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Due to the need for social distancing, UA  is operating under limited business operations, which includes remote work assignments. While employees in the department of communications are working remotely, they are available to assist members of the media. Reporters are encouraged to contact the sources below or to use our experts directory to find contact information for other subject matter experts.


STUDENT CREATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FORECAST MODEL USED BY CNN The chances President Donald Trump is reelected in the 2020 presidential election are about the equivalent of rolling a six on a six-sided dice, predicts University of Alabama sophomore Jack Kersting. Kersting, a 19-year-old native of Richardson, Texas, studying economics, created political forecasting models that gained recognition for their quality and accuracy, and have been used by major media outlets such as CNN since 2018. To reach Kersting, contact him on Twitter @jhkersting or 214-773 4068. For more information, contact Jamon Smith at

BAMA BUG FEST GOES ON THE WEB The second Bama Bug Fest will live stream on Facebook and YouTube starting July 7. Bama Bug Fest: On the Web, a collaboration by University of Alabama Museums, UA Libraries and the Tuscaloosa Public Library, will provide interactive videos, interviews with experts and storytelling for all ages every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through July 25. Segments will air at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. A Q&A session with the public will be held at the conclusion of each day. For more information, contact Rebecca Johnson, UA Museums, at 


UA POLITICAL SCIENTIST SAID DC LONG OVERDUE FOR STATEHOOD Dr. Stephen Borrelli, professor of political science at UA, said Washington, D.C., has long lacked Congressional representation and thus has never had a vote on legislation. Because of its composition, D.C. is subject to federal interference in its governance in a way no other U.S. state or city is. Even other U.S. territories have governors and legislatures with more power than the D.C. city government. Also, because of D.C.’s racial and ethnic makeup as well as its partisan element, its admission to statehood makes it more politically sensitive. No one wants to deny a state admission because of its racial composition, he said. To interview Borrelli on this topic, contact him at

REDDIT POLICY CHANGES NOT UNIQUE – Dr. Elliot Panek, assistant professor of journalism and creative media, said Reddit has regulated speech on its platform in a reactive way: if problematic content on its site is brought to the attention of the general public via mainstream news coverage, they change their policies about what is allowed or not allowed. “The recent changes seem in line with this pattern, but are a reaction to a larger cultural movement rather than a site-specific aspect of content,” he said. “This reactive, ad hoc way of speech regulation isn’t unique to Reddit.” Panek studies the uses and effects of digital media from sociological and psychological perspectives. To interview Panek, contact him at 

UA EXPERTS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS ISSUES AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC  – Faculty at UA are available to discuss aspects of the coronavirus pandemic including topics related to health care, education and the economy. This list will be updated, so check back often for new sources. For assistance with reaching any of these sources or for topics not highlighted, contact Shane Dorrill at

NEED A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT ON TOPICS MAKING NEWS? – See our frequently updated experts directory here.