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Georgia Southern has experts in public and mental health, online learning, business and logistics

The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation is certainly new to all of us. As guidance from the CDC changes and instructional methods transition, there are experts at Georgia Southern who can help to answer questions such as:

  • How should we best address this pandemic as a nation?
  • How should we best address this pandemic individually?
  • What does it mean to “flatten the curve”?
  • What is the economic impact of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)?
  • How do you best manage employees virtually?
  • Why are grocery stores having trouble keeping inventory on their shelves? Should we prepare for a lapse in groceries and goods? 
  • What contributes to the fear and panic in disasters and pandemics?
  • What do educators, parents and students need to know to prepare for online learning in the K-12 and college settings?
  • With the latest news of China’s quarantine lift, what does this mean for the spread of the disease in the U.S.?

Available Experts

Public Health

Atin Adhikari

Atin Adhikari, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
  • Dr. Adhikari brings over 15 years of extensive research experience on aerosols, airborne microorganisms, other air pollutants, and related respiratory disorders. His current research areas include environmental air quality, exposure assessment, occupational health and safety, environmental microbiology, and respiratory health. Before joining JPHCOPH, Dr. Adhikari was also involved (Co-I) with two DoD-DTRA and U.S. Office of Naval Research funded projects on inactivation of hazardous microorganisms.
  • Availability: In-person, virtual and phone interviews

Dr. Chun Hai (Isaac) Fung, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
  • Dr. Isaac Chun-Hai Fung is a digital health expert and an infectious disease epidemiologist. He analyses social media data for public health surveillance and health communication and uses digital technologies for public health interventions. He investigates the transmission of communicable diseases with a focus on respiratory infections and environmentally transmitted infections. He applied a variety of methods, from classical statistical methods to machine learning and mathematical modeling, to address public health problems and to provide solutions to policy-makers. He is especially interested in assisting public health agencies in their responses to public health emergencies. He is currently a guest researcher with the Health Economics and Modeling Unit, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Examples of his recent projects include: Surveillance of unplanned school closures through social media platforms, Analysis of social media posts pertinent to public health emergencies, such as Ebola, MERS and Zika.

Jessica Schwind, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
  • Dr. Jessica Smith Schwind is an epidemiologist and program evaluator. She joined the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences at JPHCOPH in August 2017. Her current research interests include disease surveillance, capacity building and risk communication for the prevention and/or early recognition of outbreaks with a focus on: best practices for operationalizing the ‘One Health’ approach, understanding and improving capacity building efforts and priorities for increasing health surveillance, and improving early warning systems for disease detection and response by bridging the gap between global digital databases and local health information. Schwind also conducts SoTL research on innovative online/onsite teaching and evaluation with a focus on immersive and service-learning practices.

SEE ALSO: Georgia Southern faculty experts: turn your COVID-19 panic into a plan

Panic and panic-buying, and the public

Lindsay Larson

Lindsay Larson, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Marketing
  • As a social psychologist, Larson’s research interests are focused on the nonconscious, automatic processes that act upon consumer emotion, judgment, and decision-making. This interest has led to research projects on consumer mood states, design fluency, and the influence of activated mindsets, among other topics. Her work has been published in a variety of academic journals, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal.
  • Fear During Natural Disaster: Its Impact on Perceptions of Shopping Convenience and Shopping Behavior

Amy Ballagh

Amy Ballagh, Ed.D.

Jodi Caldwell

Jodi Caldwell, Ph.D.

  • Executive Director of the Georgia Southern University Counseling Center
  • On a national level, Dr. Caldwell is currently serving her second elected term to the Directorate Board of the Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services of the American College Personnel Association and is a certified Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Responder. 

COVID-19 and logistics, the economy and the workforce:

Alan Mackelprang

Alan Mackelprang, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Currently the director of the Ph.D. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, his research interests include examining interdependencies among supply chain partners, JIT/Lean production, manufacturing flexibility as well as supply chain integration.

Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Scott Ellis’ research interests center on the study of purchasing and supply management processes and functions. He has published in Journal of Operations Management and Journal of Supply Chain Management, among others.

