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St. Thomas University launches Center for Pandemic, Disaster, and Quarantine Research

St. Thomas University has launched the Center for Pandemic, Disaster, and Quarantine Research (STU PDQ), designed to track the impact of emerging, expanding, and extended pandemics and disasters on all socio-economic aspects of society.

Based on four pillars— Business, Law, Ethical Leadership, and Data Analytics—the Center will emphasize timely data, advanced analytics, and effective graphic data representation. STU PDQ will measure, track and analyze the long-term influence of disasters and pandemics on business practices, ethical decision-making, consumer behaviors, crime, societal norms and biases, climate, law, health,  government, international relations, and the economy.

In addition, the Center will form data-sharing partnerships and will seek to conduct research in collaboration with companies, institutions, and government to aid in prevention, mitigation, and recovery.

“With the rise of COVID-19, the world has faced an unprecedented challenge that has forever altered the way we do business across a variety of sectors. COVID-19 will have a deep impact on our economy, and will forever change our societal norms,” said David A. Armstrong, J.D., President of St. Thomas University. “The STU Center for Pandemic, Disaster, and Quarantine Research will serve as a hub for impact studies on pandemics and disasters, and help model and predict how institutions, companies, cities, counties, states, and nations can better prepare and understand the far-reaching effects of these occurrences on our communities.”

STU PDQ is a multidisciplinary collaboration between St. Thomas School of Law and  STU Gus Machado College of Business and two of its institutes: the Victor and Lisa Mendelson Institute for Data Science & Analytics and the Institute for Ethical Leadership. Drawing on the expertise of Dr. Jose Rocha, Dr. Sean Mondesire, Dr. Anthony Andenoro, and STU School of Law faculty, the Center will serve as a repository and expert source on the impacts of pandemics and disasters in each of the relevant disciplines.

“This Summer 2020 semester, STU School of Law will offer three new law school courses in contracts, real estate, and complex litigation each addressing different cutting edge issues of pandemic lawyering:  contracting in crisis, mortgages and foreclosures in crisis, and COVID-19 class action suits,” said Tamara F. Lawson, J.D, LL.M., Dean of the STU School of Law. “In the Fall 2020 and the Spring 2021 semesters, the law school will offer additional PDQ courses in the area of Constitutional Law, Health Law, and Tax.”

The Center will also serve as a training ground for students across multiple disciplines who will interface with the Center through coursework, and aid in both conducting and analyzing research. Through STU’s Summer Research Institute, students will collaborate with faculty members to conduct research projects related to one or more of the four pillars, or specific projects commissioned by partners.

“Through STU PDQ Research Center, our students will gain experiential knowledge by gathering and analyzing data that will provide timely insight and may help serve members of our communities and beyond,” said Jeremy Moreland, Ph.D., Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “Our researchers will bring to bear theory and existing research from multiple disciplines to better understand circumstances, actions, and outcomes surrounding such events.”

St. Thomas University is recognized for its big data analytics program and undergraduate and graduate research opportunities. With renowned programs in human rights advocacy, cybersecurity, tax law and internships with the Florida Supreme Court & the United Nations the STU Law School is at the forefront of innovation and real-world application.

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Isabel Gamarra

Author Isabel Gamarra

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