Skip to content

  • Print

University of the Pacific media sources on measles

Feb 11, 2015

The following University of the Pacific faculty are available to comment on legal, dental, psychological and other aspects of the measles outbreak that has spread to 17 states and Washington, D.C.

Your right to ignore medical advice

Leslie Gielow Jacobs, director of the Capital Center for Public Law and Policy at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, can talk about the rights of parents to make decisions about their children's health when those decisions may harm others. She can discuss legal issues related to mandatory vaccinations and comment on a proposed California law that would eliminate "personal belief" exemptions for children's vaccinations. Jacobs is a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. and has authored an important body of scholarship on constitutional law.  Contact: Leslie Gielow Jacobs,, (916) 739-7217

Measles versus teeth

A. Jeffrey Wood, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at University of the Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, is available to discuss the impact of measles on children's oral health. For example, measles can affect the development of enamel on the teeth of children, and measles spots can affect the gums.  Contact: Dr. Jeff Wood, or (415) 929-6557

What are they thinking?

Matthew Normand, associate professor of psychology at University of the Pacific, can comment on why many parents avoid vaccinating their children, especially with respect to fears regarding autism. Normand is the author of a 2007 scholarly article, "Mercury rising: Exposing the vaccine-autism myth." He is editor-in-chief of The Behavior Analyst and an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.  Contact: Matthew Normand, or (209) 946-7317.

Hazards of "anecdotal medicine"

Mark Walberg, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at University of the Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, can talk about herd immunity, boosters, the hazards of "anecdotal medicine" and other topics related to measles. For his own daughters, age 1 and 4, he follows recommendations set forth by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Walberg teaches courses in advanced immunizations and immunology, the history and future of vaccines and travel health and medicine.  Contact: Mark Walberg, or (805) 338-5546

How to tell people to vaccinate their kids

Heather J. Hether, assistant professor of communication at University of the Pacific, is available to discuss health campaigns and behavior change, health messaging in traditional and social media, and media coverage of health issues. Her current work examines how Kaiser Permanente uses social media to cultivate relationships with its key publics.  Contact: Heather J. Hether, or 209-946-3046

Twitter, Facebook and measles

Qingwen Dong, professor and chair of the Department of Communication, is available to talk about how mass media and social media affect our attitudes and decision-making. Dong specializes in the effects of new media and mass media on individuals and societies, and has written extensively on the effect of social media regarding political campaigns, popular culture and socialization.  Contact: Qingwen Dong, or (209) 946-3044


About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first chartered institution of higher education in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy and health sciences. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, home to Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and in Sacramento, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. For more information, visit

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) |

Tags for this article:

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube