Newswise — ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 22, 2022) — With inflation, the rising cost of energy, a potential recession and the ongoing war in Ukraine, there is much in the way of news that can compound the already stress-inducing holiday season in the U.S.

As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving and the onslaught of shopping, families, winter weather and cheery music that often accompanies it, faculty experts at the University at Albany are available to discuss the myriad issues that all seem to overlap in the last few weeks of each calendar year.

“Anxiety, loneliness, stress and pain are normal facets of life, but they don’t have to overwhelm you during the holiday season,” said Professor of Psychology John P. Forsyth, an expert on psychological health and the alleviation of human suffering. “The trick is to learn how to drop the rope in a tug-of-war with anxiety and holiday stress.  This will give you the space and energy you need to do more of what you truly care about during the holidays and beyond.”

Forsyth is among several faculty experts who can discuss holiday stress, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, the potential for a recession in the United States and similar topics.

UAlbany’s holiday experts include:

David Adkins, Undergraduate Director of Cybersecurity, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. The former Chief Information Officer for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, Adkins studies technology systems in both public and private settings. He can offer commentary on staying safe with online ordering (Cyber Monday), shopping from a secure computer and secure connection, smartphone purchases, phishing schemes and protecting credit card and other personal information.

Dolores Cimini, Director & Senior Research Scientist, Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research, School of Education: a New York State licensed psychologist, Cimini is the former director of the nationally recognized Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program.She has led comprehensive efforts in research-to-practice translation at the University at Albany since 1990 with over $10 million in support from federal granting agencies. Cimini studies substance use and addictive behaviors, suicide prevention and crisis intervention, prevention and early intervention, internship in mental health counseling, and practicum in counseling psychology.

Suraj Commuri, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Marketing, School of Business: Commuri’s expertise includes insight into marketing trends, as well as brand counterfeiting and consumer-generated content. Commuri is available to discuss consumer behavior and e-marketing, household decision-making and consumer generated content.

John P. Forsyth, Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences: Forsyth’s research interests focus broadly on acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches in relation to psychological health. He is interested in advancing the science and practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  Within an ACT approach, he examines experiential avoidance, nonacceptance, acceptance, mindfulness, self-compassion, and how these processes inform understanding of the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of fear and anxiety-related disorders.

Kajal Lahiri, Distinguished Professor of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, and Health Policy, Management and Behavior, School of Public Health: Lahiri’s interests include econometrics, forecasting and economics of health. His work has been supported by National Science Foundation, the World Bank, NY State Division of Budget, International Monetary Fund, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Institutes of Health. He can discuss the U.S. economy, its current health and what economic leading indicators say about where the U.S. economy is headed.

Benjamin Yankson, Assistant Professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. Yankson holds more than 15 years’ experience in various technical leadership roles in information technology security within the healthcare and education industries. He is currently leading research to help address issues related to the privacy and safety of children’s smart toys and can discuss online security tips for parents this holiday season.


About the University at Albany:

A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. As a Carnegie-classified R1 institution, signifying the highest level of doctoral and research activity, UAlbany is a leader among New York colleges and universities in diverse fields like atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.


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