PATHWAYS | Department of Environmental and Occupational Health


My name is Dr. Jennifer Newman. My name is Rania A Sabty-daily. I’m Dr. Frankie Augustin and I am a part-time lecturer here, I’m an assistant professor, and I’m the Interim Department Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at CSUN. We prepare our students to protect human health through a better understanding of the environment, and by environment we mean the air, water, food, soil that humans are exposed to. We are focused on preparing our students to study the impact of the environment on human health but also the impact of humans on our environment. Especially in today’s day and age, we’ve got new issues arising in terms of climate change and extreme weather events so it’s sort of a two-fold focus there. Our department is the largest accredited EOH program in the country. It also is an Option-5 program. What that means is that it is a program that has been approved at the highest level of accreditation by the California Department of Public Health. Students who are applying for their jobs, whether it’s in California at the local level or across the country, they recognize, “Oh, you’re an EOH grad from CSUN. Excellent.” You’re just bumped up a little bit. You know, our faculty really care. The department is made up of wonderful faculty who have such an extensive background in environmental and occupational health. They are so passionate about our students and the knowledge that our students gain in our classroom. Our faculty are truly sharing real-life, real-world experience. It’s rare to be able to get a Bachelor’s degree and be able to work in that Bachelor’s degree. Typically you find that you have to get a Master’s degree or some additional training. In our program students, right off the gate, as soon as they graduate, they’re able to work. Every business, every industry really has an environmental health component. The thing about it, what makes it sort of difficult to understand or to explain is that you just don’t have that face to face interaction all the time. They’re usually behind-the-scenes making sure that, you know, the roof isn’t collapsing on your head. Making sure that you’re not breathing in harmful chemicals; making sure that the food that you’re eating is safe. These are jobs that can be in government at local, regional, and national levels. They can get jobs in consulting; they can get jobs in private industry. Many of our students work in non-government organizations or nonprofits. There are job opportunities in places like Disney or Anheuser Busch or the Getty Museum or even being a health inspector. It’s just vast just where a student can go, or a college graduate can go, in order to be employed. Jobs in this field are not going to go away. They’re very relevant to our everyday life and it’s part of technology and industrial development. The opportunities truly are endless and I think that’s something else that speaks to how unique our department is and how unique our field is really. This major is practitioner-based degree; they’ll be able to find something relevant in our minor, it nicely aligns with any other major. We will always be needing to buy food and that the food be safe for our consumption is always going to be a necessity. The practical applications extend from even just your day-to-day lives: learning how to cook your food properly, prevent mold exposure, things like that. Really anything that you are interested in, environmental health is somehow involved in that. I love this program, I love the students, I love the diversity of our students. Many of them run into our major accidentally and whichever way they get into our major, it’s always exciting to see them grow into it and grow to love it. Students should choose EOH at CSUN because we are recognized all across the country. We are the largest accredited program in the nation. But also, there’s nothing like real-world experience and so our faculty really try to bring their own practical job experience into the classroom. You’ll never have someone who’s just reading PowerPoint slides; that will never happen. You know, we are one of those programs which is unique; we’re one of those programs where we know our students’ names. They’re gonna get a lot of one-on-one attention. And so I hear all the time, from my office in the department, students who say that this is the best major; the faculty are the best faculty. There’s just so much that a student can gain from being in our department and majoring in Environmental and Occupational Health.

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