Webster in the News: Spiess, Drake on flu, coronavirus; Smith on social media; Tashkent feature

Jan. 31, 2020

Recent news media coverage featuring Webster University community members include:

Spiess, Drake on Coronavirus and Flu Prevention

Mary Ann Drake, Nursing
Drake (pictured) and Spiess spoke during
KSDK interviews on Webster's campus.

Webster University nursing faculty members Jody Spiess and Mary Ann Drake were interviewed on local TV news about the outbreak of coronavirus in China -- and how people elsewhere should really be more focused on preventing the spread of flu.

For most of the world, the flu is a much bigger threat than the coronavirus. But, Drake and Spiess note, the best way to prevent coronavirus is to take the steps you would to prevent the flu.

Drake and Spiess teach in the nursing programs offered through Webster's College of Arts & Sciences.

Watch the segment with Drake and Spiess at KSDK here.

See recent communication about coronavirus, the flu, and Webster's global precautions in this message from the president.

Smith on Social Media Safety, Parenting

In the News: Spiess, Drake on flu, coronavirus; Smith on social media; Tashkent feature
Julie Smith discusses child safety on social media with NBC affiliate KSDK.

Julie Smith was interviewed by NBC affiliate KSDK Newschannel 5 after a man was arrested for sexually assaulting underage girls he met over social media.

Smith, an instructor and media literacy expert in the Webster University School Communication, said parents should keep an eye on what their children are doing on their phones, which can be challenging for some.

"It's so hard to parent for us in this day and age because we didn't grow up this way,” Webster University instructor Julie Smith said.

Smith travels the country teaching parents and students how to be safe on apps.

"And it's not if you have a negative experience, but when,” she said.

That’s why she encourages parents to ask their children about what they're doing and who they're interacting with on any app.

"What is it about the attraction of communicating with a stranger on a social media platform that would encourage a kid to reach out and possibly meet someone that they've never met before? It just seems outlandish to someone who's older, but it's is the world these kids are living in now,” she said.

Smith says it's a real danger.

"You can really pretend to be anybody else at any age on any platform, and that's why we need to talk about it more than we do,” she said.

Watch this segment at KSDK here.

Webster University in Tashkent Celebrated by Local Magazine

Webster University in Tashkent

The opening of Webster University in Tashkent was included in a list of top 50 events that occurred in Uzbekistan throughout 2019. Annually since 2017, the quarterly lifestyle magazine, MyDay Special, publishes a list of the best and brightest events that occurred in the past year.

John Grainger, rector, and Maggie Dankert, deputy academic director, took part in the end of year edition’s presentation on Jan. 11. Other prominent public figures, businesspeople, and heads of companies were also recognized for their contributions to Uzbekistan’s social, political, and cultural life.

The article featuring Webster University in Tashkent was based on an interview given by Grainger, and covered Webster’s liberal arts background, other global campuses, the Tashkent’s current and future place in the university’s network.

In his interview, Grainger said, “Our students are getting a unique opportunity - they can go to an American university within their home environment, with the support of their parents and community. Looking at the bigger picture, Webster aims to minimize brain drain from Uzbekistan. When people leave their home country, they often do not come back. ‘Develop people - develop countries’ - we believe deeply in this principle.”

tags:  college of arts and sciences, employee news, faculty, global, nursing, media literacy, uzbekistan, global marketing and communications, in the news, school of communications, webster today,