ProfNet Experts Available on the Presidential Election, Financial Aid, More

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

Feb 11, 2016, 14:21 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /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:


  • The Nation's Drug Epidemic and the Presidential Election
  • The Microbiology of the Zika Virus and Preventing Its Spread
  • Forensic Investigations and the Realm of Statistics
  • Negotiating Financial Aid Awards


  • Video Editor/Production Assistant – WMTW-TV (ME)
  • Digital Bureau Chief – (TX)
  • Weekend PM Anchor/Reporter – WFLD-TV (MA)


  • How to Take Your Blog Audience From Fling to Long-Term Relationship
  • How to Edit a Simple Video in Five Easy Steps
  • Blog Profiles: Beauty & Style Blogs


The Nation's Drug Epidemic and the Presidential Election
Deni Carise, Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer
Recovery Centers of America
Drug addiction, particularly opiate and heroin addiction, is increasingly prominent in this year's presidential race. From familial addiction stories to billion-dollar proposed policies, all candidates from both parties are talking about the nation's drug epidemic and the thousands of American lives lost each year. Dr. Carise can speak to each candidate's proposed solution for helping end our national drug crisis, and offer opinions on which might be most effective: "All candidates should have a plan for combatting the nation's drug epidemic. I agree with Hillary Clinton, who said, 'We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as a crime, and instead move it to where it belongs, as a health issue. And we need to divert more people from the criminal justice system into drug courts, into treatment, and recovery.' And with Chris Christie, who said, 'If we give people the tools and support they need to overcome this disease [of addiction] and if we choose to free people from the stigma of addiction and recognize this is the public health challenge it truly is, we can help people to reclaim their lives. We can find the true measure of our compassion.'"
Based in Philadelphia, Dr. Carise is a clinical psychologist and adjunct clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, books and chapters, and is a consultant, trainer and advisor for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Contact: Kristen Hayes,

The Microbiology of the Zika Virus and Preventing Its Spread
Jonathan Lawson, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Collin College
"Based on the microbiology of this infectious disease, there are ways to impact the spread with proactive measures."
Dr. Lawson has been a professor of biology in the Division of Math and Natural Sciences at Collin County Community College District, Spring Creek Campus, in Plano, Texas, since 2007. He also serves as an Advisor for Wello Inc. In 1998, Dr. Lawson received a B.S. in biology and minor in biochemistry from Baylor University, Waco, Texas; in 2006, he received a Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He is an authority in core molecular biology techniques.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Jeannie Lewis,

Forensic Investigations and the Realm of Statistics
John (Jay) Tobin
Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Forensic Science
Stevenson University, School of Graduate and Professional Studies
"While scientific findings in a forensic investigation can be the confirmation of a proposed theory, even this field fails to assert results that are absolutely perfect. Instead, there is always a window or range that those values live within: the realm of statistics. That's why, if justice is truly blind, forensic science is what provides her with the insight to weigh the evidence at hand with her balance."
Tobin participates in speaking engagements and media interviews focused on forensic chemistry and laboratory examinations that are part of a criminal investigation. He is also experienced in toxicology, trace evidence analysis, accelerant determination in arson cases, as well as explosive residues. He has 38 years of experience as a forensic scientist for the Maryland State Police (MSP), 20 years of experience in Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and blood-alcohol analysis, and six years as director of forensic sciences for the Department of State Police. He led the growth of MSP's laboratory into its current state. While with the MSP, Tobin often testified in courts across the state, and worked on the high-profile Len Bias overdose case, where he was responsible for determining the percentage of cocaine and mapping out a theory as to how cocaine residue was found in other evidence. He has served as a member of the Maryland Forensic Science Advisory Board and as an advisor to the secretary of the MSP. He is a frequent presenter at educational events and symposiums, and is comfortable with live or taped interviews, video and photography.
Contact: Kristi Betz,

Negotiating Financial Aid Awards
Steven Sirot
College Financial Planner
College Benefits Research Group
Starting now, college-bound high school seniors will begin receiving their financial aid awards. Many will receive less than expected, and may not attend a school based on that sole decision.  What many do not know is these awards can be appealed, but the timing is critical -- May 1 is the deadline for students to accept these awards. Says Sirot: "As we all know, college is very expensive, and negotiating a reduction of thousands of dollars adds up when multiplied by four years! As is true with most important life situations, it certainly helps to have people in your corner who have gone through it before."
Based in the New Jersey tristate area, Sirot is passionate about helping hard-working families afford college, not just for their first-born, but for each successive child in the family, without going broke.
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:

  • Video Editor/Production Assistant – WMTW-TV (ME)
  • Digital Bureau Chief – (TX)
  • Weekend PM Anchor/Reporter – WFLD-TV (MA)


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.

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  • HOW TO EDIT A SIMPLE VIDEO IN FIVE EASY STEPS. These days, most computers come equipped with video editing software. Windows Movie Maker is standard for Microsoft; Apple includes iMovie on its Macs. You can even find video editing platforms such as WeVideo online. Whatever tool's available to you may seem a bit foreign at first, but we've got some tips to help you get started on editing a simple video:
  • BLOG PROFILES: BEAUTY & STYLE BLOGS. Each week, PR Newswire selects an industry or subject and a handful of sites that do a good job with promoting and contributing to the conversation. This week, we looked at beauty and style blogs:

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