COVID-19 Experts


Below are details on experts available to speak directly to COVID-19. If you’re interested in speaking with an expert, please contact

Food Safety / Nutrition

Kimberly Baker, Food Systems and Safety Program Team Director
How is the novel coronavirus effecting the safety of our food supply? Foodborne exposure is not a known route of transmission, but there are safety practices you should still follow when purchasing and preparing food. Baker is available to share the food safety tips, resources and best practices.

Michelle Parisi, Director of Nutrition and Health Extension Programs and Rural Health and Nutrition Program Team Director
Social distancing and shelter-at-home orders have caused disruption in everyday lives, as well as disrupting access to resources for families. During this time, experts have to get creative with outreach and dissemination of health and nutrition programs to low-resource adults and children. Parisi is available to speak with media about food safety and extending food during the pandemic; how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, exercise, health management; COVID-19 and its affect on rural health and nutrition.

Business & Economics

Scott L. Baier, Professor and Chair of the Department of the John E. Walker Department of Economics
COVID-19 is impacting more than our health, its effect on the economy is unquestionable. Baier is available for stories you are working on about economic impacts of COVID-19 and can provide economic analysis of this event and pending legislation. His award-winning research focuses on international trade and economic growth and development.

Jack Ellenberg, Associate Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives
The effect of COVID-19 on the manufacturing industry has been great and the impact is still being monitored and measured. Ellenburg can speak to the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing. 

Adam Kantrovich, Extension Associate Professor of Agribusiness
Empty shelves have caused alarm at grocery stores across the country, but empty fields and barns would have much greater impacts on our nation. Kanrovich is available to speak on COVID-19’s impact on agriculture and what the stimulus package means for farmers in South Carolina.

Michael D. Makowsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics in the John E. Walker Department of Economics
COVID-19 brings with it unprecedented changes to our economy and social behaviors. Makowsky can speak to media about the effect on crime rates and use of police force to ensure social distancing. 

Chad Navis, Ph.D.Associate Professor and Arthur M. Spiro Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership
COVID-19 continues to significantly impact startups and small businesses. Navis is available to speak to how new market categories emerge and ways the pandemic is affecting entrepreneurship. 

Steve Richards, Agribusiness Extension Associate
The impact COVID-19 is having on small businesses is still unfolding. Richards is available to speak with media about the impact the pandemic is having on small businesses, specifically agriculture producers and value-added agricultural businesses. 

Public Health

Kathleen CartmellPh.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences 
Disease outbreaks have happened on a local, national and global scale for centuries. Cartmel managed an epidemiology department earlier in her career and is available to speak to media about local outbreaks and response. 

Lior Rennert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
Forecasting and trends are an important part of monitoring any infectious disease, including COVID-19. Rennert is focused on studying the impacts of both non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., social distancing) on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and on factors affecting disease severity in patients with COVID-19. Based on current forecasts and trends, he is available to speak to the role of social distancing and testing, and their impact on re-opening.


Mark Johnson, Ph.D., Thomas F. Hash Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development and Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing 
Frontline workers are having to weigh the reuse of N95 masks due to shortage of masks and rising costs. Johnson is part of a nationwide partnership working on new methods of cleaning and sanitizing medical masks to help protect healthcare providers. He is available to speak to media on their research, as well as the effect COVID-19 is having on advanced manufacturing. 


Kaustubha “Kos” Qanungo Ph.D., Biological Sciences Lecturer
As a virologist having studied RNA viruses, Qanungo is teaching the only animal virology course at Clemson, in which he covers the SARS CoV2 family of virus. He is available to speak to media about molecular virology, immunology and pathogenesis of the coronavirus as it relates to COVID-19.

Dr. Carlos D. Garcia, FRSC, Professor and Associate Chemistry Department Chair
With misinformation about ways to treat COVID-19, Chemistry Professor Carlos Garcia can speak to the effect bleach use can have on surfaces, as well as the negative effects it has on the human body if ingested. Garcia is available to speak with media on these topics and can also speak to the negative effects chlorine dioxide has on the human body.

Wil Milhous, Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer in Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Biological Sciences Department
Vaccine and drug treatment development for COVID-19 is still in research phases, with many treatment ideas being suggested, including anti-malaria drugs. Milhous is an expert in infectious disease microbiology and drug development, with a primary focus in malaria and emerging diseases. He can speak to media about product and process innovation, target product profiles, performance parameters and implantation strategies for drugs and diagnostic platforms. 

Matthew Turnbull, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, and Plant and Environmental Sciences
Studying viruses is an important component to understanding illnesses like COVID-19 and ultimately developing treatments. Turnbull, a virologist, is available to speak with media about virology, understanding and interpreting the models, as well as providing commentary on what is known about CoV2. 


April Pelt, Digital Learning Specialist
The novel coronavirus has led to schools moving to online and virtual learning programs (e-learning), and this style and type of learning is new for many students and educators. Pelt is available to speak to media about e-learning best practices and tips for students and educators to stay engaged. In addition, Pelt can speak to the success, and current rising interest, of Clemson’s four-course certificate in Online Teaching. 


Hala Nassar, Ph.D., Professor of Landscape Architecture
Disease and pandemics have historically caused transformation to landscapes. Environmental design responses have been developed to mitigate emerging epidemic disease. Nassar is available to speak to media about landscape transformation due to the outbreak of disease and pandemic. 

Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., EDAC, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Endowed Chair in Architecture + Health Design, Director, Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing 
Research indicates the design of health facilities has a direct impact on patient outcomes, but why? An expert in health care design, Joseph is available to speak to media about how architecture impacts health outcomes and how hospitals are reimagining the OR to improve patient care. 


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