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Five Videos to Watch: Faculty Experts’ Corner CAS Faculty Weigh in on Current Issues and Events

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People wearing masks

Faculty scholars from American University’s College of Arts and Sciences share their research and expertise on the pressing issues of the day in a new series of short videos. Topics range from health disparities in the face of COVID-19 to the emerging coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis in America.

Health Disparities
Ernesto Castañeda

Assistant Professor of Sociology Ernesto Castañeda discusses racial and ethnic health disparities in coronavirus cases and deaths, particularly among Latinos. He examines the structural inequalities behind the numbers, including the disproportionate rate of Latinos working in essential positions and with preexisting medical conditions.

Psychology of Gratitude
Anthony Ahrens

Professor of Psychology Anthony Ahrens talks about the importance of gratitude, particularly during difficult times. He offers strategies and exercises to help us all become more grateful. 

The Power of Theatre
Caleen Jennings

“Theatre has always been about telling stories. That is what human beings do.” Professor Emerita of Theatre Caleen Jennings discusses how the arts can soothe and even heal people during times of trauma and turmoil. She reminds us that artists are continuing to create innovative art online right now, and she ends with a challenge for all of us to connect with our inner artists.

Working in the Community
Stacey Snelling

Department of Health Studies Chair Stacey Snelling talks about how her department has transitioned to active and engaging online learning, while engaging with students and serving many communities in Washington, DC, from teachers to healthcare workers.

Mental Health
Kathleen Gunthert

Kathleen Gunthert, associate professor of psychology and director of AU’s Stress and Emotion Lab, talks about the multifaceted nature of stress during the pandemic, the people at highest risk, and ways to decrease stress and anxiety. Among her recommendations are maintaining social connections and managing your cognitive load.