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James "Mac" Hyman

Evelyn and John G. Phillips Distinguished Professor in Mathematics
Tulane University
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Professor Mark Fielder

Professor of Medical Microbiology
Kingston University
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Michael Scullin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Baylor University

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

Aston University optometrists take up global industry association roles

Professor Nicola Logan has been named a global myopia management ambassador by the World Council of Optometry Dr Debarun Dutta is the new academic chair of the British Contact Lens Association Aston University School of Optometry is ranked in the top 10 for research in the Complete University Guide 2024 Professor Nicola Logan and Dr Debarun Dutta from Aston University’s School of Optometry have both been appointed to major roles within optometry industry associations. The School of Optometry is regularly ranked highly by both leading national ranking publications and in annual student-led surveys. This includes a top 10 ranking for research and a top five ranking for graduate prospects in the Complete University Guide 2024, and first in the UK for student/staff ratio in health professions (optometry) in the Guardian University Guide 2024. Professor Logan, professor of optometry and physiological optics and deputy head of the School, has been named a global myopia management ambassador by the World Council of Optometry (WCO). She is one of four new ambassadors named by the WCO in collaboration with CooperVision, a leading myopia management company. WCO and CooperVision have developed a myopia management online tool which reflects WCO’s global standard of myopia care. In March 2024, Professor Logan presented her inaugural lecture at Aston University on her research into the nature of myopia, the growing evidence base on strategies to control eye growth in children and translation of these findings to clinical practice. She said about her appointment as an ambassador: “I am thrilled to be appointed as the global myopia management ambassador for the World Council of Optometry. This role provides me with a valuable platform to advance the recognition of myopia as a significant public health concern and to facilitate the translation of research into effective, evidence-based clinical practice strategies for children with myopia.” Dr Dutta, a lecturer in optometry, has been appointed the new academic chair of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA). He will lead the BCLA’s academic output, including offering guidance and advice to the BCLA council about scientific and academic elements of contact lenses. Dr Dutta will initially work alongside current academic chair, Professor James Wolffsohn, Aston University’s head of optometry, who is currently on sabbatical from the University, before taking over when Professor Wolffsohn steps down in 2025. Dr Dutta said: “I am hugely excited at the prospect of delivering academic provision of the British Contact Lens Association, with a specific focus on a highly prestigious conference programme as we grow our reputation as a global leader in contact lens and anterior eye education. This is a rare opportunity to work alongside our association members, fellows, trustees, global ambassadors and volunteers inspiring a new era for the BCLA, and to support our growth and development ambitions through delivery of educational activities within the contact lens and anterior eye specialism.”

Dr Nicola Logan
2 min. read

New COVID variant: Uptick expected, but cases should be mild

Talk of a new COVID-19 variant can lead to a feeling of shell shock and fears that another wave is approaching. But a University of Delaware epidemiologist says the FLiRT strain will likely cause more of a ripple marked by mild cases as opposed to the waves we became accustomed to four years ago. Jennifer Horney, professor and founding director of UD's epidemiology program, said that although the number of cases will rise during the summer due to travel, weddings and other large gatherings, the health impact won't be as dire thanks in large part to our existing public immunity. "What we can expect later in 2024 will likely depend on how well the vaccine advisors are able to anticipate changes to the virus and make recommendations about a vaccine that will become available in Fall 2024," she said. Horney has been one of the leading sources for media outlets on COVID-19 and served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Preparedness and Response during the pandemic. She has led interdisciplinary research projects funded by many federal agencies and was part of the public health response to Hurricanes Isabel, Charley, Katrina, Wilma, Irene and Harvey where she conducted rapid assessments of disaster impacts on individual and community health. Reporters interested in setting up an interview can visit Horney's profile and click on the contact button. The message will reach her directly.

Jennifer Horney
1 min. read
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Why insurance costs are increasing and what houses of worship can do about it

The insurance industry has been faced with many challenges recently. These challenges are now being offset to customers in the form of increased premium prices and even the ability to get insurance. Pam Rushing, president - subsidiaries and chief underwriting officer, shares with Worship Facility readers the factors affecting these changes and what houses of worship can do to make themselves more insurable. The first part of this three-part series dives into changes in severe weather patterns.

1 min. read

Keeping track of all the trials? Our expert is here to help with your coverage of Donald Trump

It's a busy time for the campaign team and legal team of the former president and current Republican nominee Donald Trump. His trials and legal troubles are getting wall to wall coverage across the country and around the globe. And if you're trying to keep track - check out this #ExpertSpot from WCU's Todd Collins, who is a licensed attorney and legal/political scholar with extensive experience in the courtroom and the classroom.  Looking to cover the trials of Donald Trump - we can help! Todd Collins is available to speak with media. Simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Todd Collins
1 min. read

Political Probe

As President Trump faces an impeachment inquiry for asking the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden, the White House is denying access to key witnesses and documents. Will the move to stonewall Congress lead to an obstruction charge? How will the proceedings affect the 2020 election? And what will the long term effects be for both Republicans and Democrats?  Hofstra experts who can address different aspects of this complicated issue include: --James Sample, an expert on constitutional law, who was featured in a Business Insider story examining the legal issues at play in President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.  --Meena Bose, political science professor and presidential studies scholar, who spoke with the Washington Post about President Trump's attempts to sway the public narrative about the Democrats' impeachment inquiry against him.  --Mark Lukasiewicz, veteran television executive and dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, who was most recently quoted in The New York Times and Variety about the challenges that news organizations now face in live coverage of the Trump administration.    --Grant Saff, professor and chair of the Department of Global Studies and Geography, who was a guest on WSHU Public Radio’s talk show, “The Full Story.” He was part of a conversation that covered a number of important issues including the Ukrainian crisis.

