As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to dominate daily news cycles, UCF experts in areas ranging from hospitality, tourism, economics and student health services are helping shape the conversation surrounding the effects of the virus on various industries and the community as a whole.

Kenneth Adams, professor

— Ph.D. in criminal justice from State University of New York at Albany
— Research interests include police use of force, adjudication, juvenile justice, mentally ill inmates and corrections

James Bacchus, distinguished university professor of Global Affairs and director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity

— Founding judge and was twice the chairman – the chief judge – of the highest court of world trade, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
— Former member of United States Congress
— Former international trade negotiator for the United States

Carissa Baker ’08 ’18PhD, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in texts and technology from UCF
— Expert in theme parks and attractions, narrative and culture, guest experience, media studies, technology and sustainable tourism
— Industry experience includes years in operations at Disney and Universal on both coasts and consulting on theme park projects in a few countries

Larry Barton, distinguished university professor of crisis management and public safety

— Ph.D. in international relations and public policy from Boston University
— Named the highest-rated instructor for more than a decade at the FBI Academy and U.S. Marshals Service where he teaches courses in threat evaluation to federal and state law enforcement
— Selected as the first Fulbright Scholar to Japan in crisis management

Deborah Beidel, trustee chair, Pegasus Professor and director of UCF RESTORES

— Licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh
Author of more than 250 scientific publications including journal articles, book chapters and books on the treatment of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been the recipient of over $19 million dollars in research funding 

— Recent work focuses on utilizing technology to translate and disseminate efficacious treatments for anxiety disorders and PTSD into standard clinical practice

Annette Bourgault, assistant professor for the College of Nursing

— Ph.D. in nursing, Georgia Health Sciences University
— Research focus in areas of critical care and evidence-based practice
— Research scientist with Orlando Health and editor for Critical Care Nurse, a journal of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
— Experience as nurse educator in critical care during SARS outbreak in Ontario, Canada

Thomas Cavanagh ’06PhD, vice provost for digital learning

— Earned his Ph.D. in texts and technology from UCF

— Research interests include e-learning, technical communication, and the societal influence of technology on education, training, culture, and commerce
— Named an Online Learning Consortium Fellow in 2014

James Clark, associate lecturer

— Earned a Ph.D. in history from University of Florida
— Research interests include Florida history, U.S. South and presidential history

Robertico Croes, director of the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies and associate dean for Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Research and Administration

— Earned a Ph.D. in applied economics from University of Twente
— Expertise in tourism economics, human development, poverty and destination management with special interest in small and developing economies
— Has published four books and is a contributor to more than a dozen books

Michael Deichen, associate vice president for student health services

— M.D. from University of South Florida
— Areas of interest include emerging public health threats and emergency response
— Experience in dealing with numerous communicable-disease threats, including H1N1, Ebola and Zika virus

Carol Ann Dykes Logue, site manager of Central Florida Research Park Incubator

Cameron Ford, associate professor

— Ph.D. in business administration from Pennsylvania State University
— Founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and StarterLab — Director of UCF Blackstone LaunchPad

Alan Fyall, associate dean of academic affairs at Rosen College of Hospitality Management

— Ph.D. in destination management from Bournemouth University
— Visit Orlando endowed chair, interim chair of the Tourism, Events and Attractions Department and director of graduate programs at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management
— Research interests relate to smart and sustainable tourism and destination resilience in Florida, the Caribbean and South East Asia

— Published widely in the areas of tourism and destination marketing and management, including 22 books

Latha Ganti, professor of emergency medicine and neurology

— M.D. from Ponce School of Medicine (Ponce, Puerto Rico)
— Research interests include emergency medicine and vascular neurology

Jeanette Garcia, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Virginia
— Expert in special populations, mixed-method designs, behavioral medicine and activity assessment

Deborah German, vice president for health affairs and dean of UCF College of Medicine

— M.D. from Harvard Medical School

William Gordon ’09EdD, lecturer

— Earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from UCF
— Co-authored a nationally and internationally recognized textbook, Developing the Curriculum

F.E. Enrique Guerra-Pujol, instructor

— J.D. from Yale Law School
— Research interests include markets, property rights and the philosophy of law

James Hickman, Professor

— Ph.D. in chemistry from M.I.T.
— His lab involves the creation of new test-beds of functional human-on-a-chip systems to investigate spinal cord repair, ALS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases.

