Pandemic Perspectives

Pandemic Perspectives

Faculty, Staff Weigh In on COVID-19

Creighton University faculty and staff have provided perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic from a variety of disciplines and offered support in the fight against the disease. Here is a sampling.


How to Wear a Mask
“If you’re sick and if you wear a mask, you are containing that secretion that is coming from your nose or your mouth, which will protect others. There’s a misconception that if you wear a mask, you’re protecting yourself; it’s actually that when you wear a mask, you’re protecting others from you.”

Renuga Vivekanandan, MD
Hospital Epidemiologist, Associate Professor
CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center — Bergan Mercy, School of Medicine

Impact of COVID-19 on patients with dementia
“If you stop to think about the people who have dementia most of the time, they tend to be older individuals. And we do know that older people are much more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 compared to their younger, healthier counterparts.”

Michele A. Faulkner, PharmD
Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Neurology
School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

Sanitizing disposable masks
“It’s surprising to me that this information doesn’t seem to already be out there. We can’t find any sources for anyone that’s done any kind of systematic study on this.”

Laura Hansen, PhD
Professor, Associate Dean for Research
School of Medicine

Studying COVID-19 in pregnant women
“Of those tested, 23 (pregnant mothers) tested positive and were asymptomatic. As it turns out, they went on to do normal deliveries, and they all recovered, and none of their babies were affected.”

Robin Farias-Eisner, MD, PhD
Director, Professor
Hereditary Cancer Center, School of Medicine

The Role of Public Health During the Pandemic
“In some ways, the core principles and functions of public health have not changed at all. What has changed is that more community members are aware of all of the ways that public health touches our lives.”

LaShaune Johnson, PhD
Associate Professor, Master of Public Health Program
Graduate School



Using 3-D printing to produce PPE
“You want to do what you can to help out. This is one of the easiest things the library could do to contribute. It just goes along with our mission at Creighton. We’re here to help others, we’re here to help our students, and we’re hopefully here to help out the rest of the community.”

David Buffington
Evening Supervisor and Technology Specialist
Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library

Utilizing virtual reality in online learning
“It’s definitely better than a Power Point. Thinking dimensionally and utilizing spatial skills is a whole other endeavor. It opens the door to a more immersive student experience. Things become more tangible and real. VR provides another layer of interaction.”

Ryan Cameron, EdD
Assistant Vice President for Digital Experience
Division of Information Technology

Managing online teams
“When you’re in these meetings, these virtual meetings, you can have trouble establishing presence … everyone turns into a sort of picture on a wall … Presence is an important thing to establish in order to increase engagement.”

Cynthia Corritore, PhD
Heider College of Business



Individual liberties vs. public safety during the pandemic
“Emergencies can take many forms. Mandatory evacuations during Hurricane Katrina are on the natural disaster side, mass incarcerations of Japanese-Americans during World War II are on the war side, stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic are on the public health side. The exercise of these powers is more palatable than others, and the courts will determine that.”

Michael Kelly, JD, LLM
Professor, Senator Allen A. Sekt Endowed Chair Holder
School of Law

How the U.S. government has responded to crises throughout history
“After the first wave of influenza in autumn 1918 it looked to the naked eye as though the ‘war’ had been won.”

Heather Fryer, PhD
Fr. Henry W. Casper, SJ, Professor in History and Director of American Studies Program
College of Arts and Sciences



How to talk to your kids about the pandemic
“COVID-19 and this shift in our culture and life is a good opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about difficult things. It’s really hard to escape what’s going on. ‘Why are Mom and Dad home? Why aren’t they (the children) in school?’”

Amanda Holman, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

How the pandemic could change the future workplace
“I think, with all these ideas of routines and boundaries, communication is the only thing that’s going to hold us together. Communication is going to be our lifeline.”

Erika Kirby, PhD
A.F. Jacobson Chair and Professor of Communication Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

Wellness Coaching Through COVID
“This is an unprecedented time for all of us and it is important for health and wellness coaches to remember our scope of practice and continue to make a positive impact in our client’s lives.”

Vicki Bautista, EdD
Assistant Professor, Program Director
Graduate School



How Stoicism offers coping tools for COVID stress
“Stoicism trains you to deal with whatever happens by using the virtues that you’ve cultivated over many years. You train yourself not to be surprised, to be ready.”

William Stephens, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
College of Arts and Sciences



Economic impact of the pandemic
“I’m going off the models the medical people are coming up with, and as they get more pessimistic, so the economics get more pessimistic.”

Ernie Goss, PhD
Professor of Economics
Heider College of Business

Impact of coronavirus on recession recovery, investing
“I believe that the coronavirus recession will lead to more permanent job losses as businesses realize that they can effectively operate with a shrunken workforce. I believe it will take the U.S. economy years and not months to fully recover and that a W-shaped recovery is still the more likely scenario.”

Robert Johnson, PhD
Professor of Finance
Heider College of Business

How COVID illustrates importance of risk management
“While the recent events related to COVID-19 have highlighted the importance of sound risk management practices, they have also exposed potential shortfalls within existing organizations. Many businesses have been caught flat-footed and without experienced personnel and mitigation plans in place to deal with the recent pandemic.”

Ed Horwitz, PhD
Professor of Practice in Finance
Heider College of Business

How increasing U.S. services trade could positively impact economy during COVID
“There have been studies that show that it’s not just big firms that will benefit from a reduction of the barriers to services trade, that in fact small businesses would also benefit.” 

Kristie Briggs, PhD
Associate Professor of Economics, Program Director for Doctor of Business Administration
Heider College of Business



Keeping fit at home
“When you’re staying home, it’s important to keep as much of your regular routine as possible.”

Amanda Robine
Wellness Coordinator
Creighton Wellness



How COVID shows humans can respond to threat posed by climate change
“When faced with an existential threat, humans are amazing. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not the last existential threat that this generation, and generations to come, will face.”

Nick McCreary
Director of Sustainability
Global Engagement Office