Nebraska

Pop-up Courses

The COVID-19 Pandemic

M.S. BA
Pop-up Courses

Pop-up classes are short, one-credit hour courses designed to allow students to dive into emerging industry trends and gain skills to prepare them for future careers.

Pop-up classes are open to all UNL students.

Register in MyRed

Summer 2020 Second Five-Week Session

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Industries,
People and Society (UGEP 291)
July 13-August 13

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln launched a new six-college interdisciplinary course exploring the world’s current circumstances due to COVID-19 through different disciplines and perspectives. Offered online during the second five-week summer session, it includes more than 30 faculty and staff – the most involved in teaching one course in recent university history. Read Full Story

Topic 1: The Virus-Host Arms Race
Topic Description

This topic will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic from a virological and immunological perspective. There are five topics that will be covered to enable students to better understand COVID-19: 1) basic virology of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, 2) basic immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infections to mechanistically dissect the different outcomes after infection, 3) SAR-CoV-2 human transmission and its implications for reducing the chance of infection, 4) very briefly summarize the clinic treatment for the COVID-19, and 5) vaccine development.


Faculty

Dr. Qingsheng Li, Professor | College of Arts and Sciences | School of Biological Sciences | Nebraska Center for Virology

Qingsheng Li

Li’s research is focused on studying HIV-1 pathogenesis, transmission and prevention using single cell in situ analyses and in vivo SIV-rhesus macaque and humanized-BLT (bone marrow liver and thymus) mouse models of HIV-1 infection. He has published extensively on HIV/SIV transmission, pathogenesis and prevention, including one paper in Science and two papers in Nature as the leading author.

View Profile

Topic 2: The Evolution of SARS-CoV-2
Topic Description

We will learn and apply tree-thinking skills to interpret and communicate to others how SARS-CoV-2 virus genome sequences reveal origins and spreads of COVID-19 in humans. Along the way, we will debunk some ideas circulating in the public and the media about SARS-CoV-2.


Faculty

Dr. Kristi Montooth, Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor | College of Arts & Sciences | School of Biological Sciences

Kristi Montooth

Montooth is an evolutionary geneticist who studies how physiological traits evolve to fit organisms to their environment. Her lab studies physiological adaptation in a wide array of organisms, including the fruit fly Drosophila, paramecium, monarch butterflies and snails. Montooth’s current work includes cellular and physiological adaptation to changing temperatures, co-evolution between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and the interactions between energetic and immune systems during infection.

View Profile


Dr. Colin Meiklejohn, Associate Professor | College of Arts & Sciences | School of Biological Sciences

Colin Meiklejohn

Meiklejohn is an evolutionary geneticist who studies how species form and how sex chromosomes evolve using the fruit fly Drosophilaas a model organism. His lab uses classical, molecular and population genetics methods as well as functional and comparative genomics to study divergence between species and disrupted gene interactions in species hybrids. His current work includes the genetic basis of speciation, regulatory evolution, and co-evolution between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.

View Profile


Dr. Clay Cressler, Assistant Professor | College of Arts & Sciences | School of Biological Sciences

Clay Cressler

Cressler is an infectious disease ecologist. His lab uses mathematical modeling and experimental immunology to study how pathogen transmission and evolution is affected by factors like immunity, diet, and coinfection with other parasites and pathogens. Cressler’s current work includes the evolution of pathogen virulence and identifying the drivers of Hantavirus infection in rodent populations.

View Profile

Topic 3: Introduction to Modeling Disease Spread: Why and How Space Matters
Topic Description

The spread of disease through a population is spatially dependent. Meaning, population-level dynamics depend on where individuals are, where and how they come into contact with each other, and how they interact with their environment. This lesson provides an introduction to spatial diffusion, the process by which phenomena spread across space. We also discuss conceptual and computational modeling approaches to understanding how policies and individual actions result in system-scale outcomes.


Faculty

Dr. Patrick Bitterman, Assistant Professor of Geography | College of Arts and Sciences | School of Integrative Studies

Patrick Bitterman

Bitterman studies adaptive decision-making in social-ecological systems at multiple scales -ranging from individual adaptations by farmers to adaptive management in multiplex governance networks. His work focuses on issues in agro-water systems, including climate change adaptation in the U.S. Midwest, water quality policy in New England, and rural water scarcity in southeast India. Bitterman’s work is grounded in GIScience methods, including geosimulation and spatial decision support. He also works in the areas of health and ecosystem services. Much of his work takes places in large interdisciplinary teams, where a wide array of disciplines and specialties are integrated to tackle wicked social-environmental issues.

View Profile

Topic 4: Information Access Inequality during a Pandemic
Topic Description

Coming Soon


Faculty

Leslie Delserone, Sciences, Data Services and Government Information Librarian | University Libraries

Leslie Delserone

Delserone works with the Departments of Agronomy & Horticulture, Entomology, Food Science & Technology, and Plant Pathology, as well as the Doctor of Plant Health Program. She helps researchers with data organization, management and curation, and works to prepare the next generation of scientists to be experts in discovering and using information and data to advance research and understanding. In previous professional lives, she worked in plant pathology and academic advising. She enjoys practicing gardening, cooking, making music and bicycling.

View Profile


Dr. Liz Lorang, Interim Associate Dean | University Libraries

liz Lorang

Lorang collaborates with students, teachers and researchers at all levels to foster critical analysis, application, and creation of information and information structures. She teaches in multiple environments and for multiple audiences, cultivate and participate in communities of learning and practice, and advance ethical and equitable information ecosystems through teaching, research, and public engagement efforts.

View Profile

Topic 5: Network Science of COVID-19: Introduction to Networks and Contagion
Topic Description

Everyone and everything has a network. Your network impacts the choices you make, the outcome of those choices, and ultimately, the success or failure of our society. In this topic, you’ll explore how networks function and how the concept of contagion disrupts networks for both the better and the worse.


Faculty

Dr. Julia McQuillan, Professor and Department Chair | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Sociology

Julia Mcquillan

McQuillan studies social inequality with special emphasis on changing structures and practices to increase equity and well-being. She combines her interests in social inequality and health to work on informal science education as a vehicle for engaging youth with science and meaningful careers. She led the learning science research for the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) with Dr. Judy Diamond and Charles Woods on the “Biology of Human.” This project emerged from prior collaboration on the “World of Viruses” project. Also with team members Patricia Wonch Hill and Amy Spiegel, she conducted a four-wave Science Identity Study on middle-school youth. In addition to publications from this project, McQuillan gave a TEDxYouthLincoln talk, “How do we find science kinds of people?” at the 2017 youth event. She currently works with a team on a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) called, Worlds of Connections that will engage youth with network science for health research for bio-behavioral and biomedical careers. (www.worldsofconnections.com). She enjoys collaborations that bring sociological perspectives to a variety of questions and fields, focusing on social structures at individual, interactional, and institutional levels of analyses using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

View Profile


Dr. Trish Wonch Hill, Research Coordinator | Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Center | Methodology and Evaluation Research Core Facility

Trish Wonch Hill

Wonch Hill oversees internal proposal development, as well as serving as both a researcher and evaluator. Her research primarily focuses on broadening participation in STEM in K-16 education and beyond. Currently, she is a co-investigator and research director on an NIH Science Education Partnership Award called Worlds of Connections (http://worldsofconnections.com/). She serves as the main liaison with public school districts and oversee graduate students conducting research on how informal science experiences during middle school influence STEM pathways in High School. This research also explores the relationships between science teacher social networks and how teacher learning communities support science learning and the diffusion of next generation science standards.

View Profile

Topic 6: The Evolution of our Education System
Topic Description

This topic will be a reflection on where the educational system was and how it will be transformed after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Faculty

Dr. Suzanne Kemp, Professor of Practice | College of Education and Human Sciences | Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders

Sue Kemp

Kemp teaches courses in collaboration and behavior management. She also supervises field experiences and student teaching for special education majors. Since 2015, Kemp has been the primary facilitator and co-leader on a two-week study abroad experience to Monte Verde, Costa Rica, which focuses on a comparison of educational systems and cultural emersion. She serves on numerous university, state and national committees that focus on improving the education of students with disabilities. In collaboration with a fellow faculty member, Kemp revised a self-reflection framework meant to improve students’ ability to reflect on and improve their teaching and behavior management skills. She currently presents across the country on this topic to share this tool with other institutions of higher education and school administrators.

View Profile

Topic 7: Correction or Collapse: How the Covid-19 Crisis Has Changed the Social, Political and Global Order
Topic Description

In this lesson, students will consider how local, national and global politics have shaped the trajectory of the Covid-19 crisis and how the pandemic has reshaped politics and society in turn.


Faculty

Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht, Associate Professor of Political Science | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Political Science

Courtney Hillebrecht

Hillebrecht examines international relations, human rights and international law. Her research has been published in a variety of academic outlets, including, among others, Democratization, The European Journal of International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, Human Rights Review, Human Rights Quarterly and International Interactions. Hillebrecht is also co-editor of State Responses to Human Security: At Home and Abroad and contributes to policy outlets such as The Washington Post and OpenDemocracy. She serves at the vice chair of the International Studies Association Human Rights Section, a member of the executive committee of the Inter-American Human Rights Network, and a member of the board of advisors of the Human Rights Implementation Project.