Richard McGrath

Richard McGrath, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Parker College of Business
  • Professor McGrath researches immigration, consumer survey methodology, and applied microeconomics. He is a longtime expert on the economy in Savannah and the Coastal Empire.

Michael Toma

Michael Toma, Ph.D.

  • Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics
  • Toma is responsible for the quarterly Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, a closely watched economic report. Toma’s community ties are also strong in the area. He serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of the Coastal Empire and on the organization’s Executive Committee as chair of the Community Investments Committee.

Axel Grossman

Axel Grossmann, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Finance & Economics
  • Axel Grossmann, professor of finance, completed his Ph.D. in finance at the University of Texas Pan-American and holds an MBA from the University of Texas Pan-American and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences, Giessen-Friedberg, Germany. He joined Georgia Southern University in 2013 after holding positions at Radford University and at the University of Texas Pan-American, and researches international and corporate finance.

David Sikora

David Sikora, Ph.D.

  • Assistant professor of management
  • David Sikora’s research interests include strategic human resource management and the business impact of employee management practices. He has published his research in such journals as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Human Resources Management Review, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, and International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management. Prior to his academic career, David had extensive corporate experience in human resources and marketing including serving as human resources vice president at Cigna Corporation and director of human resources product management at Gevity HR, Incorporated.

Steven Charlier

Steven Charlier, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Management
  • Charlier’s research interests are focused on the modern work environment, and include virtual teams, e-learning, leadership in a virtual world, and management education. His work has been published in several leading international academic journals, including The Leadership Quarterly, Human Resource Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Academy of Management Learning & Education, and Human Resource Management Review.

Online teaching and learning

Charles Hodges

Charles Hodges, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development
  • Featured in the Inside Higher Ed article (published 3/11/20): So you want to temporarily teach online 
  • Hodges is a tenured professor of instructional technology at Georgia Southern with over 20 years of online teaching experience. As an active researcher in online teaching and learning, Hodges presents regularly at the national and international levels. He currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal TechTrends, and he is a long-time member of the Association for Educational Communications and Technologies, a professional organization for Educational Technology scholars and practitioners.

Dawn Tysinger
Jeffrey Tysinger

Jeffrey Tysinger, Ph.D. and Dawn Tysinger, Ph.D.

  • Professors, Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development
  • The Tysingers are one of very few individuals who are actively researching in the area of crisis preparedness in K-12 online learning
  • Dawn Tysinger, NCSP,  serves as professor and program director for the nationally-recognized, National Association of School Psychologists-Approved Education Specialist program in school psychology at Georgia Southern University.  Tysinger has contributed to her field through active participation in NASP, publications in school psychology journals, and presentations at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. She currently serves on the NASP program review board for school psychology programs and as a member of the editorial boards of Journal of School Psychology, Psychology in the Schools, Trainers’ Forum: Journal of the Trainers of School Psychologists, National Youth-At-Risk Journal and Journal of Online Learning Research.
  • Jeff Tysinger, NCSP,  is a professor of school psychology at Georgia Southern University. He has been the president of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists (KASP), editor of the KASP Newsletter, KASP Futures committee member, KASP NCSP committee member, member of National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) since 1997, Nationally Certified School Psychologist since 1997, NASP Program Reviewer, NCSP Portfolio Reviewer, member of NCATE Board of Examiners, member of Georgia Association of School Psychologists, University Trainer for Georgia Association of School Psychologists, member of the Journal of School Psychology Editorial Board, Red Cross Volunteer, and member of the Georgia Southern University Institute Review Board.  Tysinger regularly consults with preschool through high school on crisis prevention, intervention, and response.

For parents at home with (K-12) children now distance learning

Chelda Smith

Chelda Smith

  • Associate Professor, Department of Elementary and Special Education
  • Smith’s master’s thesis focused on parents as the first teachers of children and can speak to how parents can be empowered in that role. Her research agenda continues to focus on home and community assets, of which parents/caregivers are the primary influence and factor for positive outcomes.  Lastly, as a parent of both a middle schooler and a toddler, Smith is navigating the process of being a primary educator in the home in real-time. 

For a full list of Georgia Southern’s faculty experts, visit


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