ProfNet Experts Available on Presidential Election, COP21, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers, Media Industry Blog Posts

Dec 16, 2015, 08:16 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 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:


  • COP21: Creative Ways to Cut Emissions
  • Improved Paid Leave Necessary to Keep the U.S. Productive
  • Trump's View on Muslims
  • CNN Republican Debate
  • New Clues Into the Origin of Dinosaurs
  • This Holiday Season, #UnwrapCollege


  • Editorial Assistant – Village Voice (NY)
  • Video Editor, Entertainment – The Associated Press (NY)
  • New Producer – WMUR-TV (NH)


  • The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Tech-Loving Journalists, Bloggers and Storytellers
  • How to Pitch and Perform on Network News
  • PR Newswire Media Moves, Dec. 14 Edition


COP21: Creative Ways to Cut Emissions
Paul Gilman, Ph.D.
SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer
"We don't yet know if COP21 delegates will accomplish everything they'd hoped to, but there is now consensus that climate change is a real problem that must be dealt with. Research into new technologies is important, but we already have existing technology that can be deployed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address other important environmental issues. Everything is a resource, and sustainability is about using resources in the most energy-efficient way possible. For example, if we implemented more waste-to-energy technology, we would reduce greenhouse gases like methane by diverting waste from landfills. According to the EPA, for every ton of municipal solid waste processed at waste-to-energy facilities, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by approximately one ton. That's sustainable waste management making a difference."
Dr. Gilman was previously an assistant administrator for research and development and science advisor at the EPA. He is available to discuss economically viable technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions.
Contact: Evelyn Cashen,

Improved Paid Leave Necessary to Keep the U.S. Productive
Lucy R. Ford, Ph.D.
Director of the Managing Human Capital Program, Professor of Management
Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia
It's a reality that most Americans will face at one time or another: the necessity to suspend work to care for a new baby or an adopted child, an ailing spouse or a parent, or to receive medical treatment for themselves. Yet, "the United States is the only developed country in the world without legislation for paid leave," says Ford, who has been quoted in the New York Times regarding changes in paid time off (PTO). Ford believes improved policies may eventually be a necessity to keep our nation competitive. "There is extensive research that links paid family and medical leave to employee retention, satisfaction and productivity, and companies that can afford to run the analytics on these policies are often implementing them," says Ford. Currently, only three states have legislation requiring employers to offer paid family and medical leave – New Jersey, California and Rhode Island – but earlier this month, legislation was introduced that, if passed, would grant up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave to eligible working residents of the District of Columbia. The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 would amend the D.C. Family Leave Act (which offered 16 unpaid weeks) and proposes the largest amount of paid family or medical leave mandated by law in any U.S. state. A number of factors have caused this issue to resurface in the national media and on the political stage. Among them, this proposed act, and the surge of progressive, large-scale corporations like Virgin, Netflix and Microsoft making headlines with "generous" maternity, paternity, family and/or medical paid leave policies (ranging from 5 to 12 months). "For companies that have already taken a flexible, human-capital centered approach, valuing their talent and showing concern for the retention of employees, I think we will continue to see these more generous paid leave policies emerge," says Ford. With some of the country's most innovative and powerful companies leading this trend and seeing proven benefits to paid leave, will legislation still be necessary? "Absolutely," says Ford, who predicts sweeping changes can only be expected if federal legislation is passed.
Ford's areas of expertise include leadership development, team leadership, human resources, employee relations, human resource policy and legal issues, performance management, survey development and administration.
Contact: Colleen Sabatino,

Trump's View on Muslims
Gordon Quan
Immigration Lawyer
Quan Law Group, PLLC in Houston
"Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims is wrong on many levels. Have we as a nation not learned that Americans are not defined by religion and race? America learned a lesson from the paranoia toward Japanese-Americans during WWII that the information of disloyalty had no merit. It is difficult to determine all of the positive impact Muslims have made. Just as the movie 'A Day Without a Mexican,' it would be interesting to see the benefits of persons of Islamic faith. Who and how does the government discern with certainty the faith and beliefs of any individual? If one truly wishes ill to the U.S., they can claim whatever faith they wish. Faith is not determined simply by region, nationality, appearance and name."
Contact: Mary Flood,

CNN Republican Debate
Alan Schroder
Visual Journalism Professor
Northeastern University
"Debates appear to diminish Trump, probably because they require him to share the spotlight with others. When he steps behind a lectern, much of the air goes out of his balloon. One thing that has endeared Trump to his supporters is the man's relentless need to be the center of the universe, but in a debate, where the camera has many other subjects to focus on, that energy has nowhere to go."
In light of the CNN Republican debate, Schroder can provide commentary on the candidates' performances. His line of research focuses on televised presidential debates and the effect of media on politics. He has written several books on the subjects, including "Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV" and "Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House."
Contact: Julie Hoang,

New Clues Into the Origin of Dinosaurs
Dr. Michael D'Emic
Assistant Professor, Biology Department
Adelphi University
A new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new clues into the origins of the dinosaurs. Says D'Emic: "This study is important because it gives us a better understanding of the timing of the origin of dinosaurs. The classic view is that dinosaurs were evolutionarily superior to their antecedents, but this paper shows that early dinosaurs were ecologically similar to both their ancestors and close relatives that lived just before and alongside them, leading to another mystery -- what did make dinosaurs the successful ones in the end? This paper is sure to spur a lot more research into the origin and spread of dinosaurs."
Dr. D'Emic studies the evolution and ecology of dinosaurs and other reptiles. Each summer, he leads fieldwork expeditions to dig up dinosaurs and other extinct animals in the western U.S. He also studies how bones and teeth grow at the cellular level in a variety of animals. He teaches human anatomy and physiology and advises students in dinosaur-related research projects.
Contact: Kali Chan,

This Holiday Season, #UnwrapCollege
Keith Bernhardt
Vice President, Retirement and College Products
Fidelity Investments
"This holiday season, consider giving the gift of an education. While interest in presents may wane, a college education lasts a lifetime."
Bernhardt can speak to Fidelity's Holiday Gifting Snapshot, which finds that friends and family will spend $691 per child on gifts this season, but 57% of parents say their child will lose interest in those gifts by July. He can also discuss college contributions, the ins and outs of 529 plans, how you can gift education this holiday season, and more.
Contact: Alexis Ganz,



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:

  • Editorial Assistant – Village Voice (NY)
  • Video Editor, Entertainment – The Associated Press (NY)
  • New Producer – WMUR-TV (NH)



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.

  • THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TECH-LOVING JOURNALISTS, BLOGGERS AND STORYTELLERS. Looking for the perfect gift for that special editor in your life? Here's a guide to the ultimate gifts this holiday season:
  • HOW TO PITCH AND PERFORM ON NETWORK NEWS. Becoming a panelist on TV is not easy, but there are strategies you can use to increase your chances of reaching the right producers – and to showcase your skills and be featured again. Here are eight quick tips for getting on TV, courtesy of Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel, founder of Reel Media Group, along with info on an upcoming National Press Club workshop:
  • PR NEWSWIRE MEDIA MOVES, DEC. 14 EDITION. Updating your media lists for the new year? Find out who's in and who's out at Time; O, The Oprah Magazine; Houston Chronicle; The Atlantic; Thomson Reuters; Quartz; Smithsonian Magazine; Politico; Village Voice; Circa; Teen Vogue; The Real Deal; Woman's Day; Marie Claire; and more:


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