William Paterson University Professors Share Their Expertise with the News Media During COVID-19 Crisis

Professor Miryam Wahrman

As people everywhere try to make sense of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, news reporters have been turning to William Paterson University professors for their expertise.

Miryam Wahrman, PhD, biology professor and director of a microbiology research lab at William Paterson University, has been featured in more than 200 news articles since the pandemic started. 

She has been interviewed by Business Insider, WERU Radio, Parents magazine, The Guardian, and NJTV, among others.

She’s explained how COVID-19 is transferred and why it’s important to follow proper handwashing technique, outlined how the method used to dry hands is just as important as how they are washed, provided instructions for how to create your own hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, and explained how researchers are closer to creating a COVID-19 vaccine.

Corey Basch, EdD, professor and chairperson of the Department of Public Health at William Paterson University, has become a go-to source on how to shop for groceries safely during the coronavirus crisis.

In interviews with CBS2 New York, Inside Edition, NJTV, Parents magazine, and others, Basch has offered such advice as using credit cards or phone apps to pay for groceries in lieu of cash that may be harboring lots of bacteria, using a written grocery list rather than a cell phone to avoid having to handle our devices in the store, and washing produce containers before storing them.

Nadine Aktan, PhD, a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner who serves as a professor of nursing at William Paterson University, demonstrated on television the proper way to wear a surgical mask or face covering to minimize COVID-19 exposure.

In her interview with Chasing News, a news talk show that airs on UPN9 and FOX5 in the New Jersey metro area, Aktan recommended that surgical masks to be reused should be labeled with family members’ names and stored atop clean paper towels to avoid contamination.

Amy Learmonth, PhD, is a developmental psychologist who has studied children ages 8 weeks onwards, looking at how children think and how their abilities change over time. Professor Learmonth runs the Cognition, Memory, and Development Lab on campus. She is also president of the Eastern Psychological Association.

In pieces published by USA Today and Healthline.com, Professor Learmonth provides insight about how social distancing practices could affect the long-term social development of children of different ages. Those in late childhood and adolescence, she explained, could suffer the most.

Rahi Abouk, PhD, an associate professor in the department of economics, finance and global business, is receiving media attention in STAT, Boston.com, and others for a study he recently published, examining the effect of social distancing policies on COVID-19 rates. 

An expert in health economics who was awarded the Charles C. Shepard Science Award from the Centers for Disease Control, Abouk measured the impact of six common social distancing policies in his paper, ranking them based on the magnitude of their impact. 

Leo-Felix Jurado, PhD, a registered nurse and advanced practice nurse, professor of nursing and chair of the nursing department, certified nurse educator and nurse administrator, fellow with the American Academy of Nursing and past president of The Philippine Nurses Association of America told Bloomberg Law that the Philippines could significantly ease the U.S. nursing shortage.

In an op-ed published in The Star-Ledger, which has been shared on social media more than 5,000 times as of this writing, Jurado asks for public recognition and official legislation to support the pipeline of immigrant nurses that U.S. healthcare facilities so desperately need.

**To stay up-to-date on our University’s top mentions in the news media, visit https://www.wpunj.edu/news/in-the-news.html.