Awards 2018


Glen Abel

Distinguished Staff award, DEOHS

Headshot of Glen Abel.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

Glen Abel is a research scientist investigating how exposure to environmental pollutants, including heavy metals, affects the nervous system and cognitive function of children and adults. Abel provides staffing support for other researchers in Professor Zhengui Xia’s lab and essential continuity on complex experiments, research grants, safety compliance and animal welfare.

Hannah Curtis

Staff Community Service award, School of Public Health

Headshot of Hannah Curtis.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

Hannah Curtis is a DEOHS research coordinator who co-leads a study documenting the risks faced by women working in construction and pilot-testing a mentorship program to help women in trades advocate for themselves on the job. The award recognizes her volunteer service addressing health issues, reproductive health rights and ending violence against girls and women.


Tania Busch Isaksen

Outstanding faculty mentor, DEOHS

Headshot of Tania Busch Isaksen. Photo: Sarah Fish.

Tania Busch Isaksen, lecturer in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, was named the 2018 outstanding faculty mentor by the Graduate Student Advisory Committee for her approachability and dedication to her students’ research and career goals. Busch Isaksen serves as the DEOHS undergraduate program coordinator. She is also a clinical assistant professor in the UW Department of Health Services.


Miriam Calkins

Gilbert S. Omenn award for academic excellence, School of Public Health

Headshot of Miriam Calkins. Photo by Sarah Fish.

Miriam Calkins, who received her PhD in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, studies occupational heat exposure and injury risk in construction workers and the health effects of climate change. A study she led found increased risk for heat illness and dehydration on hotter days for people of working ages. This schoolwide honor is based on academic contributions to public health, community engagement and leadership potential.

Joseph Dempsey

Distinguished Teaching award, School of Public Health

Headshot of Joseph Dempsey.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

Joseph Dempsey, a DEOHS doctoral student, serves as a teaching assistant who is lauded by his students for his creative instructional style. He is known for using environmental themes from popular culture, including Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax,” to illustrate classroom lessons.

Graeme Carvlin

Outstanding PhD Student, DEOHS

Headshot of Graeme Carvlin.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

Graeme Carvlin worked with DEOHS faculty and undergraduate students to build a system of 40 air monitors installed at the US-Mexico border to gather data about pollution in areas where idling cars wait to cross. The air-quality monitors he designed cost significantly less than existing sensors, and Carvlin’s work played an important role in recent legislation in California that uses revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program to fund air monitoring across the state.

Meagan Jackson

Outstanding Master’s Student, DEOHS

Headshot of Meagan Jackson.  Photo by Kristin Caldwell.

Meagan Jackson worked with the Washington State Department of Health to evaluate the effectiveness of disinfecting septic systems with ultraviolet light. Her work produced several research publications and conference presentations and is likely to influence revised state policies on the disinfection of septic systems located near sensitive waterways and aquifers.

Ali Everhart

Outstanding Undergraduate Student, DEOHS

Headshot of Ali Everhart.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

As an Environmental Health major, Ali Everhart’s internship took her to Arizona, where she worked with the Indian Health Service on food safety and mosquito control. The experience helped pave the way for her new job as a field environmental health officer serving tribal communities in remote western Alaska.

Vy Nguyen

Jack Hatlen Scholar

Headshot of Vy Nguyen.  Photo courtesy of Vy Nguyen.

Vy Nguyen is an undergraduate student in the department’s Occupational and Environmental Health program interested in how environmental exposures affect young children. As part of an internship with the Snohomish Health District, she will work with a team to help develop a health assessment protocol for use in child care settings.

Rachel Shaffer

Russell L. Castner Endowed Student Research Fund (PhD level), DEOHS

Headshot of Rachel Shaffer.  Photo courtesy of Rachel Shaffer.

Rachel Shaffer is a PhD student in Environmental Toxicology studying the links between exposure to pollutants and human health. Her focus is on driving policies that can reduce health risks and prevent disease while also protecting the environment.

Kori VanDerGeest

Russell L. Castner Endowed Student Research Fund (Master’s level), DEOHS

Headshot of Kori VanDerGeest.  Photo by Sarah Fish.

Kori VanDerGeest, a Master of Public Health student, focuses on the intersection between environmental health, environmental justice and policy. With support from the Castner fund, she is designing and implementing a well water contamination workshop for community leaders in Washington's lower Yakima Valley.