Liberal Arts Expertise around COVID-19

Photo of pussy willows and yellow flowers with Johnston Hall in the background

“The work we do is our strength. The questions we ask, the analytical tools we bring, the perspectives we raise from our various disciplines—that’s the heart of how the liberal arts advances our understanding of critical societal issues… . Our work is our strength. Nothing we are going through right now changes that in the least.” — John Coleman, dean

Here you’ll find the stories in which our faculty are bringing their insights and expertise to the benefit of us all during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Last updated December 3, 2021)

African American & African Studies


Keith Mayes standing in front of his office, smiling

Keith Mayes, associate professor

Expertise: 19th and 20th-century African American History, Kwanzaa and Black holidays, Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, Black history and educational policy, African American public history

American Studies


Brenda Child standing in front of a colorful display of 4 jingle dresses at a museum. Text on the display says "The Jingle Dress at 100."

Brenda Child, Northrop Professor

Expertise: American Indian history, multiculturalism, native culture, the jingle dress


Learn how our economists are helping with the pandemic response

As the novel coronavirus has evolved into a worldwide pandemic, the toll on economies has increased dramatically. Along with epidemiologists and public health experts, economists are using their expertise to offer insightful analysis and policy recommendations for mitigating the impact (in both health and financial terms) now and into the future. View a compilation of Department of Economics COVID-related news, research in progress, and other updates.


VV Chari

V. V. Chari, Paul Frenzel Land Grant Professor of Liberal Arts and an advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Expertise: Financial intermediation, fiscal and monetary policy, industrial organizations, macroeconomics, public economics


Professor Tim Kehoe

Timothy Kehoe, Distinguished McKnight Professor and an advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Expertise: Applied general equilibrium modeling, intertemporal general equilibrium theory, trade theory


Christopher Phelan

Chris Phelan, chair of the economics department and an advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Expertise: Monetary economics, public economics, macroeconomic theory, incentives, inequality, game theory


Portrait of Aldo Rustichini

Aldo Rustichini, professor

Expertise: Economic dynamics, game theory, mathematics for economists, microeconomic theory, models of bounded rationality, political economy



Photo of Katherine Scheil sitting in front bookshelves decorated with a string of small British flags

Katherine Scheil, professor

Expertise: Shakespeare, early modern literature, theatre history and performance studies, archival study, history of reading, women's studies/feminist criticism/history of women, 18th-century literature



Portrait of William Jones

William P. Jones, professor, AFSCME's Jerry Wurf Memorial Fund Scholar-in-Residence, and president of the Labor and Working-Class History Association

Expertise: Labor, work, unions, race, civil rights, African Americans, 20th-century United States


Regents Professor Erika Lee stands in front of a mural showing people of different races

Erika Lee, Regents Professor and director of the Immigration History Research Center

Expertise: Migration, race, and ethnicity; Asian Americans; 20th-century United States; law and public policy

Journalism & Mass Communication


Portrait of Emily Vraga

Emily Vraga, associate professor and holder of the Don & Carole Larson Professorship in Health Communication

Expertise: Identifying and correcting misinformation, political communication, health communication, digital media effects



Portrait of Alan Love.

Alan Love, John M. Dolan Professor of Philosophy and director of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science

Expertise: Philosophy of biology; philosophy of medicine; history of biology; science and religion

Political Science


Photograph of Professor Chris Federico

Christopher Federico, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Political Psychology

Expertise: Political psychology, ideology and belief systems, political knowledge, race and politics, quantitative methods in the social sciences


Howard Lavine

Howard Lavine, associate dean of the social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Arleen C. Carlson Professor of Political Science and Psychology

Expertise: Human rights, populism, partisan asymmetries, the intersection of race and political context on public opinion, and the psychological underpinnings of mass political behavior


Portrait of August Nimtz

August Nimtz, professor

Expertise: African politics, comparative politics, ethnic politics, Marxism, political development, politics of the transition to socialism, political economy


Kathryn Pearson

Kathryn Pearson, associate professor and associate chair of the political science department

Expertise: American politics, US Congress, women and politics, Congressional elections and political behavior, US political parties


Timely: Psychology Research During COVID-19

Psychologists are uniquely positioned to do good during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a series of short stories and social media posts, Department of Psychology researchers are exploring ways in which people, communities, and organizations are impacted by COVID-19, and how each can best manage and respond to stressors, transitions, and challenges that they are now confronting.


Photo of Patricia Frazier

Patricia Frazier, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Expertise: Counseling and social, coping with traumatic life events; PTSD and post-traumatic growth; perceptions of control over traumatic events


Portrait of Deniz Ones

Deniz S. Ones, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Expertise: counterproductive work behaviors, employment integrity testing, hiring and retention of employees, meta-analysis procedures, personality assessment and research, personality measurement in I/O psychology, personnel selection and classification


Photograph of Professor Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder, McKnight Presidential Chair in Psychology and director of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society

Expertise: Altruism, attitude change, interpersonal behavior, personality and social interaction, self-monitoring processes, social and psychological aspects of volunteerism and pro-social action, social influence, social perception, social power



Portrait: Doug Hartmann

Douglas Hartmann, professor and chair of the sociology department

Expertise: Race, ethnicity, and Immigration; sociology of culture, sport studies, social movements, American society, field methods, contemporary theory, public engagement


Portrait: Phyllis Moen

Phyllis Moen, McKnight Endowed Presidential Chair in Sociology 

Expertise: Work and retirement, family, subjective well-being, health, policy, gendered life course


Portrait of Joshua Page

Joshua Page, Don A. Martindale Professor of Sociology and Beverly & Richard Fink Professor in CLA

Expertise: Crime, law, deviance, and punishment; labor and unionization; political sociology, qualitative research methods, social theory


Portrait of Michelle Phelps

Michelle Phelps, associate professor

Expertise: Crime, law and deviance; inequality; mixed methods


Portrait of Rob Warren

Rob Warren, professor and director of the Minnesota Population Center

Expertise: Social inequality, education, health disparities, demography



Portrait of Birgit Grund

Birgit Grund, associate professor and NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel member

Expertise: Design and analysis of clinical trials, AIDS research, nonparametric curve estimation, smoothing methods

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