Chapman University’s Vice President for Research, Thomas Piechota, hosts the next Ask the Experts – COVID-19 Research Town Hall on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., featuring several Chapman faculty who are already working on COVID-19-related research and outreach. The entire Chapman community (staff, faculty, and students) and the broader community are welcome to join using this link.
A Q&A follows each brief presentation, moderated by Tom Piechota.

Featuring Chapman Experts:

Steven Gjerstad, Ph. D will be joining us again this time to discuss characteristics of persons with serious and fatal cases of COVID-19. Dr. Gjerstad is a Presidential Fellow in the Economic Science Institute and the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University.

Jennifer Totonchy, Ph. D is Assistant Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapeutics at the School of Pharmacy. She is an accomplished virologist and has worked on host-virus interactions for both DNA and RNA viruses. Her laboratory is currently focused on infection of human B cells with Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus.  In response to the pandemic, Dr. Totonchy has organized a multi-disciplinary collaboration of faculty at the School of Pharmacy and the Fowler School of Engineering to develop a low-tech but highly sensitive antigen test for COVID19 infection.

Seth G. Benzell, Ph.D. will be joining the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics in Fall 2020 as an Assistant Professor. He is currently a postdoctoral associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy in the group on Productivity, Employment, and Inequality.  He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University. Seth’s work is in the economics of automation, digitization, and networks. He is also interested in public economics generally. Current research focuses are social networks, optimal regulation, and taxation of online digital platforms, and predicting how new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, will impact investment, wages and welfare. His work has received significant press attention, he has briefed legislative assistants at the U.S. Capitol. Seth will be presenting his research on how to ration social contact during the pandemic and discuss other social mobility reduction research currently underway at MIT

Dr. Michelle Samura is Associate Professor and Associate Dean in the Attallah College of Educational Studies. She also is the founding Co-Director of the Collaborate Initiative and principal investigator of the Architecture of Belonging project. Dr. Samura conducts research, publishes, and speaks on the relationship between space and belonging. She currently is drawing upon insights from the fields of design and architecture to identify key design principles and elements of built environments that promote belonging in educational, workplace, and community settings. Dr. Samura will share preliminary insights into how social distancing as a result of COVID-19 affects student belonging and connectedness.

David Frederick, Ph. D is an Associate Professor in the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. He conducts national studies on the prevalence and predictors of body image and disordered eating, attraction, and factors promoting relationship and sexual satisfaction in romantic relationships.  He teaches courses at Chapman on Human Sexuality and Research Methods.  Along with 11 other faculty members at Chapman, he launched the Chapman University April 2020 COVID-19 National Mental Health Study. Dr. Frederick will share preliminary insights from the 4,000 participants on how the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing are impacting people’s mental health, physical health, romantic relationships, and experiences of prejudice and discrimination.

To Join:

INSTRUCTIONS TO JOIN THE WEBCAST:  Please join the live event with your computer-attached speakers or with your mobile device (with Teams app).  When you click on the below link, you will choose one of two options:  to watch within the Teams App or to watch within your web browser (Note:  Safari is not supported at this time).

For Chapman Staff and Faculty

To ensure the best internet performance, please disconnect from VPN and close any unnecessary applications.   You may also join on your phone over mobile data using the Teams app.  A recording will be made available after the event.

For more information about this Town Hall, contact:

The Office of Research: Thomas Piechota, Vice President for Research, or (714) 628-2897.
Media Contact: Amy Stevens, Director of Public Relations, or (714) 289-3143.