sealPurdue 9/11 Tips

August 22, 2002

JOURNALISTS: Below are story ideas and Purdue University experts that can speak on a wide range of topics to aid in your coverage leading up to the one-year anniversary of terrorist attacks in the United States.


Homeland Security

Workplace violence could offer lessons
for improved homeland security

Can episodes of workplace violence teach us how to sustain vigilance and anticipate future terrorists attacks in the wake of Sept. 11?

Thomas K. Capozzoli, associate professor in organizational leadership and supervision, is co-author of the book, "Managing Violence in the Workplace."

Capozzoli says time tends to make people forget the seriousness of a traumatic event.

"Maintaining awareness and strengthening communication are keys to overcoming any false sense of security brought by the passage of time," he says.

Furthermore, recovering from the shock of an incident, such as Sept. 11 or a workplace shooting, depends on the individual and the quality of support and care a survivor receives, he says.

"In some ways we've never gotten over Pearl Harbor," Capozzoli says.

Whether it's workplace safety or homeland security, assessing weaknesses and improving communication are the starting points to prevention of further violence.

CONTACT: Capozzoli, (765) 455-9218,

Extension preparing materials for bioterrorism awareness

Keeping drinking water supplies safe is the most urgent concern in communities when local officials consider likely bioterrorism targets, according to a survey of more than 1,100 Extension educators in 30 states.

Purdue Extension received U.S. Department of Agriculture funding to help provide education on homeland security. Through the Extension Disaster Education Network, the need for materials to educate the public on homeland safety issues is being assessed.

Of the educators surveyed, 86 percent said it was likely to very likely that there would be a bioterrorist attack somewhere on U.S. farms, food or water supplies, and 78 percent said drinking water security was an urgent concern.

"Surprisingly, the threat to crops was viewed as low (36 percent) even though agricultural lands are some of the most vulnerable targets in the nation," says Steve Cain, Purdue Extension field staff liaison.

Cain says consumers and farmers also are being surveyed to determine what kinds of educational materials are required to help the public prepare for and survive a bioterrorist attack.

CONTACT: Cain, (765) 494-8410,

Computer security in time of terrorism

Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) was founded by Eugene Spafford, who has been interviewed extensively by international media on issues relating to computer viruses, computer security and computing ethics.

His work in security has resulted in three books, as well as the development of the COPS and Tripwire security programs for Unix – tools now used worldwide for assistance in the management of system security.

Christopher Clifton, associate professor of computer science, works on challenges posed by novel uses of data mining technology, including security and privacy issues raised by data mining.

He also works on database support for widely distributed and autonomously controlled information, particularly information administration issues.

Prior to joining Purdue, Clifton was a principal scientist in the Information Technology Division at MITRE Corp. and taught at Northwestern University.

CONTACT: Spafford, (765) 494-7825,; Clifton, (765) 494-6005,


9/11 and the Economy

Post 9/11 state of the economy

Gerald J. Lynch, professor of economics and associate dean of the Krannert School of Management, can talk about the lingering short- and long-term effects of 9/11 on the state, national and global economy.

Lynch is an award-winning professor at the MBA level and has been associate dean at the German International Graduate School of Management and Administration. His principal areas of academic research interest are monetary theory and policy and international trade and finance.

He was interviewed extensively by media immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

CONTACT: Lynch, (765) 494-4388,

Economist can discuss post 9/11 trade

David Hummels, associate professor of economics at the Krannert School of Management, does research in international economics and international business strategy. Since 9/11, Hummels has done research on the cost of time in the global supply chain.

"Every day spent in shipping is worth 1 percent of a good's final price," Hummels says. "In goods that have a high rate of technological obsolescence, such as consumer electronics products, the depreciation rate goes up to 2.5 percent per day."

Today, containerized shipping is used for about two-thirds of the nation's imports, and only 1 percent is searched. This has not changed since the 9/11 attacks. A second major terrorist attack could seriously disrupt global trade, he says.

CONTACT: Hummels, (765) 494-4495,

Tourism still struggling after Sept. 11

One year after Sept. 11, the tourism industry continues to struggle. Airlines are in a financial survival mode, and the tourism industry is lobbying for a national office of tourism to market American tourist destinations to foreign visitors.

Liping Cai, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, can comment on the post 9/11 trends of tourist destination choices, types of vacations and activities, and how destinations and tourism businesses can take advantage of these trends.

