ProfNet Experts Available on Iran Deal, NASA, Donald Trump, Medicare Anniversary, More

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Jul 15, 2015, 12:19 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it's easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:


  • Iran's Negotiating Style
  • NASA's New Horizon Mission
  • Greece's Financial Crisis
  • President Obama's Visit to Kenya
  • Will Scott Walker's Anti-Gay-Marriage Position Doom His Candidacy?
  • Donald Trump's Body Language
  • Why Trump's Battle With Escaped Drug Kingpin Is Making Him a Legitimate Presidential Contender
  • Prenups Protect Everyone's Best Interests
  • Importance of Digital Assets on Upswing
  • BP Settlement Provides Offshore Lessons
  • 50th Anniversary of Medicare
  • Crowdfunding to Pay for College Not a Good Strategy


  • Weekly Reporter – Sun Chronicle (MA)
  • Writer – The Cooperator (NY)
  • Sports Writer – Grants Pass Daily Courier (OR)


  • Ways Journalists Can Use Reddit
  • How to Get the Most of a Writers Conference
  • Radio Boston's Meghna Chakrabarti on the Art of Listening


Iran's Negotiating Style
Dr. Eugene Buccini
Professor of Management
Western Connecticut State University
Dr. Buccini compares Iran's negotiating style to that of the former Soviet Union, which viewed making concessions as a weakness and would always demand more: "If the United States were stronger in its stance, the negotiated outcome would be closer to its original goal of preventing Iran from ever being able to build nuclear weapons."
Dr. Buccini is a professor of business management at Western Connecticut State University and an expert on negotiation.
Contact: Sherri Hill,

NASA's New Horizon Mission
Bruce Twarog
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
University of Kansas
Twarog can discuss the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto and Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, who found the planet in 1930 before entering the University of Kansas as a freshman: "Clyde Tombaugh spent his life promoting science, particularly astronomy, not just in Kansas and New Mexico, but around the world. He was an inspiration to generations of planetary scientists who were willing to look beyond the big, bright, and obvious to achieve a deeper understanding of the solar system. New Horizons will provide extraordinary detail on a defining object that inhabits the inner edge of the trans-Neptunian region that extends a thousand times further than the orbit of Neptune to the true edge of the solar system."
Twarog is a professor of physics and astronomy at KU. His research centers on observational astronomy and astrophysics. He concentrates on the application of precision photometry with intermediate-bandwidth optical filters to understand stellar and galactic evolution.
Contact: Brendan M Lynch,

Greece's Financial Crisis
Denise Dimon
Associate Provost for International Affairs; Director, Ahlers Center for International Business
University of San Diego
Greece's latest request for a bailout of some $50 billion euros may make some lose patience with the already debt-plagued country, but it's important to note that the crisis could have been averted if the International Monetary Fund and other creditors took a different approach several years ago, says Dimon: "While Greece certainly shares some of the blame for the current crisis, the creditors have continued to require Greece to endure very contractionary economic policies, when their economy was already suffering severe recession. Greece needs to grow to be able to pay back its debts." Dimon believes that if Greece exits the euro currency -- either by force or by choice -- it may signal the ultimate collapse of the eurozone, if not the entire European Union. "The end result will be a sharp decline in the value of the euro, which will adversely affect world markets -- and this could have been avoided if the IMF and other creditors took a different approach back in 2010. When the United States was in recession in 2008-2009, we did not cut government spending and raise taxes -- just the opposite. If the new bailout package continues to focus only on more of the same contractionary policies, Greece will be back in the same situation again in a few months and uncertainty in the eurozone will continue to impact world markets."
Dimon is available to discuss the current financial crisis in Greece and its impact on the world economy. In addition, Olga Kachramanoglou, an MBA student from the ALBA Business School in Athens, has just arrived in San Diego to study at USD this summer. She can comment on what she has experienced in her country, the complexity of the situation, and how tourists should not be afraid to travel there.
Contact: Liz Harman,

