When did you graduate from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health?
2005 (then Faulty of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies)
What additional degrees or training do you have?
BSc – Honours Environmental Science and Minor Political Science, University of British Columbia
How did you become interested in your field?
Occupational Hygiene was a natural synthesis of my interests: public health and environmental science. I learned about the field in my fourth year at UBC as I completed my fourth year thesis. I wanted to have a role in the prevention of disease and injury.
Tell us about any interesting projects you are working on
Currently at the WSIB, I manage a caseload of claims and provide workplace assessments of chemical, physical and biological exposure agents by performing current and historical exposure assessment for individual claims, or for a group of claims. It is really interesting and challenging work.
I can honestly say much of my work to date has been interesting. Following graduation, I worked as a consultant for almost ten years and in-house occupational hygienist for five years. When I worked in consulting, I had the opportunity to work for many different employers across many different sectors (i.e. mining, industrial, construction, military, government and healthcare). One of the projects involved travelling to northern Canada to perform work for a diamond mine. The amount of work to extract a beautiful sparkly diamond is quite impressive. One of the most satisfying aspects of my work is that I get to learn about different work processes and how things are made while trying to make a positive contribution to the field of occupational hygiene and safety.
What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
In School, I learned about the evolution of Ontario health and safety and compensation laws. In my current work, I perform many historical exposure assessments, so I get to actually see the actual evolution of these laws through the content of past documents e.g. occupational hygiene reports, inspection reports. I enjoy history and law.
In what ways has your experience at the School had an impact on your career and who you are today?
The University of Toronto was instrumental in building the foundation of my career. In addition to the academic portion of it, I met many people during my time in School that are still part of my circle of friends and contacts. Given our shared history and interest, we continue to support each other professional and personally. More can be accomplished when you work together, than when you work alone or at odds.
What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
Build as much diverse experience as you can in the infancy of your career, engage with your relevant professional associations, stay involved in alumni programs, and maintain relationships. Not only does this broaden your network — an invaluable asset — but you will never stop learning.