View Profile


Dr. Tyler White, Assistant Professor of Practice | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Political Science

Tyler White

White received his PhD in Political Science in 2010 from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. A Husker since day one, Dr. White also received his BA (2003) and MA (2006) from Nebraska, both in Political Science. Dr. White’s research interests are in international security, specifically nuclear policy and human security. In 2013 Dr. White co-authored a volume on human security entitled "State Responses to Human Security: at Home and Abroad" with Courtney Hillebrecht and Patrice C. McMahon.

View Profile


Dr. Geoff Lorenz, Assistant Professor | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Political Science

geoff-lorenz

Lorenz joined the Department of Political Science in the Fall of 2018. He studies how to make change in Washington. His main line of research examines why Congress addresses some policy issues but not others, and in particular the role of advocacy organizations and special interest groups in shaping Congress’s legislative agenda. In addition, he studies how lawmakers’ backgrounds, interests, districts, and ambitions affect their ability to advance bills through the legislative process and into law. Geoff is a faculty affiliate at the non-partisan Center for Effective Lawmaking, contributing to a research base that national organizations are using to “Build a Better Congress”. He teaches courses on research methods, American politics, Congress, Interest Groups, and Advocacy & Persuasion.

View Profile


Dr. Emira Ibrahimpasic, Assistant Professor of Practice & Assistant Director | College of Arts and Sciences | Global Studies Program

Emira

Ibrahimpasic has multiple roles in the Global Studies program. She is serving as the Assistant Professor of Practice, Assistant Director and as an Academic Advisor. In addition to teaching GLST 201: Introduction to Global Studies and GLST 494: Capstone, Ibrahimpasic has lead a number of special topics courses abroad.

View Profile


Dr. Julia Reilly, Assistant Professor of Practice in Human Rights and Global Studies | College of Arts and Sciences | Global Studies Program

Julia
Topic 8: Disparities Across People and Culture
Topic Description

This topic is about health disparities that exist when we analyze data on COVID-19 diagnoses and outcomes. We will talk about reasons why these disparities exist as well as what we might do to reduce these negative outcomes.


Faculty

Dr. Chelsea Witt, Assistant Professor of Practice | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Psychology

Chelsea Witt

Witt commonly teaches Intro to Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Diversity, and a freshman honors seminar titled the Psychology of Good and Evil. Her primary research interests concern the scholarship of teaching and learning. Previously, she conducted research focused on social justice issues related to prejudice and helping behaviors. She was born and raised in Nebraska and cares deeply about helping to educate others on issues related to diversity.

View Profile

Topic 9: Food Access, Food Systems and Workers
Topic Description

Our food system has many moving parts that most of us don’t always think about. The pandemic has put a spotlight on the complexities and challenges that this essential system faces daily. In this topic, we’ll learn more about the various sectors of the food system, how that impacts food access, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed these challenges.


Faculty

Vanessa Wielenga, Assistant Extension Educator | College of Education and Human Sciences | Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences

Vanessa Wielenga

Wielenga is a registered dietitian who focuses on food access. She partners with multiple state and regional organizations and communities including the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments to implement healthy food access initiatives. These initiatives include supporting food retail, vending, food service and emergency food distribution sites.

The retail food access program, Choose Healthy Here, was piloted summer 2016 and then launched the beginning of 2017. Across Nebraska, 18 retailers are partnering with local public health and Extension to increase access to affordable, nutritious and safe foods using the Choose Healthy Here program.

View Profile


Jean Ann Fischer, Associate Extension Educator | College of Education and Human Sciences | Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences

Jean Fischer

Fischer is a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed medical nutrition therapist. She serves as the director of the Nutrition Education program, which helps families on a limited budget make healthier food choices and choose physically active lifestyles by acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior changes necessary to improve their health.

View Profile

Topic 10: Economic Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Topic Description

In this topic, we’ll explore the short-term and long-term challenges the pandemic has placed on our economy. We’ll look at the economic resiliency of businesses, workers, and the system as whole, while considering how specific trends may be reinforced or mitigated over time.


Faculty

Dr. Eric Thompson, Professor of Economics | College of Business | Department of Economics

Eric Thompson

Thompson is the K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics and the director of the Bureau of Business Research. His research on the Midwest and national economy examines competitive factors affecting state and local economic growth. Thompson is a past-president of the Association for University Business and Economic Research.

View Profile

Topic 11: Social Distancing and Its Impact on Outdoor Spaces and the Built Environment
Topic Description

The planning and design of our cities and spaces has always had long-lasting impact on our daily behavior. In the U.S., we’ve built cities that are sprawling and unsustainable which has directly affected our health, even in the pre-pandemic world. In this topic, we’ll explore how city infrastructure is changing due to the pandemic and how various methods in the built environment can promote social distancing at various scales.


