The college’s Industrial Hygiene training program, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, received ongoing funding to support UArizona graduate students pursuing degrees in environmental and occupational health.
Story by Samantha Minichetti
TUCSON, Arizona — The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a $750,000 training program grant to researchers at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to support master’s students in the Industrial Hygiene Program.
Demand for industrial hygiene professionals from the mining industry, the expanding manufacturing sector and agriculture continues to grow so that workers stay safe as the economy expands.
Shannon Newton, MPH, CIH
Industrial hygiene is the art and science devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards. It focuses on worker protection from hazards that could include chemical, physical, biological, radiological and ergonomic agents.
“Occupational injury and illness affect millions of workers and their families every year and are tremendous economic burdens on our society,” said principle investigator Jeff Burgess, MD, MS, MPH, professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health. “Highly qualified, technically competent and passionate industrial hygienists are needed to prevent occupational illness, injury and fatalities.”
The training grant supports the mission of the Industrial Hygiene Program, which has been preparing students for careers in occupational health and safety since 1978.
The program is the only one of its kind in the Southwest, where mining is prevalent due to the rich endowments of copper and related commodities. The program curriculum and internship opportunities both include specific considerations for mining health and safety.
“Demand for industrial hygiene professionals from the mining industry, the expanding manufacturing sector and agriculture continues to grow so that workers stay safe as the economy expands,” said project coordinator Shannon Newton, MPH, CIH. “This training program grant is critical to increasing the number of industrial hygiene practitioners in Arizona by providing financial assistance and quality training support to a diverse cohort of students who plan to work in the field of occupational safety and health.”
Comprehensive coursework and applied research experience are provided in key areas of industrial hygiene, including air monitoring theory and practice, occupational safety, physical exposures, toxicology, and environmental health. Graduates find employment as occupational safety and health professionals in industry, government and academia.
NIOSH TPG Students Attend American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference
A full cohort of UArizona students funded by the NIOSH TPG project attended the American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference and Exposition in Phoenix, Arizona this past May. This is the first time the AIHA has held its national conference event in Arizona. At the conference, the Zuckerman College of Public Health hosted a booth for recruitment and found considerable support for the industrial hygiene program among our practicing alumni.
Students attending the conference included current MPH students Jersey Orias, Reagan Conner, Andrew Stafford, and David Carroll, all funded by the NIOSH Project Training Grant. Current PhD student Pedro Flores Gallardo, MS, also attended, along with project coordinator Shannon Newton and assistant research professor Rustin Reed, PhD, CIH, PSP, who teaches industrial hygiene.
The students attended sessions to gain knowledge in cutting-edge occupational, safety, and health topics. They also networked with seasoned professionals who work in the field, and participated in career preparedness activities.
“The opportunity for our NIOSH TPG students to attend the AIHA conference this year really built connections with the professionals who are already working in this field,” said Newton, “They were also able to meet many of our alumni, graduates from the program who are now making a difference in occupational safety and health here in Arizona.”
Read the original news release about this NIOSH grant renewal from University of Arizona Health Sciences.
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