Dolores Albarracín

Dr. Dolores Albarracín is a professor of psychology, business and medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She’s an expert in social and clinical psychology and can provide insight on how the anti-vaccination movement and the spread of misinformation on social media are affecting the coronavirus pandemic.

At the University of Illinois, Albarracín directs the Social Action Lab and the Health, Social Media and Technology Group, where she studies social cognition and action, communication, misinformation and changes in behaviors and attitudes.

Her work there has focused on COVID-19, substance use, HIV/AIDS and vaccines. Recent publications include a study on the ways anti-vaccination social media posts influence vaccine behavior and her April 2020 research finding that Americans who consume conservative media are more likely to believe conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.

Albarracín has authored five books and 170 journal articles and book chapters and served as the editor-in-chief of Psychological Bulletin from 2014 to 2020. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997, and has been a tenured professor at the University of Florida and at the University of Pennsylvania.

Location: Urbana, IL

Expertise Field: Social and clinical psychology, behavior and attitudes, communication, misinformation and public health

Contact information:

Email: dalbarra@illinois.edu 

Phone: 217-840-2383

Twitter: @socialactionlab

Listen to Dolores Albarracín on Hidden Brain:

Last updated September 8, 2020

Terry Loftis

Terry Loftis is the president and executive director of The Arts Community Alliance, a nonprofit supporting the arts in North Texas through grant making, capacity building and thought leadership. He can provide insight on the struggles cultural institutions are facing during the pandemic as well as what the future holds.

Before joining TACA, Loftis was vice president of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund in New York, which co-produced the Tony Award-winning productions Once on This Island and Hadestown. He also produced the 2017 Broadway run of Bandstand, which won the Tony for Best Choreography and Orchestration.

A Dallas native, Loftis graduated from the city’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. He has a 25-year career in marketing and advertising.

Outside of TACA, he serves on the boards of directors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Black Tie Dinner, Arts District Dallas, and the president’s council of the advisory board of Booker T. Washington High School.

Location: Dallas, TX

Expertise Field: Arts and culture, arts and culture funding, theater, music, museums, nonprofits

Contact information:

Email: Brett@BrettGrayPR.com (media contact)

Phone: 214-557-6233 (media contact)

Twitter: @TerryDLoftis

Listen to Terry Loftis on WFAA:

Last updated September 2, 2020

Isabel Araiza

Dr. Isabel Araiza is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, where she teaches in the Mexican American and women and gender studies programs. She’s an expert on sociology and its intersections with education, social class and inequality. 

Araiza has also spoken up against the university’s plans for in-person classes this fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. Many schools have abandoned plans for in-person instruction this fall due to outbreaks — most notably, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill made the rest of the semester entirely online after 130 students tested positive in the first week of classes.

Araiza’s recent research has focused on access to clean water, the political preferences of Latinos, Hispanic serving institutions of higher education in Texas and the community impact of the integration of Corpus Christi Independent School District in the 1970s.

Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Araiza went on to earn her PhD in sociology from Boston College. As a public sociologist actively engaged in her community, Araiza is a founding member of For the Greater Good, a local advocacy organization that pushes for access to clean water and investment in public institutions and infrastructure.

She’s also co-authored several health needs assessments on the community needs and uses of hospitals in the Coastal Bend region of South Texas.

Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Expertise Field: Universities and the coronavirus, sociology, Mexican American studies, women and gender studies, social class, education, inequality 

Contact information:

Email: isabel.araiza@tamucc.edu

Phone (cell): 361-779-3927

Phone (office): 361-825-3936

Listen to Isabel Araiza on KIII:

Last updated August 24, 2020

Dr. Joris M. Ray

Dr. Joris M. Ray is the superintendent of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee and an expert in K-12 education.

Ray grew up in Memphis and attended Shelby County Schools, graduating from Whitehaven High School. He went on to earn his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Memphis. 

As superintendent, Ray has focused on combating education inequality with efforts including providing digital devices and internet access for every student, the third grade commitment to improve reading skills, promotion of African American male empowerment and the alternative education program.

Ray worked for the district for more than 23 years as a teacher, principal and in several other administrative roles before he was unanimously elected to serve as superintendent by the Shelby County School Board in April 2019.

Shelby County Schools is the largest district in Tennessee and one of the 25 largest in the United States. It operates over 200 schools educating more than 100,000 students with a $1.5 billion annual budget.

Location: Memphis, TN

Expertise Field: K-12 education, educational leadership and policy studies, school operations and reopening schools during the coronavirus

Contact information:

Email: superintendent@scsk12.org or mediarelations@scsk12.org 

Phone: 901-416-5623

Twitter: @SCSSuptRay

Listen to Joris M. Ray on WBUR’s On Point:

Last updated August 17, 2020

Trevon Logan

Dr. Trevon Logan is a professor of economics and the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University. As an expert in economic demography, economic history and applied microeconomics, Logan can provide insight on the racial disparities of the economic impact of the coronavirus and how the lapse in federal unemployment benefits is affecting the economy.

Logan’s economic history research looks into how the human standard of living has changed over time. He’s currently focused on historical health patterns, racial discrimination, political economy, mortality, morbidity, and racial disparities in health.

His economic demography research has covered everything from dowries in South Asia to the economic, social and health impacts of male sex work. Outside of his two larger areas of focus, Logan has also researched the economics of sports betting and college football polls.

Logan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He went on to receive two master’s degrees demography and economics and his doctoral degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Location: Columbus, OH

Expertise Field: Economic history and demography, health economics, microeconomics

Contact information:

Email: logan.155@osu.edu 

Twitter: @TrevonDLogan

Listen to Trevon Logan on KCRW:

Last updated August 10, 2020

Jayce Farmer

Dr. Jayce Farmer is an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He’s an expert in public finance and state and local government administration and can provide insight on how the coronavirus has devastated state and local government budgets.

Farmer has more than a decade of experience in public fiscal administration — before joining UNLV, he worked as a policy and budget analyst for local governments in Florida. There, he coordinated and managed the capital budget process for municipalities and oversaw the implementation of several large municipal government funds.

He has also advised appointed and elected local officials and, in 2016, conducted several citizen satisfaction surveys for municipalities in Central Texas.

Farmer’s research into local government policy and fiscal issues has been published in The American Review of Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance, Urban Affairs Review, Public Performance & Management Review, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Expertise Field: Public finance, state and local governance, public policy, urban affairs

Contact information:

Email: Jayce.Farmer@unlv.edu 

Phone: 702-972-5878

Twitter: @JayceFarmer

Listen to Jayce Farmer on KNPR:

Last updated August 3, 2020

Kartik Cherabuddi

Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi is a clinical associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Florida and the hospital epidemiologist and director of antimicrobial stewardship at UF Health.

As an expert on infectious diseases, Cherabuddi can provide insight into the current coronavirus situation in Florida and how things will develop over the coming weeks.

At UF Health, Cherabuddi provides specialist care to patients with complex infectious diseases, HIV and antibiotic resistant infections. Outside of COVID-19, Cherabuddi’s research includes antibiotic resistance and genetic sequencing, and he collaborates with the university’s Emerging Pathogens Institute on emerging viral diseases like the Zika, Chikungunya and Keystone viruses.

Location: Gainesville, FL

Expertise: Infectious diseases and coronavirus in Florida

Contact information:

Email (preferred): cherabuddi@ufl.edu

Phone (office): 352-294-5481

Twitter: @kartc

Listen to Kartik Cherabuddi on WUSF:

Last updated July 16, 2020

Stephen Lockhart

Dr. Stephen Lockhart is the chief medical officer at Sutter Health, where he oversees the quality and safety of the organization’s patient care, as well as research and education. Sutter Health is a nonprofit health care network in California.

Lockhart has more than 30 years of experience in the field, including as a hospital administrator, board-certified anesthesiologist and university professor. He led the development of Sutter’s Health Equity Index, which uses health system data, combined with other information, like demographics, to quantify and predict health outcomes for specific racial or ethnic groups. When the index was launched in 2016, it was used to quantify disparities in patient care for conditions such as asthma and diabetes. 

Previously, Lockhart was the chief administrative officer at the St. Luke’s campus of Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center, located in San Francisco. There, he was involved in the entitlement process for the center’s new hospitals, improving operations and engaging in community outreach.

The National Medical Fellowships awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019 for his service in health care and humanitarian work. Lockhart is also the chairman of the nonprofit Parks California, which supports the state’s parks. 

As a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a Master of Philosophy degree in economics from Oxford University, and Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy in biostatistics degrees from Cornell University.

Location: Oakland, Calif.

Expertise: Health equity, anesthesiology, biostatistics, herd immunity, hospital pandemic preparedness, patient care and safety 

Contact information:

Angie Sheets

Phone: 916-494-9547

Email: sheetsa@sutterhealth.org

Listen to Stephen Lockhart on Insight with Beth Ruyak on CapRadio:

Last updated: May 25, 2020

Dean Seneca

Dean Seneca is CEO of Seneca Scientific Solutions, a consulting agency that provides tribal nations and other clients with assistance in economic and community development. The agency’s services include strategic planning, epidemiology and health research.

Seneca has been interviewed by Indian Country Today and Democracy Now!, among other news outlets, about how COVID-19 is impacting Indian Country. 

With over 20 years of experience with infectious disease outbreaks, Seneca has worked to combat Anthrax, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and COVID-19. Seneca was previously a senior health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, where he was responsible for building the CDC’s ability to support health departments across the country.

Prior to his time at the CDC, Seneca was the tribal planning director for the Seneca Nation of Indians, which is based in western New York.

Dean Seneca_podium

Location: Cattaraugus, N.Y.

Expertise: Chronic and infectious diseases, emergency preparedness and response, environmental health, toxicology and maternal/child health, American Indian/Alaska Native health

Contact info:

Phone number: (678) 524-5177

Email: thundereagle1042@gmail.com 

Listen to Dean Seneca on Democracy Now!:

Last updated: May 17, 2020

Aletha Maybank

Dr. Aletha Maybank is the first chief health equity officer of the American Medical Association and one of its vice presidents. Her role is to oversee efforts across the entire organization to address disparities in health care, and she leads the association’s Center for Health Equity.

A pediatrician by training, Maybank was the deputy commissioner at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she launched their Center for Health Equity. 

Before that, she was an assistant commissioner in the NYC Health Department with the Brooklyn District Public Health Office. There, she oversaw several centers that worked to connect community organizations, health care providers and patients in predominantly minority neighborhoods throughout New York. Maybank was also the founding director of the Office of Minority Health in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, located in New York, from 2006-2009.

Alongside her work in government, Maybank has taught medical students on topics such as public health leadership and management, and community organizing in health. She was previously the president of the Empire State Medical Association, the New York affiliate of the National Medical Association. 

She also helped create the “We are Doc McStuffins” campaign, based on the popular Disney cartoon character, which aimed to inspire young African American girls to practice medicine. The group eventually formed the Artemis Medical Society.

Location: NYC and Chicago, Ill.

Expertise: health equity, minority health, community engagement 

Contact information:

Cristina Mutchler, AMA public information officer

Phone: 312-464-4710

Email: Cristina.Mutchler@ama-assn.org

Listen to Aletha Maybank on Oprah Talks COVID-19:

Source of the Week · Aletha Maybank – Oprah Talks COVID-19