Faculty

Dr. Dan Piatkowski, Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning | College of Architecture

Dan Piatkowski

Piatkowski teaches courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in transportation planning, land use, urban design, and research methods. His research interests include active transportation, social justice, and technology at the intersection of urban design and planning. Piatkowski’s recent work includes: the interaction between "carrots and sticks" in travel behavior decisions, social media tools and equitable community engagement, and the phenomenon of "scofflaw bicycling" - why bicyclists break the rules of the road and why drivers respond in aggressive ways to bicyclists.

View Profile


Kendra Ordia, Assistant Professor of Interior Design | College of Architecture

Kendra Ordia

Ordia teaches courses in interior design materials and design studios on urban environments and spaces. She has presented at national and international conferences on biophilic design, spatial ecology, and design representation. As a designer and researcher, her work is rooted in the broader topics of human behavior and the environment as they are expressed in the themes of biophilic design, health and well-being, environmental quality, and spatial ecologies. Ordia’s professional work at top international firms like Perkins & Will, Gensler, and CallisonRTKL focused primarily on workplace interiors and large-scale healthcare interiors. Her creative, biodesign work has been exhibited at several international exhibitions, including the DesignLAB Next Nest Exhibition and Curtains: The Center for American Architecture and Design Symposium.

View Profile

Topic 12: Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing: Tools to aid us in a Pandemic
Topic Description

This topic will explore how 3D printing is used in manufacturing and specifically how it has been utilized in the pandemic. You’ll learn about the process of rapid prototyping and both the limitations and opportunities that 3D printing has.


Faculty

Dr. Benjamin Terry, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering | College of Engineering | Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Benjamin Terry

Terry’s years in private industry contribute to his interest in a broad spectrum of biomedical research, including: medical therapeutics, devices and surgical tools; intuitive, ambulatory biosensors; and biomechanical behavior of tissues and organs. Most recently he and other NU researchers developed a strategy for ventilator sharing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

View Profile


Dr. Prahalada Rao, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering | College of Engineering | Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Prahalada Rao

Rao’s scholastic passion can be encapsulated in three words: manufacturing, sensing and analytics. His research focuses on thermal modeling, in-process sensor-based monitoring, and diagnosis of additive manufacturing processes (3D printing). He is the recipient of multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including the 2018 NSF CAREER award.

View Profile

Topic 13: Airborne Transport of Highly Infectious Disease Patients
Topic Description

Introduction to how the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Defense Transport highly infectious disease patients from all over the world to specialized biocontainment units for medical treatment like the one at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE.


Faculty

Dr. Kelli Herstein, Associate Professor of Practice in Construction Engineering and Management | College of Engineering | Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

kelli herstein

Herstein brings expertise in occupational safety and health, occupational ergonomics, lean construction and transportation and logistics. She frequently teaches courses on productivity and human factors in construction, engineering economics, occupational safety and health, construction management systems, and more. She and Stentz recently worked with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and its biocontainment unit to study the effects of long missions on U.S. Air Force personnel sent to retrieve patients exposed to highly infectious diseases, like Ebola, and the performance of the USAF airborne transport isolation system.

View Profile


Dr. Terry Stentz, Associate Professor of Construction Engineering and Management | College of Engineering | Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction

Terry Stentz

Stentz leverages his 38 years of professional experience in electrical contracting, manufacturing engineering, test engineering, quality control, product development management, and executive level management in defense contracting, consumer products, and construction. He serves as the graduate program chair for Construction Engineering and Management and has developed courses exploring occupational health and safety for construction and strategic leadership and planning for construction.

Both Stentz and Herstein are industrial engineers and occupational health scientists. Both have teaching and research experience in human factors, ergonomics and safety, with areas of expertise in work environments like manufacturing health care, hospitals, construction, and other areas.

View Profile

Topic 14: Playing with Systems
Topic Description

In this topic, you will learn about systems thinking and use a tool called Loopy to model and analyze a system that has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Faculty

Dr. Erin Ingram, Science Literacy and Community Engagement Coordinator | Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources | Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Erin Ingram

Ingram utilizes her formal training as an elementary educator, entomologist and education researcher in her role as science literacy and community engagement coordinator. She develops STEM learning experiences and is passionate about engaging under-served audiences in these transformative experiences.

View Profile


Dr. Jenny Keshwani, Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Science Literacy Specialist | Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources | Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Jenny Keshwani

Keshwani focuses on making agriculture, science and engineering engaging and relevant in formal and informal educational settings. She works with Extension to promote science and agricultural literacy as well as provide biomedical engineering youth programs and nonformal STEM education and outreach. Her teaching interests include the engineering properties of biological materials and biomaterials.

View Profile



Pandemic Prompts New Six-College Collaborative Course

Read Story

Contact

Burnette, Erin
Director
HLH 125 W
P.O. Box 880405
Lincoln, NE 68588-0405
402-472-2293