Faculty News

U-M Researchers on the Impacts of COVID-19

Societal Impacts of COVID-19

Amid the rapidly evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty from across the University of Michigan are conducting research in areas of society that the novel coronavirus is impacting to empower communities through education, outreach, and advocacy.

Experts from a wide array of U-M schools and colleges have provided informative analyses of areas affected by COVID-19 on the Michigan Minds podcast, and with thousands of downloads, the impact of this novel disease is clearly top-of-mind for many.

Prisons and Social Distancing 

Nora Krinitsky, director of the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) and the University of Michigan Carceral State Project discusses how the coronavirus may be impacting prisoners—both physically and emotionally—and explains why prisons might face difficulties trying to follow public health guidelines like social distancing.

COVID-19 and Third Places

Jessica Finlay, postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Social Research, explains how third places—locations outside the home and workplace that facilitate social interaction, community building, and social support—provide a social glue to society, and shares her thoughts on how the pandemic is impacting them. 

COVID-19 and Drug Therapies

Jonathan Sexton, U-M Center for Drug Repurposing lead and assistant professor of Internal Medicine at Michigan Medicine, explains how UM-CDR quickly reacted to the coronavirus outbreak and rapidly began identifying and screening drugs that could be effective as therapeutic interventions for COVID-19.

Stress and Parenting During COVID-19 

Shawna Lee, U-M associate professor of social work, is the lead author of a study that looked at stress and parenting during the coronavirus pandemic. Lee shares the details of the study, which she launched shortly after the White House implemented social distancing guidelines, and explains some of the findings and how they are interpreted.

COVID-19 and Athletics 

Ron Wade, clinical assistant professor of Sport Management at the U-M School of Kinesiology, discusses the various ways athletics has been altered by the coronavirus—from Little League to professional sports. 

Technology’s Role in COVID-19

Thomas Finholt, Dean and Professor of Information at the U-M School of Information, discusses the significant role technology is playing is our lives right now—from teaching college courses to hosting virtual dinners with family. Finholt explains the impact of videoconferencing, social media, and data collection during a global pandemic. 

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Student Achievement Gap 

Pamela Davis-Kean, professor of psychology at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research, explains that with schools closed, it falls to parents to provide learning opportunities for their children, but many families are unequipped to do so.

Tracking Social Distancing During COVID-19

Jason Corso, U-M professor of electrical and computer engineering and CEO of Voxel51, an Ann Arbor video analytics and data management company, 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.

COVID-19 and Social Connections

Marcus Collins, Lecturer at Michigan Ross, discusses the areas of social impact COVID-19 is having—from how people are connecting, to how brands have reacted, to how Collins is now interacting with his students. 

Grocery Shopping and Food Waste During COVID-19

Shelie Miller, professor at the School for Environment and Sustainability and director of the Program in the Environment, discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has required many people to change their grocery shopping behaviors, which in turn has disrupted demand in the supply chain. 

School Resources Lost During COVID-19

Samantha Keppler, professor of technology and operations at Michigan Ross, discusses that with schools closed for the remainder of the year, families are without many of the services and resources the schools normally provide beyond educating students.

Poverty Solutions Launches Stimulus Check Website

H. Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions and the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy, shares some of the important information on the new Coronavirus Stimulus Payment website, which was created to help Michiganders receive their stimulus payments as soon as possible.

The Role of Financial Technology During COVID-19

Adrienne Harris, a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School of Public Policy and a Gates Foundation Senior Research Fellow with the U-M Center on Finance, Law, and Policy, explains how financial services touch every part of the economy and how financial technology plays a role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How COVID-19 has Impacted K-12 Education

Liz Kolb, clinical associate professor of education technologies and teacher education at the School of Education, explains how schools are scrambling to train teachers and make remote learning an equitable approach for all students.

Local Government Fiscal Health During COVID-19

Thomas Ivacko, interim director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), and Stephanie Leiser, a lecturer at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, discuss CLOSUP’s latest fiscal health project to produce a guide comprising a curated set of strategies, memos, and FAQs to share with communities.

How COVID-19 is Impacting Older Adults 

Lindsay Kobayashi, assistant professor at the School of Public Health and Jessica Finlay, postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Social Research, discuss the research project they launched to better understand how the pandemic and associated control practices are affecting older adults in the US.

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Q&A 

Michael S. Barr, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, explains what stimulus packages are and provides details on the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill.