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WVU experts available to discuss Round 1 of the Trump-Biden debates

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WVU experts are available to discuss the first 2020 presidential debate and other issues leading up to the Nov. 3 election. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard)

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Several West Virginia University faculty members will be available to provide insight and expert commentary to the media following the first of three U.S. presidential debates between the incumbent Republican Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden.

WVU faculty who can delve into tonight’s (Sept. 29) debate topics – and other issues leading up to the Nov. 3 election - include:

Legal issues, taxes and the Supreme Court

Elaine Waterhouse Wilson, a College of Law professor, is an expert on tax law. She teaches courses on the federal income tax, taxation of business entities and nonprofit organizations. Wilson can be reached at

Anne Lofaso, also a College of Law professor, is an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution. She co-founded WVU’s U.S. Supreme Court Clinic, which takes cases to the U.S. Supreme Court on a pro bono basis. Lofaso can be reached at

Political science

John Kilwein is an associate professor and chair of political science. His research is on law and politics, the American state and federal courts, and the intersection between law and poverty. He can be reached at

Matt Jacobsmeier is an associate professor of political science and his research focuses on the process of representation in American politics, political behavior and public opinion. He is particularly interested in how race, ethnicity and religion affect politics in the United States. He can be reached at

Racial/social justice; policing

Tiffany Mitchell-Patterson is an assistant professor of secondary social studies. Her research interests include critical civic education, educational activism, teaching Black and underrepresented narratives in social studies. Activism, intersectionality and anti-bias/racist education lie at the core of her research and teacher practice. She can discuss racial and social justice and teaching the election. She is available at

James Nolan, chair and professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, teaches courses in the area of crime and social control. His research currently focuses on neighborhood dynamics, police procedures, crime measurement and hate crimes. He is available at 

Health and public policy

Robert Duval is associate professor of health policy, management and leadership in the School of Public Health. He can discuss issues relating to global health, public policy and foreign policy, climate change and environmental policy, and statistical methods for policy analysis. He can be reached at

Chris Plein is professor of public administration in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. His areas of expertise are public policy formation and implementation, welfare reform and health policy. He is available at

The economy

Heather Stephens is associate professor of resource economics and management in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. Her expertise focuses on regional economic development and the differences in the impact of policies across regions. Her research has examined questions related to energy, environmental quality, entrepreneurship, health and regional growth. She can be reached at

John Deskins is director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research and an associate professor in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. His areas of expertise are the West Virginia economy, economic forecasts and economic studies. He can be reached at

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



CONTACT: Jake Stump
WVU Research Communications

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