James SampleMeena BoseMark Lukasiewicz
1 min. read


This Saturday, March 24, thousands of students are expected in Washington, DC to participate in the March For Our Lives rally for gun control measures. Since the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, a generation of activists has been galvanized and a national movement born. Using the hashtag #NeverAgain and funded with donations from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Amal and George Clooney, the Stoneman Douglas students are speaking out against the National Rifle Association and the politicians who support the NRA – and students across the nation have joined their efforts. But is the #NeverAgain campaign sustainable? Can student activism advance an agenda that adults have been unable to achieve, and what does this newfound agency of American young people around a cause mean for the national political landscape? Hofstra has experts who can help you put this movement into political, social and economic context: Aashish Kumar, co-director of Hofstra’s Center for Civic Engagement, can discuss how students’ newfound activism is crucial to the active citizenship that is at the heart of any thriving democracy. Tomeka Robinson, associate professor of rhetoric and director of Hofstra’s speech and debate team, can address the role of rhetoric and public advocacy in swaying public opinion and shaping policy. Alan Singer, professor in the School of Education and expert on social issues in public education, can discuss the measures proposed to improve school safety, including the president’s suggestion to arm school teachers. Professor Singer was also a high school teacher for 15 years. Source:

Aashish KumarTomeka RobinsonAlan J. Singer
2 min. read

Swerving Stock Market

Stock markets around the world have experienced turbulent highs and lows in recent weeks – including the Dow’s dramatic 800-point loss, the worst of 2019 – as the ongoing trade war between the United States and China now shows signs of slowing the global economy. Hofstra University Provost and Professor of Economics Herman Berliner can help make sense of the volatility that has struck the market, which has shown conflicting evidence of both a potential recession as well as robust consumer growth.  Dr. Berliner has been featured in media outlets including NBC News 4 New York, Fox 5 NY, NPR, Newsday, and News 12 Long Island, on topics ranging from the U.S.-China trade war to credit card rates and changes to the federal tax plan. 

Herman Berliner
1 min. read

Health in the Headlines

Experts at the School of Health Professions and Human Services, the Saltzman Community Services Center, the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, and the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell are available to offer commentary on the most important health and wellness topics of the day, including:   Measles – More than 940 cases have been confirmed in 26 states this year, the greatest number reported in the United States since measles was declared eradicated in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts who can discuss the impact of the outbreak on the general population, the misinformation that has spread about vaccinations, the debate over booster shots, and the difficulties faced by municipalities as they struggle to stem the spread of measles include public health professor Anthony Santella, DrPH, family nursing expert Maureen Houck, DNP, and infectious disease specialist Bruce Farber, MD. Pregnancy and Depression -- New research led by Professor Maria Sanmartin, PhD found that more than half of pregnant women who are depressed do not seek treatment, and many instead turn to alternatives such as drugs and alcohol, marijuana, and painkillers. The study, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, looked at data from the five-year National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 12,360 women of reproductive age (18 to 44 years old) who reported symptoms of a major depressive episode in the last year. She can discuss how healthcare models can be improved to address the needs of this vulnerable group.  Suicide - Psychology professors William Sanderson, PhD and Mitchell Schare, PhD, director of the Phobia & Trauma Clinic, can discuss how to talk about this sensitive topic with vulnerable individuals including children, who went to ERs for suicidal thoughts and attempts in 2015 at twice the rate they did in 2007. Public health professor Martine Hackett, PhD can discuss trauma and traumatic grief as an underlying cause of many public health issues, including infant mortality, maternal mortality, substance use disorder, and sexually transmitted infections. She can also address how “diseases of despair” have contributed to a decline in life expectancy in the United States for two years in a row. 

Martine HackettMitchell Schare
2 min. read

Combating Climate Change

A recent survey of 26 nations found that climate change ranks as the world’s top security threat, even ahead of terrorism and cyber attacks, while a NASA report shows that the last five years have been the warmest on Earth in 140 years of record keeping – a clear sign that human activity has caused major shifts in global climate and weather patterns. The fight to find an effective solution has now come to Congress, where Democrats and Republicans are clashing over the Green New Deal, a proposal that lays out a broad vision to address climate change and economic inequality. Hofstra experts who can address environmental and political issues related to climate change include: Professors Jase Bernhardt and Bob Brinkmann, experts in sustainability, environment, and climate change, can discuss how warmer air and water increase the likelihood of more intense hurricanes,  wildfires and droughts, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels – all of which can displace communities and habitats, affect food and water supplies, and cripple important ecosystems. Public health professor Anthony Santella can explain how climate change poses a global health concern, with potentially higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, injuries, heat-related illness and death, and forced migration – particularly for at-risk communities such as ethnic minorities, older adults, children and adolescents, low-income persons, and persons with chronic diseases. Biology professor Lisa Filippi can discuss how the extinction of insect species can affect the earth’s ecosystems. A new study published by the journal Biological Conservation warns that over 40% of insect species are facing extinction due to factors such as habitat loss, pollutants and climate change. Some species, however – such as cockroaches and houseflies – will thrive under these conditions. Political science professor Rosanna Perotti can discuss how government and politics play a role in how climate change is addressed, while economics and labor studies professor Gregory DeFreitas can discuss the potential economic impact of the Green New Deal.  

Jase BernhardtRosanna PerottiGregory DeFreitas
2 min. read