Robert (Robin) Hines, associate professor

— Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham

— Primary role at the College of Medicine focuses on research in the field of population health with an emphasis on cancer epidemiology

Aubrey Jewett, political science associate professor

— Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University
— Specializes in American national, state and local politics and policy with an emphasis on Florida

Naim Kapucu, Pegasus Professor and director of the UCF School of Public Administration

— Ph.D. in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh

Research interests include emergency and crisis management, network leadership and governance, decision-making in complex environments, and social inquiry and public policy and collaborative public management

Marcia Katz, associate dean for Clinical Affairs at College of Medicine

— M.D. from Boston University
— Practicing pulmonary and critical care physician

Kerlene King ’10MS, manager of Learning Management System Services for UCF Center of Distributed Learning

— Master’s degree in management information systems
— Utilizes LMS data to assist in improving student success.

Amanda Koontz, associate professor

— Ph.D. in sociology from Florida State University
— Research interests include social inequalities, culture and consumption, identities and social psychology

Richard Lapchick, eminent scholar, endowed chair and director of the UCF DeVos Sport Business Management

— Ph.D. in international race relations from the University of Denver
Human rights activist, author, pioneer for racial equality and internationally recognized expert on sports issues

— President of the Institute for Sport & Social Justice

Eunkyung “Muriel” Lee, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in epidemiology, with an emphasis on cancer epidemiology from the University of Miami
— Registered dietitian nutritionist

Karol Lucken, associate professor

— Ph.D. in criminology from Florida State University
— Research interests include punishment in America, victim services and judicial behavior and decision-making in civil protection order hearings

Kate Mansfield, associate professor

— Ph.D. in marine science from College of William and Mary
— Marine scientist and sea turtle biologist
— Research interests include marine biology and vertebrate zoology with an emphasis on sea turtle ecology, behavior, habitat use and conservation

Luis Martinez-Fernandez, professor

— Ph.D. in history from Duke University
— Expertise includes Latin America, the Caribbean, education and Latino / Hispanic politics, culture and society

Carolyn Massiah, associate lecturer

— Ph.D. in marketing from Arizona State University
— Serves as associate chair of Department of Marketing

— Research interests include consumption experiences, commercial friendships, commercial social support, ethnic consumption, nested identities, sense of community and social networks

Don Merritt ’15PhD, director of UCF Office of Instructional Resources

— Ph.D. in texts and technology from UCF
— Experienced in the study of virtual environments, video games and accessibility

Kevin Murphy, professor

– Ph.D. in hospitality and tourism management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

— Expertise in food service and hospitality human resources, food safety and sanitation and culinary

Michael Pape, professor of practice

— Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University

— Expertise includes entrepreneurship, problem solving and technology/science and business interface

Daniel Paulson, associate professor

— Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University
— Director of the Orlando Later-Life Developmental Research (OLDeR) Lab at UCF

— Clinical and research interests include late-life depression and interventions for caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other life-limiting disorders

Abraham Pizam, Linda Chapin Eminent Scholar Chair in Tourism Management

— Ph.D. in business administration from Cornell University
— Founding dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management and served in that role for more than 15 years until his return to faculty in 2018
— Expertise includes tourism planning and development, tourism safety and security, consumer behavior, hospitality and tourism marketing, hospitality and tourism human resources management and hospitality cross-cultural management

Roberto Potter, professor

— Ph.D. from the University of Florida

— Research interests include inter-organizational operations, human trafficking and correctional healthcare

Kimberly Renk, associate professor

— Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of South Florida
— Head of Understanding Young Children and Families research laboratory

Fernando Rivera, professor

— Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Nebraska
— Founding director of the Puerto Rico Research Hub and is recognized as one of the leading voices with regards to Puerto Rico in Central Florida

— Research interests include medical sociology/sociology of health, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of disasters

Erin Saitta ’06 ’10PhD, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in chemistry from UCF

