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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Gary Rhodes, associate professor

— Ph.D. in film from The Queen’s University
— A filmmaker who has written and directed a number of commercially-released documentaries.

—  Author and/or editor of 20 books on film history and theory

Erin Saitta ’06 ’10PhD, assistant professor

— Ph.D. in chemistry from UCF

— Chemistry education researcher

Valerie Schulz, health sciences instructor

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

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

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

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


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