Celebrating our 2020 award winners

| Jolayne Houtz
Headshots of Rebekah Petroff, Nicole Errett, and Michael Treptor

DEOHS students, staff and faculty recognized for their achievements and service

This month, students, faculty and staff from the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) were honored by the department and the UW School of Public Health (SPH) for their contributions to scientific research, education and community service in 2020.

DEOHS Outstanding Faculty Mentor: Nicole Errett

headshot Nicole Errett


Errett was selected by the Graduate Student Advisory Committee for this award. She is a DEOHS assistant professor and a disaster and public health policy researcher. Errett was honored for her “superwoman-like” ability to shepherd students through their academic pursuits and future career decisions, combined with her deep concern about their well-being. Read more about Errett. 









DEOHS Distinguished Staff Award: Michael Treptor

Headshot Michael Treptor


Treptor joined DEOHS in 2013 and serves as the facilities manager at the department’s Roosevelt Building location and as core service laboratory manager. He is the primary staff member on-site at Roosevelt managing facilities issues and working with the building’s 100-plus occupants.









SPH Communicating Public Health to the Public Award: Marissa Baker, Nicole Errett, Peter Rabinowitz

Communicating accurate, timely information to the public has rarely been more important than during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. SPH selected these three DEOHS faculty members for this award.

Headshot Bakerheadshot PeterBaker was nominated for her responsiveness to dozens of media calls, taking part in multiple print and broadcast interviews during the pandemic, focusing on measures needed to keep workers healthy and safe.

Errett engaged early in communicating about the pandemic with the media and other members of the public, including policymakers, focusing on risk communications and overseeing development of multilingual videos about COVID-19 targeting vulnerable populations.

Rabinowitz was one of the first UW faculty members to engage with local, national and international media on the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. Rabinowitz was noted for having “the gift of being able to convey scientific credibility and authority while also sharing information and data in a way that is broadly accessible.”



Rebekah Petroff, DEOHS Outstanding PhD Student

headshot Petroff


Petroff is a PhD student in Environmental Toxicology who was recognized for her exceptional research, teaching and community outreach. She studies the neurological effects of domoic acid, a toxin produced by some algae, and teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the department. Read more about Petroff.









Kaitlyn Kelly, DEOHS Outstanding Master’s Student

headshot Kelly


Kelly is an MPH student in Environmental and Occupational Health who is honored for her research on wildfire smoke and the development of public health messaging and training materials about the use of N95 respirator masks in wildfire events. Read more about Kelly.









Alexa Yadama, DEOHS Outstanding Bachelor’s Student

headshot Yadama


Yadama is a BS student in Environmental Health who received the award for her scientific curiosity and dedication to helping others as a student mentor, peer adviser and ultimate frisbee coach. Read more about Yadama.









Sean Gombart, winner of the Jack Hatlen Scholar Award

Gombert headshot


Gombart is a BS student in Environmental Health serving as an intern this summer with the Chelan-Douglas Health District.


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