President Obama's Visit to Kenya
Matt Carotenuto
Associate Professor of History
St. Lawrence University
"The first Kenyan visit by a sitting U.S. president should be viewed as more than a paternal pilgrimage in the lame-duck period. Since 2004, Kenyans have widely celebrated the political rise of Obama. Seen by Kenyans through the prism of ethnicity though, Obama has to walk a fine line to transcend his perceived 'Luo roots' and pressure the Kenyan government for meaningful change at a time when politics and regional political violence is linked to debates about identity. Obama's visit also offers a chance to combat the right-wing attacks on his paternal heritage that have hindered the ability of the first African-American president to change the nature of U.S. engagement with Africa. While Birthers and pundits have critiqued Obama's political rise through the lens of race and stereotypical portrayals of Africa, his Kenyan visit confirms the misplaced arguments of right-wing pundits who have consistently argued that his African heritage erodes his political legitimacy as a U.S. president."
Carotenuto is available to discuss President Obama's July visit to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit; Obama's Kenyan heritage and East African identity; U.S.-Kenyan relations; and Kenyan history and politics. He is associate professor of history and coordinator of African studies at St. Lawrence University. An expert in the history of Kenya and the Luo community (the community where Obama's father was raised), he has also researched the political discourse of the Obama-Kenya connection from both U.S. and Kenyan perspectives since 2004. With Katherine Luongo, he is the author of the article "Dala or Diaspora: Obama and the Luo Community of Kenya" and the forthcoming book "Obama and Kenya: Contested Histories and the Politics of Belonging." He is based in Canton, N.Y.
Contact: Ryan Deuel,

Will Scott Walker's Anti-Gay-Marriage Position Doom His Candidacy?
Angela D. Giampolo
Founder, Giampolo Law Group
"As a Milwaukee County executive, Walker opposed efforts to provide health care benefits to gay partners of county employees. He was openly in favor of a 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and opposed a law allowing gay couples to get certain county benefits. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin since 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Wisconsin and four other states seeking to keep their same-sex marriage bans."
Based in Philadelphia, Giampolo is founder of and Giampolo Law Group. Her practice focuses on LGBT law, corporate transactions, civil rights, employment discrimination, real estate, domestic and international adoptions, and estates.
Contact: Ryan McCormick,

Donald Trump's Body Language
Carl Christman
Mentalist and Speaker
What candidates like Donald Trump say is not nearly as important as how they say it. Their body language and facial expressions often tell us more about their true feelings than their actual speeches and interviews. Christman, a mentalist and body language expert, has found extreme elements of narcissism and contempt in Trump's non-verbal communication: "Trump can often be seen tightening and raising the corner of one side of his lips. This is a common sign of contempt for others and a feeling of superiority. This combined with excessive us of 'I' language are indications of a narcissistic personality."
Christman is a teacher, author, and speaker. He plays with language, psychology and non-verbal communication to educate and entertain audiences. His bestselling book, "How to Read Minds and Influence People," explores communication from a radically different perspective. It unlocks the science of mind reading and helps people harness the power of persuasion. It offers readers the tools to relate to people and positively influence them.
ProfNet Profile:

Why Trump's Battle With Escaped Drug Kingpin Is Making Him a Legitimate Presidential Contender
Dr. Frieda Birnbaum
Research Psychologist, Psychoanalyst
"A few weeks ago, Donald Trump was excoriated for comments he made about Mexico and immigration. He was seen as insensitive and ignorant. However, with the recent prison escape of a notorious and violent Mexican drug kingpin, it's now giving some people pause. The fact that this drug kingpin furiously threatened Donald Trump [on Twitter], and not our president, implies that he felt Trump was a more important figure or more direct threat to his livelihood. Trump has a considerable amount of mud on his suit; however, in comparison to the reported evil nature of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, Trump looks like an angel. The more Guzman attacks Trump and the more Trump fights back, the more positive Trump will be perceived. When people cast their vote for president, they tend to seek an emotional connection and wish to vote for someone they can relate to. When some people see Trump successfully standing up to an international bully, they see a part of themselves or a quality they wish they had in themselves. In previous psychological analyses on Trump, I've discussed his ego, his effective use of body language, and his communication skills. When things are at their worst, even people who dislike Trump might still be open to hearing what he has to say."
Based in the New York metro area, Dr. Birnbaum is author of "What Price Power: An In-Depth Study of the Professional Woman in a Relationship." She's an expert on depression, women's issues, and attaining happiness. She has been featured on "Oprah" and "20/20" as the oldest woman in the U.S. to have twins.
Contact: Ryan McCormick,

Prenups Protect Everyone's Best Interests
Brad LaMorgese
Family Law Attorney
Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson LLP in Dallas
The split of celebrity couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner the day after their 10th wedding anniversary has sparked questions about the possible existence of a premarital agreement between the two. Says LaMorgese: "That is likely, as we typically see marital agreements requested when a person seeks to safeguard any significant wealth they brought into the marriage. In exchange, the other spouse will often be promised a specific sum in the form of alimony and other distribution of wealth at the time of divorce. As cynical as it seems, filing after a certain point in the marriage can result in one of the parties gaining or saving thousands or, in the case of Affleck and Garner, millions of dollars. Premarital agreements frequently include a change in the money due to a spouse triggered by certain dates. That is why it is not uncommon to see a divorce filed either before or after a significant milestone, such as a fifth, 10th or 25th anniversary."
Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

