Student Profiles

Kate Tokareva

Kate came to public health in a roundabout way. Her mom works at Swedish Medical Center as a sonographer, so she was exposed to hospitals at a young age. Kate enjoyed listening to stories about patient interactions and always looked forward to tagging along with her Mom. Kate was on the pre-med path when she got to college, which was a good fit, but found that the introductory science classes were notoriously big and competitive.

Deanna Ly
Junior, Environmental Health
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Close Up July 2017: Heather Fowler

After four years studying dairy practices in Washington state, Heather Fowler is turning her attention to the pork industry. This year's PhD Omenn Award Winner (the School's highest academic honor) is excited to put her degrees to work to improve food safety, protect people who produce pork, and prevent the spread of diseases from hogs to humans.

Ryan Kouchakji - Undergrad

Senior, Environmental Health. Why study Environmental Health? To learn more about topics that directly impact human lives. Environmental health courses teach about the direct interaction between humans and the water we drink, air we breathe, and food we eat.

Superbug Sleuth: Karen Michael tracks down routes of exposure to control infection
There are certain microscopic bacteria that make news headlines. It is their threat to public health that propels Karen Michael, who has spent her academic career studying these bacteria and ways people can get exposed.
Maxwell Schrempp Undergrad Student Profile

Senior, Environmental Health
Hometown: Kirkland, WA

The field directly impacts all of our lives, whether we realize it or not. It’s tied to everything from the water we drink, to the roads we drive on. I was drawn to the field because there are plenty of opportunities for one person to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

MPH student works with Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council to develop Medical Reserve Corps Toolkit
For Jane Vaccaro, whose initial practicum under the Colville Tribe fell through, the wildfires underscored the impact that a disaster can have on Northwest Tribal communities. She was hosted instead by the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council to help develop a Medical Reserve Corps toolkit.
Vy Tran Undergrad Student Profile

Senior, Environmental Health
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The occupational health management and industrial hygiene side of environmental health – I want to make the regulatory and managerial side supportive of safe work procedures. Right now, I work as a research intern with Trevor Peckham and Dr. Noah Seixas of the DEOHS, researching how work and non-work exposures contribute to stress in low-wage workers in Seattle.

Heather Fowler Grad Student Profile

PhD student, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

“Emerging environmental health issues are often multi-factorial and really complex and there is no one easy solution,” says Fowler, a PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. After veterinary school, Heather Fowler came to the UW School of Public Health to study the occupational health of animal workers.

Sara Mar - Undergrad

Senior, Environmental Health
Hometown: Shoreline, WA

I have always been interested in disease transmission, and was intrigued by how Environmental Health approached this topic from a prevention, rather than treatment, perspective. The major opened my eyes to how the environment plays such a huge role in human health.

Faculty Profiles

Getting people to work together can be a challenge, "but that is where all the interesting science happens," says Michael Yost, chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. He's working on building the department's interdisciplinary culture while partnering with businesses to improve sustainability. Next on his list? Focusing on the human microbiome as a theme for cross-cutting research.

Close Up December 2016: Joel Kaufman
Joel Kaufman is known as a scientist, physician and research mentor. He studies the links between air pollution and cardiovascular disease while wearing the many hats of mentor, physician, family man, and now interim dean. Find out more about his personal side as well as his vision for the School.
Now Retired, Charles Treser Still Teaches Healthy Homes is of Paramount Importance
Charles Treser retired this summer from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, where he has been on faculty for the past 36 years. Now, principal lecturer emeritus, he continues to teach, particuarly a subject he holds dear: Housing and Health (Environmental Health 443).
A Career Spent Building Bridges; Janice Camp Retires
After 35 years with the department, Principal Lecturer Janice Camp has retired. She began her career as a graduate student, working in and then directed the Field Research and Consultation (Field Group) group for years before heading the Continuing Education Programs. In these roles, Camp connected our department to workers, employers, health and safety professionals, and others in the professional practice community.
Faculty profile: Kristie Ebi
Kristie Ebi was one of the first experts in the US on global climate change and health. Today she works with developing countries to lessen the impact of climate change on their populations.

Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profile: Julie Tu, MS Environmental Health 2015

Julie Tu, 2015 MS Environmental Health graduate, uses her environmental health background as a Senior Consultant at Ramboll.

Tamia Boyer, MS Industrial Hygiene and Safety 1997

Tamia Boyer graduated UW SPH with a Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene and Safety in 1997, and now serves as a Senior Safety Consultant with the National Safety Council.

Alumni Profile: Anisa Ghadrshenas, BS Environmental Health 2008

Anisa Ghadrshenas, 2008 BS Environmental Health graduate, uses the analytical foundation from her coursework to develop policies with the World Health Organization.

