Professional News

UK Experts Stand Ready to Field Media Questions During COVID-19

Photo of Michael Zilis
Michael Zilis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and judicial decision-making. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2020)  During times of uncertainty, we — as a society — search for answers. COVID-19, first and foremost, is a public health crisis. But it also leaves us with pressing questions — how can I properly manage my mental health? Will the U.S. enter a recession? And what effect, if any, will the pandemic have on the general election?

The University of Kentucky is home to some of the world’s most renowned thought leaders, and they stand ready to answer those questions.

From epidemiology and virology to constitutional law and political science — faculty and staff expertise spans a broad range of newsworthy topics. Through a comprehensive database, the UK Office of Public Relations and Strategic Communications is working to quickly connect those experts to statewide, regional, national and international media outlets.

Through the site, professional journalists and content developers have instant access to resources needed to identify and contact research experts who are eager to share their informed insight across various platforms — including print, broadcast, digital and radio.

The site works in a few different ways. Users can search the database of experts based on name and subject area. The site also offers profiles of select faculty and staff members that include their areas of expertise and related multimedia content.

In addition to the profiles, the homepage includes spotlights that highlight timely news topics and names of experts who are available to be interviewed on those topics. For instance, the homepage is currently dedicated to COVID-19.

Upon visiting the site, you will find Rebecca Dutch, who is considered a leader in the field of virology — the study of viruses — and now serves as chair of UK’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Reporters will also have access to mental health professionals and experts in economics, constitutional law, foreign policy and social psychology, among others.

UK will continue adding experts to this resource in an effort to be an even more efficient and effective resource for the media. For more information, you can also visit the PR and Marketing staff website.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.