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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

Updated Sept. 18, 2001

UNC faculty experts can help reporters explain the terrorist attack and its aftermath

National political, military issues

Dr. Richard Kohn, (919) 962-9700; home, (919) 419-0323; or, a history professor and chair of the curriculum in peace, war and defense, is an expert on topics including American military policy, strategy, war-making, presidential war leadership and civil-military relations. He is at work on "The President at War: Presidential War Leadership from George Washington to George Bush," a book analyzing the challenges of successful war leadership by presidents of the United States over the course of American history. Kohn also is co-directing a major research project on the gap between the military and American society today – whether it exists, if so, its nature, and whether a gap could harm military effectiveness and/or civil-military cooperation.

Ms. Brenda Schoonover, (919) 962-2353, a diplomat-in-residence in the department of history, can relate her experiences as a career U.S. State Department diplomat who was in Lome, Togo, Africa (the Togolese Republic) in 1998 when explosions in two U.S. embassies in Africa killed 224 people – including 12 Americans. She can discuss her longtime career in the U.S. State Department and her personal experiences with security and terrorism abroad. She is one of a dozen diplomats-in-residence on U.S. college campuses. That post involves recruiting college students to consider international public service careers.

Dr. William E. Leuchtenburg, (919) 967-1257, one of the nation's top experts on the U.S. presidency and a UNC-Chapel Hill professor emeritus of history, commented for national networks during George Bush's inauguration in 1989, for PBS, and Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985, for CBS. Leuchtenburg, whose books include "In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Bill Clinton" and "The FDR Years," was an expert commentator for C-SPAN during Clinton's second inauguration in January 1997 and for CBS during Clinton's first inauguration, with Dan Rather and the late Charles Kuralt. A past president of the American Historical Association, Leuchtenburg  joined UNC's faculty in 1982.

The airline industry

Dr. John D. "Jack" Kasarda, (919) 962-8201 or, management professor with the Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, can speak to the impact the Sept. 11 tragedy will have on the airline industry and air commerce, what it will mean to the cost and convenience of air travel, what the impact of changes in the airline industry will have on the economy and other topics related to the airline industry. Kasarda leads a team of UNC-Chapel Hill researchers and practitioners focused on helping governments, the air-commerce industry and airports strategically leverage airport-linked commercial development. He serves as a consultant to airports and air cargo firms as well as the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board.

         The economy

Dr. Stanley W. Black III, (919) 966-5926; home, (919) 967-6059; or, Lurcy professor and former chairman of economics at UNC-Chapel Hill, can discuss international monetary issues and the likely effects of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. economy. He spent last year at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., and has much experience with national and world economic issues. He believes the attacks will boost U.S. military spending considerably and possibly send the slowing U.S. economy into a tailspin since the nation relies so heavily on air transportation.

Dr. Michael Salemi, (919) 966-5391; home, 929-9504; or, professor of economics, is a macroeconomist who can talk about potential threats to the U.S. economy, both direct and indirect. He also can discuss world and national financial markets. He recently spent time in Geneva as a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies.

Dr. Patrick J. Conway, (919) 966-5376; home, (919) 967-4009; or, professor of economics, is an international economist who does not believe the attacks themselves will have much effect on the national and world economies. However, how the United States and other governments respond could have very strong effects. If immigration is restricted and trade barriers are erected, strong consequences should soon result. He has worked at or with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. James F. Smith, (919) 968-9995, home; (919) 962-3176, office; or (919) 593-0308, cell; or e-mail,, finance professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, can share an eyewitness account of the destruction and death he saw Tuesday in New York City from his hotel room across the street from the World Trade Center. He can also share his opinions about the economic impact on the national and state economies from his perspective as the nation’s most accurate economic forecaster – a title The Wall Street Journal has given him three times in the past five years. For more about Smith’s expertise and interests, click to

Military, terrorism, national security

Dr. Stephen Biddle, (717) 245-4126, office; (717) 960-9849, home; or, an assistant professor of political science, is an expert in military strategy. He can speak on what options and principles a power the size of the United States might contemplate in response to such an attack, as well as why enemies of the United States use terrorism.  Biddle is on leave from UNC for a year as a research professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., where he is researching how to balance land and air power in warfare. His research interests also include the future of warfare, causes of war, nature and assessment of power, offense-defense theory and military history of the 20th century. He also is writing a book about military capability. Biddle earned a doctorate in public policy in 1992 from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he was a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Washington, D.C., for more than 10 years. He has testified on matters of defense planning and arms control before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

Dr. Mark Crescenzi (cre-SIN-zi), (919) 960-9153,, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on international conflict and war. He can discuss political options the United States faces in the international arena, and, in the realm of national security, why these attacks were not prevented. He also specializes in links between international economic interdependence and conflict.