Kazu Okumura, BS Environmental Health '08
2008 DEOHS Alumni Kazu Okumura provides analysis and guidance to the FSA on various food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics policies.
2017 Alumni Sara Mar

Sara Mar graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Health in 2017 and now works as a CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) Fellow.

Vy Tran
Vy Tran, '16, was driven to study environmental health after seeing how work in a tofu factory took a toll on her mother's mental and physical health. Today she's making an impact as an occupational health worker.
Joseph Coble, MSPH, 1984
Joseph Coble says his advice for current students is to challenge the status quo, to not accept someone’s judgment that reducing exposures and improving working conditions are not feasible. OSHA’s four-decade silica process reflects the need to be persistent and not give up.
Barbara Morrissey, MS, 1991
Barbara Fitzgerald Morrissey’s first job after graduate school took her to Olympia to investigate pesticide-related
illnesses for the Washington State Department of Health.  Two decades later, she is still there, helping translate
science into policy.
Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD, 1996
Chensheng (Alex) Lu has studied the effects of pesticides on humans, which began in our Pacific Northwest
Agricultural Safety and Health Center. He recently expanded his research to honeybees.
Toxicology Grad's Role in the Chemical Safety Act
Nancy Beck never imagined she would influence policies being made on Capitol Hill when she was a student in the department. A key part of Beck’s current role at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) is to actively engage with agencies on proposed policies, procedures, and guidance related to chemical risk assessment. She will focus in the coming year on the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century, signed into law by President Obama in June.
Jane Vaccaro
MPH '16, Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
Vivian Yu
Vivian Yu graduated from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's undergraduate program in 2011. She is now an M.D. Candidate at Georgetown University School of Medicine where she's expected to graduate in 2017. After graduation, Yu worked for the University of Washington's Gynecological Tissue Bank, then moved to Washington D.C. to serve as a member of Americorp, before attending medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Kelsi Couvrette
Kelsi Couvrette graduated from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's undergraduate program in 2010. She now works for Starbuck as a Global Retail Quality Specialist. She loves being able to talk about food safety with a variety of teams.
Photo of Robert Duff, credit: Anne Broache.
Robert Duff knows that certain environmental health issues can be contentious, especially with so many different stakeholders involved. He is currently a senior policy advisor to Governor Jay Inslee on natural resource and environmental issues.
Dalila Zelkanovic
Dalila Zelkanovic graduated from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's undergraduate program in 2014. She now works for the Clark County Health Department as an Environmental Health Specialist. Zelkanovic loves the the satisfaction of serving the public, and being on the frontlines of her evolving and developing community.
Wafa Tafesh Taco

Wafa Tafesh Taco graduated from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's undergraduate program in 2014. She now works for the Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water as a Public Health Advisor. Tafesh Taco loves that she gets the opportunity to work with many parts of the DOH's drinking water division. She gets to support the disinfection and coliform programs as well as get out in the field to see a water system in action.

Xiaoqiong "Christy" Huang
Xiaoqiong "Christy" Huang graduated from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health's undergraduate program in 2012. She now works as a Health and Enivronmental Investigator for Seattle and King County Public Health. Huang loves the opportunity to educate food workers, restaurant operators and the general public about the significance of food safety, thereby protecting people from foodborne illnesses.
Will Bond: Protecting Amazon Workers
Will Bond is passionate about protecting employees at one of the nation's largest on-line retailers from work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Boeing is part of the family for Brie Paske
Worker safety resonates for Breyan (Brie) Paske, in part because members of her family are employed in the manufacturing industry. Paske is a safety administrator with The Boeing Company in Everett.

Staff Profiles

Computing Support Director and Guru, Jim Hogan, Retires After 15-year Tenure
Prior to his retirement from the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) on May 31st, Jim Hogan had been at the helm of DEOHS’s Computing Support team for 15 years. His impact on the department, personnel, and infrastructure, will continue to make their mark for years to come.
Graduate Student Advocate Rory Murphy Retires After 17-Year Tenure
Graduate students recognized Rory Murphy at the Graduation Recognition Ceremony for her 17-year service as the department’s graduate program advisor. Murphy retires in August 2016.  Chair Michael Yost called her impact and influence “remarkable.”
Photo of Victoria Breckwich Vásquez
Victoria Breckwich Vásquez's lifelong endeavor has been to understand the challenges faced by her mother, a single mom from Peru who became a nurse in Los Angeles. Today, Vásquez channels her passions into improving the health of Latino communities, including a little-studied group of forestry workers in southern Oregon who are vulnerable to on-the-job injuries.