— Chemistry education researcher

Gerald J. Schiffhorst, professor emeritus of English

Eric Schrimshaw, professor

— Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from City University of New York
— Serves as chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences
— Research interests include HIV/AIDS research and prevention, sexual health, LGBTQ health disparities and social determinants of health

Valerie Schulz, health sciences instructor

— Registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator
— Licensed nutrition and dietetics professional

J. Blake Scott, professor

— Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University

— Studies medical rhetoric and has focused on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s

Sudipta Seal, professor and chair of UCF Material Sciences and Engineering

— Ph.D. in materials engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

— Expertise in engineering materials with nanoparticle additives

Sean Snaith, director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting

— Ph.D. in economics from Pennsylvania State University

— Nationally recognized economist in the field of business and economic forecasting

Yan Solihin, professor of computer science

— Ph.D. in computer science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
— Director of UCF’s cyber security and privacy cluster
— Research interests include secure execution environment and computer architecture

Kenneth Stanley, Charles Millican Professor in Computer Science

— Ph.D. in computer science from University of Texas at Austin
— Research interests include artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, evolutionary computation, neuroevolution, artificial life, machine learning, video game AI, generative and developmental systems, indirect encoding

Axel Stock, associate professor of marketing

— Ph.D. in management with specialization in marketing from Purdue University
— Expert in consumer purchasing and product scarcity
— Research interests include game theory, economics of uncertainty and information, competitive strategy, product management, pricing and product scarcity strategies

Kelvin Thompson ’99MA ’05EdD, UCF Center for Distributed Learning executive director

— Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from University of Central Florida
— Regularly addresses groups throughout the U.S. on topics related to online/blended learning and educational technology
— Co-hosts TOPcast: The Teaching Online Podcast

Larry J. Walker, assistant professor

— Ed.D. from Morgan State University
— Has nearly a decade of experience working in rural, urban, and suburban school districts
— Research interests include traits of successful leaders, recruitment and retention of black male teachers, the impact of environmental factors on the academic performance and socio-emotional functioning of black students and how federal and state policies impact under-served and marginalized populations

Youcheng Wang, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management

— Ph.D. from the University of Illinois
— William C. Peeper Preeminent Professorship in Destination Marketing
— Expertise in hospitality and destination marketing, customer relationship management, destination image and branding
— Co-editor of Journal of Destination Marketing and Management and is the author of four books and more than 150 scientific publications

Danny White, assistant vice president and director of athletics

— Doctorate in higher education from University of Mississippi

Chrysalis L. Wright, associate lecturer

— Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Florida International University
— Research interest centers around media and technological influences on development and behavior (broadly defined)

Haofei Yu, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in environmental health from University of South Florida


Kevin Mercer Mitchell, adjunct professor of history

Rob Panepinto, director of Innovation Districts Strategy and Partnerships

Gary Rhodes, associate professor of film

Michael Strawser, Nicholson School of Communication and Media professor

Larry West, health management and informatics professor

If you are a UCF faculty or staff member with expertise related to the coronavirus and its community impact, please email Heather Smith ( at the UCF communications department.

More to Share

In addition to conducting interviews with news reporters, UCF faculty and staff are also sharing practical information through social media and other outlets to help us adjust to life in a time of social distancing and remote learning.

WUCF’s “Meet the Helpers”

WUCF TV’s Meet the Helpers is a multiplatform project for teaching children about first responders and other community helpers and better preparing them for emergency situations.

Amanda Groff ’03 ’07MA, associate lecturer and online undergraduate coordinator

— Ph.D. in anthropology from University of Florida— Won the inaugural Chuck D. Dziuban Excellence in Online Teaching Award in 2012

Alisha Janowsky, assistant chair and director of psychology undergraduate program

— Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic University

Roslyn Miller, instructional designer for UCF Center of Distributed Learning

— Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Mississippi State University
— Research interests include effective instruction, learner motivation and STEM education
— Has presented at regional and national conferences, published articles in education journals, and served as a peer reviewer for education journals

Bruce Wilson, professor, and Rebecca Schiel, postdoctoral researcher

— Wilson’s research interests: politics of Central America, the Carribbean, and Latin American countries, comparative judicial reform, political economy, and political parties and interest groups
— Schiel’s research interests: human rights, civil-military relations, international political economy and democratization