Importance of Digital Assets on Upswing
Frances Smith
Bankruptcy Attorney
Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP, Dallas
"In a business bankruptcy, the trustee has a fiduciary obligation to creditors to maximize the value of all property. But the question of what constitutes property in the digital age is proving to be an increasingly vexing one for the courts to answer. The term 'property' no longer means just three-dimensional, traditional items. We are seeing interest in digital assets playing a far greater role in bankruptcy proceedings. As their value comes into sharper focus, their importance cannot be overlooked by the courts. We saw this with the RadioShack bankruptcy where its voluminous database of customer information was among the company's most valuable assets, and recently in Houston where a retailer spent time in jail for refusing to turn over passwords to social media accounts connected to his bankrupt business."
Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

BP Settlement Provides Offshore Lessons
David Baay
Energy Litigation and Crisis Management Attorney
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Houston
The $18.7 billion settlement ending most of the litigation with BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill demonstrates the effectiveness of the federal Oil Pollution Act and Clean Water Act. Says Baay: "With the risk of even higher penalties looming over BP, the settlement makes sense. This event provides a dramatic illustration of the need for a carefully planned safety oversight system to avoid such future events, as well as a detailed safety process and crisis management plan for rapid response. In addition to the punitive fines and penalties in place, you can be sure the federal government will continue to regulate the industry so that it has the most advanced, properly maintained well-control equipment and a proven capping technology to prevent a prolonged spill and catastrophic environmental damage."
Baay was a member of the legal team representing Transocean in the BP oil spill litigation.
Contact: Kit Frieden,

50th Anniversary of Medicare
Mark Norrell
Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs
In light of the approaching 50th anniversary of Medicare, Norrell says: "Since Congress passed Medicare half a century ago, the program now seems to understand its market power -- and obligation -- in protecting the health of 55 million senior citizens under its trust. Generally, seniors are quite satisfied with their Medicare, and any attempts to curtail benefits or increase seniors' cost sharing are met with loud objection. Some progressives believe that Medicare, or a similar program, should be expanded to cover all Americans. While most other countries employ such 'single payer' systems, it is unlikely that our current entrenched interests will allow for such radical reform in our lifetimes."
Contact: Agata Porter,

Crowdfunding to Pay for College Not a Good Strategy
Steven Sirot
College Benefits Research Group
"Affording college in today's environment is a huge undertaking. Never before has the cost grown so exponentially and student loan debt reached such unmanageable proportions. It is understandable that with the prevalence of websites where anyone can ask for funding, this would be a tempting option. Yet, as proven time and time again, there are no easy fixes."
Sirot can discuss the downsides of using crowdfunding to pay for college, such as what happens if you run out of money after the first couple of years and have to drop out to fund more or, even worse, take on hefty loans that would take years to pay back. He co-founded College Benefits Research Group (CBRG) along with David N. Slater and Janet Loren, an educational counselor and Certified Educational Planner. CBRG demonstrates how a private and/or public education is affordable and attainable and allows hard-working families to hit a "home run" in finding the right school, academically, socially and financially, for their child. CBRG also assists with the filing of financial aid forms.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Amy Delman,


Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Weekly Reporter – Sun Chronicle (MA)
  • Writer – The Cooperator (NY)
  • Sports Writer – Grants Pass Daily Courier (OR)


Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line.

  • WAYS JOURNALISTS CAN USE REDDIT. There are myriad resources available to journalists for research and audience engagement. Most writers are familiar with the usual media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Here's a look at a resource some journalists might not be tapping into: Reddit:

  • HOW TO GET THE MOST OF A WRITERS CONFERENCE. How do you make sure you get what you paid for when you attend a writers conference? Here are eight tips from Sandra Beckwith of BuildBookBuzz to make sure every conference you attend offers value:

  • RADIO BOSTON'S MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI ON THE ART OF LISTENING. InkHouse Media's Beth Monaghan recently sat down with Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR's Radio Boston, to find out how she brings out the complex emotions that transform news stories into human stories. They touched on how to center yourself in the midst of so many distractions, how to make judgment calls about when to be spontaneous vs. prepared, how to dig through the chaos, and more:

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