NC State Experts on COVID-19

COVID-19 Experts

Economy: Mike Walden, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Extension Economist, can discuss the effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy. See his recent piece in The Conversation here and his perspective on government response to the virus here. He can be reached at or 919.515.4671.

Food safety: Ben Chapman, professor of agricultural and human services and food safety specialist, can discuss food preparation, food handling and care for kitchen surfaces. He can be reached at or 919.809.3205.

Crops and commercial vegetables: Chris Gunter, extension vegetable production specialist and professor of horticultural science, can talk about the pandemic’s potential impacts on crop production and fresh vegetables on a commercial scale. He can be reached at or 919.513.2807.

Virus transmission through food: Lee-Ann Jaykus, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, is an expert in food virology, specifically the transmission of viruses through the food chain. She says that the virus causing COVID-19 is not foodborne. She can be reached at or 919.513.2074.

Pandemic Response: Julie Swann is the department head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor of NC State’s Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In 2009, she was on loan as a science advisor for the H1N1 pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Swann’s past research includes the spread of influenza pandemics, access to healthcare, and disrupted humanitarian supply chains. She can be reached at

Supply chain management: Robert Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, is an expert in supply chain management and can speak about COVID-19 impacts of product hoarding, misdirected consumer habits and hospital needs such as ventilators. See his recent blog post on supply chain issues related to the virus. He can be reached at or 843.469.2313.

Supply chain management: Tim Kraft, is an expert in operations and supply chain strategy. His research focuses on environmental and social issues in supply chains, and he can speak to fundamental issues related to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. He can be reached at or 512.825.8950.

Public policy in crisis: Tom Birkland is a professor of public policy who studies the political and managerial aspects of natural disasters and industrial accidents. He is the author of two books–After Disaster and Lessons of Disaster-and many articles on disasters and crises. Birkland can provide some context on how governments develop and implement policies during crises and disasters. He can be reached at or 919-513-1834.

Animals and COVID-19: Steve Marks is the associate dean and director of Veterinary Medical Services at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He can talk about pets and COVID-19, and answer operational questions concerning NC State’s veterinary hospital. He can be reached at

Animals and COVID-19: Barbara Sherry is a professor of virology and head of the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at NC State. She can talk about how viruses spread both through the general population and between people and animals. She can be reached at:

Emotional well-being in family life: Kim Allen, associate professor of agricultural and human services and human development specialist, can speak on strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and family relationships. She can be reached at or 919.515.9139

Youth outdoor engagement: Liz Driscoll, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, can discuss youth engagement with the agricultural and natural world through gardening activities, nature discovery and outdoor science explorations. She can be reached at or 919.886.3424.

Enterprise risk management: Mark Beasley, professor and director of the ERM Initiative in the Poole College of Management, can discuss how the unfolding circumstances of COVID-19 are triggering a multitude of risks affecting all aspects of an enterprise. Beasley can provide insights about how core principles related to effective enterprise risk management can be directly applied to this current crisis. He can be reached at or 919.264.3187. 

Disease modeling: Alun Lloyd is the Drexel Professor of Mathematics and a mathematical biologist. He can speak to the accuracy of models of disease spread. He can be reached at

On the Web: NC State Extension has numerous research-based and best-practice resources to help people prepare for and cope with the COVID-19 disease.