her place atop planetary pop-culture. Professor Naomi Ekas teaches a course about the connection between psychology and Swift's place in pop culture at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She believes there are universal themes listeners have experienced in Swift's lyrics but notes that the pop star's particular worldview may not translate to everyone. At the beginning of the spring semester, Ekas asked her students what labels they attached to Swift. Many of the responses reflected that were "these are white girl experiences, and this is white girl music and there isn't kind of that representation or that connection kind of outside of that particular racial group," she tells USA TODAY. "Everyone's dated the bad boy and they’ve had the friendship breakups and they’ve, you know, crashed and burned in relationships, revenge – these are pretty common themes across humankind, but then her particular life and how she's living them out might not connect to everybody," Ekas says.  April 24 - USA Today Last year, when millions of people were trying to snag Eras Tour tickets, students at Texas Christian University were working just as hard to get into "Psychology (Taylor’s Version)," a new class offered by developmental psychologist Naomi Ekas. “We take different topics and themes from her music or her life and apply a developmental perspective to it,” she says. Classes have centered, for example, on infidelity, revenge, attraction, and breakups. During one recent class, Ekas played Marjorie, the devastating Evermore tune that pays tribute to Swift’s grandmother. (I should've asked you questions, I should've asked you how to be, she sings.) Many of the 120 students started crying and asked if they could have a few minutes to text their grandmother or their mom or their dad. “We were all like, ‘Do we continue with class today? Because we’re very sad,’” Ekas recalls. April 19 - Time Magazine There will be no shortage of Taylor Swift coverage in the coming months - and if you're a journalist looking to fill a blank space in your story and avoid a cruel summer with no expert sources - then let us help. Naomi Ekas's research program utilizes a developmental psychology approach to understanding children’s social and emotional development. She also  teaches a course about the connection between psychology and Swift's place in pop culture. Naomi is available to speak with media - simply click on her icon now to arrange a time today.

Naomi Ekas
2 min. read