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GW Experts Available to Discuss Topics Related to the Holidays

Holiday dinner scene

From pandemic safety to the history of Thanksgiving, GW experts can offer advice and expertise

November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2021)With the holiday season upon us, many people are excited to see loved ones, restart traditions and get gifts for the whole family. Yet, public health experts say that COVID-19 cases are rising in some states and there are still many questions about holiday travel, vaccines and how to celebrate the season safely with gifts that arrive on time.

George Washington University has experts available to discuss the best ways to get together with family and friends this holiday season, how to manage stress and how to enjoy some good cheer without blowing your diet and fitness plan. GW also has experts who can talk about sustainable holiday shopping and the history of holiday traditions.

To schedule an interview with an expert, please contact GW Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-994-6460.

Staying Safe This Holiday Season
Hana Akselrod, an assistant professor of medicine, is an infectious disease expert that can speak to virus spread and lowering risk of COVID-19 infection for intimate gatherings this holiday season.

Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine, can speak about the importance of testing for COVID-19 during the holidays. 

Amanda Castel, a professor of epidemiology, is a pediatrician and an expert on COVID-19. She can talk about how families can safely visit grandparents this holiday as well as tips on travel and testing.

Anne Monroe, an associate research professor of epidemiology, is an expert on the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and can discuss questions about whether it is okay to travel or attend indoor holiday gatherings with family and friends.

Melissa Batchelor, an associate professor of nursing, is an expert on aging and health. She can discuss how to keep grandparents and other elderly people safe this winter season.

Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, an associate professor of nursing and director of infant research at the GW Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, can speak about making holiday festivities inclusive and fun for children with autism. 

Michael Knight, an assistant professor of medicine, can discuss how African Americans are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and how African American families can stay healthy this holiday season. 

Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, an associate professor of prevention and community health, can talk about how Latinos are at higher risk for COVID-19 and steps Latino families can take to stay healthy this holiday season. Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz can conduct interviews in English and Spanish.

Holiday Wellness & Weight Management
Loretta DiPietro is a professor of exercise and nutrition sciences. She can talk about big holiday meals and how a 15 minute post-meal walk may lower your risk of high blood sugar and diabetes. She can also offer tips on how to stay in shape this winter and a New Year’s plan for building more exercise into daily life.

Marijane Hynes, the founding director of the GW Weight Loss Clinic and a clinical professor of medicine, can speak to making smart dietary decisions during the long winter months.

Todd Miller is an associate professor of exercise and nutrition sciences and director of the GW Weight Management and Human Performance Lab. He can talk about how to enjoy some holiday goodies yet still prioritize fitness and weight management. He can also talk about this year’s weight and nutrition-related New Year's resolutions.

Kavita Daiya, a professor of English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, is an expert on body positivity. She is available to speak about the promises people make to get in better shape as a new year’s resolution and what happens when the promises become reality.

Holiday Blues
Daniel Lieberman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is an expert on depression and anxiety. He is the author of “The Molecule of More,” which explains how the brain chemical dopamine influences the expectations and disappointments that may come up around the holidays. He can speak about managing mental health and staying positive during the holiday season.

Sherry Molock, an associate professor of clinical psychology, is an expert on depression and suicide in adolescents and young adults, specifically suicide prevention programs for Black teens and young adults in faith-based communities. 

Lorenzo Norris, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, can speak to strained relationships as a result of differing views on COVID-19, politics and other tough topics that might come up this holiday season.

Tony Roberson, an associate professor of nursing, is a mental health expert. He can discuss dealing with anxiety and depression during the pandemic and holidays, and can provide self-care and coping tips.

Suzan Song, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, can speak about the well-being of children and adolescents during a stressful holiday season.

Stress & Winter Injuries
Brian Choi, a professor of medicine and radiology, is an expert on cardiovascular issues. He can speak about the stress on heart health during the holidays, such as shoveling snow, or emotional events, like caring for a family member with COVID-19 infection.

William Borden, a professor of medicine, specializes in preventive cardiology and can speak about the best ways to keep your heart healthy throughout the winter season. 

Zachary Zimmer, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, can speak about common winter injuries that occur from shoveling snow or stringing up lights.

Gobindveer Sahi, an assistant professor of emergency medicine, specializes in sports medicine. He can speak about common winter sport injuries and how to prevent them. 

Holiday Shopping
Miguel Lejeune, a professor of decision sciences and of electrical and computer engineering, is an expert on supply chain management. He can discuss the supply chain crisis and why it’s important to do your holiday shopping early this year.

Sabrina McCormick, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health, can talk about Earth friendly ways to celebrate the holidays. She can also offer tips on gifts and more sustainable ways to wrap those holiday presents.

Ayman El Tarabishy, a teaching professor of management, is an expert on entrepreneurship and small businesses. He can discuss how best to support small businesses this holiday season and what the holidays mean to those businesses.

Lynda Maddox, a professor of marketing, is an expert on advertising and consumer behavior. She can talk about what makes an effective holiday shopping ad as well as other factors that contribute to shopping decisions during the holiday season.

Donna Hoffman, the Louis Rosenfeld Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing, is an expert on consumer behavior. She can speak about electronic commerce and digital marketing trends. She is also co-director of the Center for the Connected Consumer at the GW School of Business.

Thomas Novak, the Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing, is an expert on consumer behavior in online environments and digital marketing. He focuses on consumer motivations for using social media, the impact of the social web on consumer wellbeing and new marketing methods. He is also co-director of the Center for the Connected Consumer at the GW School of Business.

Vanessa Perry, an associate professor of marketing, is an expert on consumer behavior. She can comment on consumer credit and financial decisions, as well as broader societal and policy aspects of marketing.

History of the Holidays
David J. Silverman, a professor of history, is an expert on American Indian and Colonial American history. He can speak on the actual history behind the origins of Thanksgiving and the American Indians involved in the tradition. He has written extensively on the Wampanoag tribe, on whose land Plymouth colony was founded.

Robert Eisen, a professor of religion and Judaic studies and chair of GW’s Department of Religion, is an expert on Jewish history and religious traditions. He can discuss the origins of Hanukkah and the unique traditions of this holy festival.

Paul Duff, a professor of religion, is an expert on the bible and early Christianity. He can shed light on the theological aspect of Christmas, from the Biblical story of the birth of Christ to how Christmas has been celebrated through the centuries.

Nemata Blyden, a professor of history and international affairs, is an expert on African and African Diaspora history. She can comment on the celebration of Kwanzaa, its particular customs and traditions, and what the holiday means for Black Americans. 

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