ProfNet Experts Available on Valentine's Day, Oscars Boycott, Zika Virus, More

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

Feb 12, 2016, 10:33 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 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:


  • Zika Virus: Tips for Travelers
  • Oscars Fashion
  • Impact of Oscars Boycott
  • All-Inclusive Properties Becoming More Diverse
  • Valentine's Day Puppy Love: How to Handle a Child's First Crush
  • Low Levels of Face-to-Face Social Contact Can Double Depression Risk


  • National Web Producer and Reporter – The Real Deal (NY)
  • Deputy Online Editor – Variety (CA)
  • News Producer – Seattle Times (WA)


  • How to Take Your Blog Audience From Fling to Long-Term Relationship
  • Skills Journalism Students Need to Learn
  • Grammar Hammer: The Singular 'They'


Zika Virus: Tips for Travelers
Dyan Summers, NP-C, MPH, CTM
Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar and Travel Medicine Nurse
"To date, reported cases of ZIKV in the U.S. have been among people returning from affected countries, meaning they were infected elsewhere. However, there is a lot of misinformation and uncertainty about ZIKV. It's important for the public to be aware of the disease and any proactive measures they can take to limit exposure."
Contact: Haley Schwartz,

Oscars Fashion
Michael Mamp
assistant professor, fashion and merchandising design
Central Michigan University
"I expect to see high-shine fabrications, bold color, embellishment and graphic details in many of the gowns of this year's attendees."
Michael Mamp focuses on the history of 20th century western dress and visual merchandising. He can speak to fashion trends and clothing choices at previous Academy Award events and trends emerging this awards season. Mamp also says diversity, a hot topic in the news leading up to awards night, is something that can be communicated through fashion in many ways.
Contact: Mackenzie Kastl,

Impact of Oscars Boycott
Patty Williamson
Associate Professor, Broadcast and Cinematic Arts
Central Michigan University
"The Oscars boycott is already affecting change in the industry, pushing the Academy to address inequities in race and gender within its membership. However, the larger issue is the need to diversify the pool of talent writing, producing, directing and starring in Hollywood films."
Williamson is available to discuss diversity and inclusion in relation to the Oscars boycott. She specializes in film and TV criticism and analysis, as well as gender studies and media representation.
Contact: Rachel Esterline Perkins,

All-Inclusive Properties Becoming More Diverse
Thomas Carr
President and CEO
All Inclusive Outlet
"All-inclusive properties are becoming more diverse, offering a much larger variety of unique customer offerings in the areas of entertainment, cuisine, activities, and the like -- while ranging in price from affordable to luxury."
As a top all-inclusive vacation expert, Carr can speak to trends, resort innovation, top areas for inclusive products and emerging destinations. He is also well-versed in tourism trends as they relate to Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Islands, and beyond. He is a member of the International Airlines Travel Agent Network and the American Society of Travel Agents, and has an industry-leading 96% customer satisfaction rating. He is based in Lexington, Ky.
Contact: Meghan Ely,

Valentine's Day Puppy Love: How to Handle a Child's First Crush
Florence Ann Romano
The Windy City Nanny
"For most kids, puppy love begins around fifth or sixth grade, though some precocious children will start having crushes as soon as second grade. Young love has been around for a long time, but Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have not. Thanks to cyberspace, teen and tween crushes and relationships move at a supersonic pace these days -- and anything goes. That's why a very old game must be monitored in a very new way. More than ever, mom and dad and their children's caretakers need to be firmly plugged into their kids' lives."
Romano is a dedicated philanthropist and former nanny who has always had a special place in her heart for children. She worked for over 15 years as a nanny, beginning as a "mommy's helper" at the age of 11. She shares her experiences in "Nanny and Me" (Mascot Books, May 2015), her beautifully illustrated debut book for children making the transition from being cared for solely by their parents to having a nanny in their home. Born and raised just outside of Chicago, Romano earned a degree in performance theatre at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. She is the owner of Trinity, LLC, a 100% woman-owned and new family company that runs the Original Six Media production company and the online publication Romano also serves as president and founder of a junior board for young professionals that supports autism awareness for children and adults.
Romano is available to discuss how to handle innocent infatuations and advises caretakers on how to make sure those infatuations stay innocent, including: what to say when 8-year-old Susie tells you she "got married" on the playground today; what to do if you find Susie and Tommy "playing doctor"; how to validate a child's feelings while not putting too much attention on the crush; red flags to watch for; and more.
Contact: Mark Goldman,

Low Levels of Face-to-Face Social Contact Can Double Depression Risk
Dr. Frieda Birnbaum
Research Psychologist, Psychoanalyst
Replacing face-to-face contact with friends and family with emails, text messages and phone calls could double the risk of depression, a major study suggests. Research on 11,000 adults found that those who meet friends and family at least three times a week are far less likely to suffer from depression, and individuals who had such contact just once every few months had an 11.5% chance of later suffering from depressive symptoms two years later. Says Dr. Birnbaum: "For Millennials, face-to-face interaction may seem like the 'old way' of doing things; however, this kind of interaction is crucial for a person's wellbeing. Face-to-face interaction allows individuals to see each other for who they are without the false photographic and profile enhancements found on social media. Today, our culture is over-stimulated and more isolated than ever before, despite all the ways that people can connect through technology. People should get out more, meet other people and embrace each other's company, for that is the hallmark of the human experience."
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.
Contact: Ryan McCormick,



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:

  • National Web Producer and Reporter – The Real Deal (NY)
  • Deputy Online Editor – Variety (CA)
  • News Producer – Seattle Times (WA)



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.

  • HOW TO TAKE YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE FROM A FLING TO LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP. The blogging game can look a lot like dating. You put your best self out there into a world of unknowns. It can feel exciting and scary. It can also feel a little lonely. But, once you find your confidence and a formula that works, the relationship can quickly move from infatuation to true love. If you want to build a meaningful long-term relationship with your blog audience, consider these 10 fundamentals:
  • SKILLS JOURNALISM STUDENTS NEED TO LEARN. To be a successful journalist, you need to be more than just a good writer. You also need to know how to navigate social media, how to edit a simple video, and more. Here's some advice from Kelley Callaway, president of the College Media Association:
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: THE SINGULAR 'THEY'. Language is constantly evolving (remember the big argument over "e-mail" vs. "email"?). In the latest Grammar Hammer column, we look at the word "they," recently voted by the American Dialect Society as the word of the year:


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