The Virginia Tech media relations office has the following experts available for interviews this week surrounding issues in the news. To schedule an interview, please contact

Israel-Hamas War

Virginia Tech has a number of experts available to speak on a variety of topics surrounding the war. More here.

Giving Tuesday: Tips to avoid charity scams

For many people, the holiday season is a time to give back. It’s also the time of year when scammers ramp up their efforts to take advantage of your goodwill to steal your hard earned money. Virginia Tech cybercrime expert Katalin Parti is available to discuss the red flags of charity scams and how to ensure your money goes where it needs to go. More here.

Planning a holiday shopping budget is the best way to navigate the season

With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to begin budgeting for your gift shopping ahead of time. Taking proactive steps now will help you manage expenses wisely and make the most of the festive season. Virginia Tech economist Jadrian Wooten and finance expert Jesse Lineberry share why. More here.

Cybercrime expert offers safety tips for online holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season is full speed ahead and unfortunately, so are criminals looking to take advantage of your urge to get discounted prices. Each year these scams seem to be more sophisticated, making them harder to sport. Virginia Tech cybercrime expert Katalin Parti shares these tips to help you avoid falling victim. More here.

Research Highlight

Are your Cyber Monday purchases legit? There’s (going to be) an app for that

Receiving a bogus designer handbag or imitation Wagyu beef might infuriate a Cyber Monday consumer, but a knock-off respirator or a fake pace-maker could imperil them.

Virginia Tech researcher Emma Meno is developing a mobile app to empower buyers to ensure their purchases are legitimate. In a study published for Micromachines earlier this fall, Meno and a team of researchers described their work to date.

“Counterfeiters put things on the market that look like authorized medical devices or they intercept a legitimate transaction,” said Emma Meno, a research associate at the Virginia Tech National Security Institute. “A fake biodevice is a huge health risk, and the growing number of people who are affected by this is worrisome.”

In the days leading up to Cyber Monday last year, law enforcement agencies took down almost 13,000 websites peddling phony luxury goods or pirated content. While there are steep legal ramifications for counterfeiting, they’re only enforceable if someone gets caught. More here.

Podcast Feature - Research and Innovation

Feng Lin joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the chemistry behind creating better batteries for electric vehicles. He broke down some of the current challenges to mass producing an effective and affordable battery, and shared his thoughts on the potential for coal in helping overcome these hurdles.

Lin is an associate professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Chemistry and the Leo and Melva Harris Faculty Fellow in the College of Science. His research focuses on solid-state batteries, lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, smart windows, and fuel cell catalysts.

New episodes will debut each Tuesday throughout the fall. Expert researchers are also available for media interviews. To listen and learn more, click here

Share this story