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One Year Later: UAlbany Experts Available to Reflect on COVID-19

University at Albany, State University of New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 17, 2021) – Last March, the worst pandemic in a century arrived in the United States, changing virtually every aspect of our daily lives in the best interest of health and safety.

The COVID-19 virus has since infected a total of 121 million people and 2.6 million have died – including some 550,000 Americans. But, there is hope. Scientists created safe and effective vaccines in record time. The Biden administration has vowed the U.S. will have enough supply for all adults by end of May.

UAlbany experts are available to reflect on the one-year mark of the pandemic from a number of different perspectives.

Public Health:

  • Eli Rosenberg, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has provided technical assistance to New York’s COVID-19 response across a range of activities and studies addressing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, surveillance, prevention and treatment. He has offered expertise on COVID-19 epidemiology to the Governor’s office, SUNY system, UAlbany and numerous local and national media outlets.
  • Tomoko Udo, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, studies a wide range of addictive behaviors from alcohol/drug use to binge eating. During the pandemic, she has worked closely with leaders from UAlbany in a public health advisory role, helped develop a campus student support team, and assisted the School of Public Health and The RNA Institute in implementing a COVID-19 pooled surveillance testing program that provides a simple and non-invasive way to test the presence of the virus using a saliva sample.

 Emergency Preparedness:

  • Jayson Kratoville, is the interim director of UAlbany’s National Center for Security and Preparedness, where he supports New York’s efforts to be more prepared and resilient through training, education, research and technical expertise. He has argued from the start of the pandemic that businesses and communities should be prepared to face a new normal, even after the majority of work from home orders are lifted.
  • Samantha Penta, assistant professor at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, focuses on health and medical issues during a crisis, decision-making in preparedness and response and humanitarian logistics. During the pandemic, she has lead a study funded through the National Science Foundation to examine risk perception, information seeking and protective actions against COVID-19.


  • Adrian Masters, chair and professor of the Department of Economics, is an expert in labor economics, macroeconomics, labor market policies, minimum wages and unemployment. He has used his research approach to study labor markets, marriage, intermediation and the role of money in society. He can speak on the financial impact of the pandemic, including significant losses of income for many individuals and industry-wide economic disruptions.

Mental Health:

  • Dolores Cimini, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research, is a New York State licensed psychologist who has provided leadership in the areas of prevention and intervention at UAlbany for nearly 30 years. She can discuss the challenges that have come with maintaining well-being and connection during the pandemic; how to manage depression and anxiety/emotions; and challenges related to substance abuse, including how to seek support. She can also address the unique barriers that exist when addressing COVID-19 concerns with young people.
  • Julia F. Hastings, is an associate professor in both the School of Public Health and School of Social Welfare who focuses her research on better understanding the importance of health disparities among vulnerable populations. She is currently leading a study to examine how COVID-19 has impacted mental health in the Black community.


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. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as 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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