            Public health issues

Dr. Philip Singer, (919) 966-3865 or, is a professor of environmental sciences and engineering and director of the Drinking Water Research Center in the School of Public Health. He can speak to drinking water quality, water systems management and threats to drinking water supplies.

Dr. Mark Sobsey, (919) 966-7303 or, is a professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the School of Public Health. He can speak to drinking water quality, safe water supplies and water-related threats.

Dr. Bill Roper, (919) 966-7467 or, dean of the School of Public Health, is former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and White House domestic policy adviser. He can give an overview on health effects, governmental mobilization in time of crisis and the tragedy’s impact on the population’s health.

Dr. Hugh Tilson, (919) 966-9275 or, senior adviser to School of Public Health Dean Bill Roper and adjunct professor of health policy and administration and of public health leadership, can speak to emergency preparedness and disaster response. He is former health director of the State of North Carolina.

Dr. Carol Runyan, (919) 966-2251 or is director of the UNC-Chapel Hill Injury Prevention Research Center. Runyan, also associate professor of health behavior and health education in the UNC School of Public Health, can speak to injury prevention and occupational health issues.

Dr. David Leith, (919) 966-3851 or, professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the UNC School of Public Health, can speak to the effects of dust and smoke on a population’s health. He can speak also of general air-related health effects.

Dr. Robert W. "Robin" Ryder, (919) 843-6182 or, professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, can speak to emergency preparedness and disaster response, as well as infectious disease epidemiology.

Historical contexts, the Middle East, the various faces of Islam

Dr. Thomas Tweed, (919) 843-7773, (919) 962-3934 or, a professor of religious studies, is concerned about potential "misrepresentations of Islam" during speculation on who may have committed the attacks. His expertise concerns American representations of Islam and Islam as part of the fabric of religion in America. His essay on how to teach Islam, written for high school teachers, is posted on the World Wide Web site of the National Humanities Center at:

Dr. Sarah Shields, (919) 962-8078, (919) 843-5797; home, (919) 933-0187; or, associate professor of history, teaches courses on the modern Middle East. She is a specialist on historical contexts and ideologies of the people and interest groups of the region.

Patriotism and other popular culture topics

Dr. Lawrence Grossberg, (919) 969 8586 or, a professor of communication studies, can comment on why so many citizens are responding with patriotism and showing the flag, media coverage of the tragedies, cultural and symbolic dimensions, and the difficulty of making sense of these events.

       Impact of war on society

Dr. Catherine Lutz, professor of anthropology, (919) 962-3353 (o), (919) 929-9696, or Lutz specializes in the study of war and its impact on society in the United States and abroad. Topics she can discuss include how past wars have shaped the world and affected cultures, economies and politics. Her research has focused on how past wars have changed U.S. history. Her most recent book, "Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century," will be published next month by Beacon Press and traces the impact of Fort Bragg on Fayetteville, N.C. She says the book relates Fayetteville’s history with that of the nation and examines how the proximity of the military presence affected that community’s well-being. In addition, Lutz studies mass media literacy. That work focused on how National Geographic magazine presents the world to its readers and resulted in a book, "Reading National Geographic," published in 1993. Lutz studies how the mass media select video footage and photographs for news coverage and how that process helps shape and is shaped by culture.

War Powers Act and civil liberties

Dr. Buckner F. "Buck" Melton Jr, (919) 962-4119 (o); (919) 682-4018; or e-mail,, a clinical associate professor of law, is a constitutional law expert from the UNC School of Law. He is interested in issues of an historical perspective including the War Powers Act enacted by Congress in 1973. He can discuss the legislation and how it might apply to this week’s tragedy. He can draw historical parallels to this week’s terrorist attack and its possible effects on domestic security and civil liberties. He was a frequent commentator among the national media during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. He wrote "The First Impeachment: The Constitution’s Framers and the Case of Senator William Blount," published in 1998. His forthcoming book, "Aaron Burr: Conspiracy to Treason," discusses the national security threat faced by the United States in the early 19th century.

         Pearl Harbor parallels, legal issues involving civil liberties

Dr. Eric Muller, (919) 962-7067 (w), or; professor in the UNC School of Law, is an expert on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He can talk about the comparisons being made between last week’s terrorist attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor. He can speak about the civil rights of Arab and Muslim Americans and has just written a book, "Free To Die For Their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II." The book, being published next month, tells the story of several hundred Japanese American internees who were drafted out of the wartime internment camps into the US Army, but refused to serve because their civil rights had been violated. Dr. Muller teaches constitutional law, criminal law and criminal procedure in the UNC School of Law.

Impact on families, children

Joanne Caye, (919) 962-3598; or, a clinical instructor in the UNC School of Social Work, has done extensive research and taught classes on managing the effects of disasters on families and children. She, along with colleagues, conducted several workshops in eastern North Carolina after hurricane Floyd on how families cope with disasters and tragedy. She also teaches students who plan to go into social work after they graduate how to help families and children deal with disasters and conflicts.

