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Western Michigan University launched a new webinar series put on by the College of Arts and Sciences that covers different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five research grants were also awarded for research on the pandemic.

The two Fall 2020 webinars covered factors motivating the timing of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders by U.S. governors and mental health outcomes during COVID-19.

Vice President for Research and Innovation at WMU Terri Kinzy is the webinar moderator. 

“We wanted a way to be able to tell about this exciting research on COVID-19 live, so the talk itself is pre-recorded but the questions are done live on the YouTube channel,” Kinzy said.

During the most recent edition of the webinar held on Thursday, Feb. 18, Dr. Stephen Covell, Dr. Dinanna Riggs and WMU Graduate Student Cameron Borg spoke about pandemic responses and religion in the U.S.

“When the pandemic broke out it was immeadiatly clear to all of us in the Department of Comparative Religion here at WMU that religious practice would be affected, and that religious organizations would play a role in how we responded to the pandemic,” Covell said.

They also spoke on the database created based on the research findings that can be found on the WMU Scholarworks page.

“Our main focus in this database has been articles and materials based on religious groups primarily in the midwest, however we have looked at different groups and religions on both national and international levels,” Borg said.

They went on to share the trends found in the research and go into more detail on how to access the database and use it for educational purposes.

The next webinar will be held on March 18, covering the COVID-19 crisis, accreditation and the future of higher learning. It will feature Dr. James Cousins, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and master faculty specialist of history.

To view the most recent Webinar visit https://youtu.be/rUehDIp333Y

Link to watch March 18 webinar https://youtu.be/d78c9yqq1j8

Link to Scholarworks https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/religion-pandemic/

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