Faculty News

2020 Year in Review: Michigan Minds

In its third year, with nearly 45,000 listens of the 122 episodes shared, the Michigan Minds podcast experienced significant growth—88 percent over the previous year—and provided valuable academic insights into an array of the local, state, national, and global concerns of 2020. Featuring faculty experts, public health officials, and university leadership, Michigan Minds episodes explored everything from COVID-19 research and structural racism to education amid a pandemic and the groundbreaking research taking place at the University of Michigan.

The Michigan Minds podcast brings to life the breadth and depth of faculty expertise at U-M through quick and informative analyses, allowing faculty to provide unique perspectives on top issues.

Listen to some of the most popular episodes of Michigan Minds in 2020 below: 

COVID-19 and Drug Therapies with Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Jonathan Sexton

Sexton explains how the U-M Center for Drug Repurposing  quickly reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak and rapidly began identifying and screening drugs that could be effective as therapeutic interventions for COVID-19. The focus is on FDA-approved drugs because the time from trials to prescribing is drastically reduced.


Stress and Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Associate Professor of Social Work Shawna Lee

Lee is the lead author of a study that looked at stress and parenting during the coronavirus pandemic. Lee launched the online survey, with colleague Kaitlin Ward, shortly after the White House implemented social distancing guidelines. Respondents to the survey self-reported on their parenting behaviors, economic situation, and overall well-being.


Discussing Race, Social Movements, and Hope for Change with Program Assistant in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies Elizabeth James

James discusses how race and social movements have evolved over the past several decades, and how inspired she is by the students who are speaking up against systemic racism in the United States.


How COVID-19 is Impacting Older Adults with Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health Lindsay Kobayashi and postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Social Research Jessica Finlay

Kobayashi and Finlay discuss the research project they launched to better understand how the pandemic and associated control practices are affecting older adults in the US.


How Racism-Related Stress Impacts the Health of African Americans with Enrique W. Neblett Jr.

Neblett discusses the negative impact of racism on health and how racism-related stress impacts physical health as well.


How COVID-19 is Impacting the Student Achievement Gap with Professor of Psychology Pamela Davis-Kean

Davis-Kean explains that with schools closed, it falls to parents to provide learning opportunities for their children, but many families are unequipped to do so.


The ZEUS Laser with Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Karl Krushelnick

Krushelnick discusses the most powerful laser in the US, ZEUS, a three-petawatt system that will be built at U-M, is funded with $16 million from the National Science Foundation.


Pop-up Testing Quickly Identifies More Than 220 Negative Results Following COVID-19 Cluster Concerns with Acting Executive Director of UHS Lindsey Mortenson

Mortenson explains “pop-up” testing that allowed UHS to rapidly test all students residing on two specific floors of the South Quad residence hall that had been identified as the primary location of the cluster.


Tracking Social Distancing During COVID-19 with Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jason Corso

Corso discusses how Voxel51 is using custom AI to track how pedestrian and vehicle traffic is evolving amid stay-at-home orders in locations around the world.


How Structural Racism Generates Health Disparities with Research Fellow at the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research Michael Esposito

Esposito explains how structural racism shapes health disparities and shares the findings of a study he conducted that shows police use-of-force is among the leading causes of death for young men of color in the US.