CONTACT: Cai, (765) 494-4739,

Have terrorism and recession softened American sentiment on the Cuban embargo?

The majority of Americans are for ending the 40-year-old American embargo on Cuba, says Harry Targ, professor of political science. Lifting the embargo would increase the opportunity for trade and investment in Cuba, he says.

"So many people would have so much to gain, from an economic point of view. Most people wonder if the embargo is even relevant, anymore," he says.

CONTACT: Targ, (765) 494-4169 or (765) 743-0416,


Healing from 9/11

Anniversary doesn't mean heal in silence

A Purdue University child specialist says parents should continue to communicate with their children to avoid a cycle of silence during the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"There is a danger that parents are going to think they had that talk about the attacks last September so they are done talking," says Judith Myers-Walls, a Purdue Extension specialist in human development.

"But parents need to realize their children are going to develop attitudes from somewhere. If parents don't help them, it could be from a source they agree with or do not agree with."

Myers-Walls, who is interviewing children about the Sept. 11 attacks, says parents should realize their children are a year older, and their understanding has matured, or in some cases their children did not understand what happened last year and are still struggling with current events.

Myers-Walls began interviewing children, ages 3 to 14, about the effects of Sept. 11 in May. Preliminary data shows misconceptions are a problem for some children. When one 7-year-old child was asked during an interview where the war was being fought, the child answered "in Osama bin Laden."

"Children hear that we are calling it a war, but it doesn't look like any other war they learned about," Myers-Walls says.

She says if parents are not open to talking about the attacks, children may perceive that silence to mean, "This is a bad thing to talk about." Not talking or ignoring current events could lead to a child's being unnecessarily afraid.

Hours after the Sept. 11 attacks Myers-Walls launched a Web site devoted to helping children cope. On Sept. 12, the site received 7,000 hits, and that number increased to 30,000 in the following weeks. The site continues to attract 2,000 visitors per month.

Myers-Walls also can address how parents can listen and discuss these events with children of different ages, healthy ways to acknowledge the anniversary, and how Muslim families can help their children cope.

CONTACT: Myers-Walls, (765) 494-2959,

Anniversary coverage elicits emotional reactions

Media coverage of the Sept. 11 anniversary may stir children's emotions with videotaped clips of the burning Pentagon or the falling World Trade Center towers. Glenn Sparks, a Purdue University professor of communication, can discuss the emotional reactions that children might experience from media programs about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and anniversary.

"I am particularly concerned about any promos that parents may not be aware of that may air during television programming ," Sparks says. "Specifically, with the images of 9/11, some children may not be mature enough to realize that the attacks are not happening all over again."

Sparks says even if children realize the media footage is from last year, it may trigger emotions they felt last September.

Sparks also can talk about what decisions the media will make regarding programming for what he terms "the news story of all news stories," and how people will react to coverage in general.

"Are we ready to visit this emotionally? Will this be a healthy thing?" Sparks asks. "Some people may want to remember. Others will want no part at all."

CONTACT: Sparks, (765) 494-3316, (765) 497-3045 (home),

Defining what it means to be American

During the weeks and months following the Sept. 11 attacks, Stephanie Goodwin, assistant professor of psychology and women's studies, noted anecdotal evidence that racial group relations may have changed in the wake of 9/11.

"Americans had a perception of greater common unity and to some extent we were seeing similar reports around the country," Goodwin says.

However, Goodwin's research suggests this unity may be limited.

"Arabs are being perceived as non-American across the board," Goodwin said.

Goodwin and colleagues sampled people at Purdue and New York University at the two-month and six-month anniversaries of the attacks to measure people's direct and indirect beliefs about which racial and ethnic groups were viewed as "most American."

"Compared to white and African-Americans, Arab-Americans were being perceived as less American, regardless of how we measured people's reactions," Goodwin says.

CONTACT: Goodwin, (765) 494-6891,

Increased interest in Islam identified in wake of Sept. 11

While there was a sudden surge in the practice of religion after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, attendance at churches, mosques and synagogues has returned to its pre-9/11 rate.

Yet, according to James Davidson, Purdue sociology of religion professor, there has been a lasting curiosity about the core tenets and practice of Islam, which the terrorists claimed to follow.

More people are curious about the Koran, Allah and the meaning of terms such as "jihad."

CONTACT: Davidson, (765) 494-4688,

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