Psychological issues

Dr. Thomas M. Haizlip, (919) 733-5344, a professor in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry of the School of Medicine, also directs the child mental health training program at Dorothea Dix Hospital, a state psychiatric facility. One of his areas of expertise is on how to help families and children handle disaster situations. Haizlip said certain symptoms may be expected in children who are grappling with the tragedy: unusual fears and anxieties, sleep disturbances and reluctance to attend schools. Haizlip also could speak to the most effective ways that parents and educators can encourage children to talk about their feelings – as well as the most effective ways these adults can reinforce to children that their world is safe. Another faculty member with expertise in talking with children about traumatic events: Dr. Andrea Hussong, (919) 962-3989,, assistant professor of psychology.

Dr. Erica H. Wise, (919) 962-5432; voice mail, (919) 962-5034; or, clinical associate professor of psychology, directs the department's training clinic for graduate students. Previously in UNC-Chapel Hill's Student Health Services for 18 years, she has counseled clients who have experienced trauma and trained in the American Red Cross model for critical incident stress debriefing. The latter involves counseling emergency services personnel who have combated disaster on the front lines, but it also is adaptable for helping survivors and people experiencing "vicarious trauma," a term for distress about a massive tragedy even when one was not directly involved.

Dr. Dianne Chambless, (919) 962-3989 or, a psychology professor, co-directs the department's Anxiety Treatment Center. She can discuss how people respond to trauma and under what circumstances they would need to seek treatment.

Dr. Patrick Akos, (919) 843-4758, assistant professor of school counseling in the School of Education, was formerly a school counselor and has had extensive experience in counseling students (and teachers) after crisis situations. He can address the most effective ways of counseling students – as well as the importance of making sure the adults who teach them are getting the counseling assistance they need.


Mental health needs of disaster survivors

Dr. Margaret Miles,, a professor at the School of Nursing and a psychiatric nursing expert, has experience in dealing with the mental health of disaster survivors. She is the author of several studies featuring the survivors of the Hyatt hotel walkway collapse in Kansas City in 1981 and Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina in 1999. She can speak about the three phases of disaster – pre-impact, impact and post-impact – and how to help survivors cope with their resulting psychological reaction, including euphoria in having survived, disillusionment in having lost a sense of innocence and an old way of life and reconstruction in going forward with life. Miles also is experienced in training other nurses to deal with the mental needs of disaster survivors.

Fear of flying, other anxiety disorders

Dr. R. Reid Wilson, (919) 942-0700 or, is associate clinical professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and a clinical psychologist in private practice. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and panic attacks, fear of flying, phobias, social anxiety, worries, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychological responses to trauma and disasters and post-traumatic stress disorder. He designed and served as lead psychologist for American Airlines’ first national program for the fearful flier. He is the author of the book "Don’t Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks."

        Leadership in a crisis

Dr. James W. "Jim" Dean Jr., (919) 962-0798 or, management professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School and associate dean of the MBA Program, can speak to examining the key elements of leadership in times of crisis, be it leading a company, a division or a small group of people. What is called for in crisis that is different from leading in regular times? Dean has been a senior examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. His research interests include organizational change, leadership, performance improvement and strategic decision-making.  He is the former director for the National Science Foundation's Transformations to Quality Organizations program. This program of research on performance improvement was jointly supported by several Fortune 500 corporations and the federal government. For more about Dean's expertise, click to

        Impact of public opinion, media on decisions

Dr. Cori Dauber, (919) 962-4938; home (919) 967-4419,, an associate professor of communication studies, specializes in the influence of argument and rhetoric on decision-making in defense policy. She analyzes how policy decisions are influenced by public opinion and the media, including visual imagery.
Dauber is finishing a book on the role that argument and rhetoric have played in national decisions to intervene with military force since Operation Desert Storm. The book will address why the United States intervened abroad when it did (Kosovo) and why in other instances it did not (Rwanda). Dauber served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services from 1997-99, and on its executive committee from 1998-99.
At Carolina for 12 years, Dauber earned a doctorate in communication studies from Northwestern University. Her work has been published in journals including Armed Forces and Society, Security Studies, and Defense Analysis. She also teaches in UNC's curriculum in peace, war and defense and has received grants and awards from the Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the Naval History Center and the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Dr. Dauber chooses to work only with print media and radio.

Decision-making to rebuild airlines and other systems:

Dr. V.G. Kulkarni, (919) 962-3837,, professor and chair of the department of operations research, specializes in the type of systematic decision-making that airlines, the military and other organizations may need to recover, respond and rebuild after the tragic events of Sept. 11.  Airlines may face questions of how to manage the flow of customers, how many people are needed on staff and how to resume operations with minimum cost and maximum efficiency. Operations research involves listing all possible policies for handling a given situation, collecting and analyzing relevant data and using mathematical models to choose the best policy.

Contacts: News Services staff 919-962-2091 or