Students: Future IH Heroes

Meet James and Jordan! Considered part of the future of the industrial hygiene profession, James and Jordan pursue a passion for worker health and safety while sustaining and protecting the environment.


Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Alma Mater: University of Louisiana (BS)
Certifications: None
Interests: basketball, bowling, and SCUBA diving

IH Hero - James

James grew up the quintessential jock. An accomplished forward on his high school basketball team, he received a full scholarship to the University of Louisiana, where he discovered a knack for chemistry. While working for a gas refinery right out of college, James found a passion for safety and the environment after volunteering to help clean up a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

After hearing stories and talking to several influential people at the volunteer base camp, he decided to enter the field of industrial hygiene. Currently interning at a major oil company, he is nearing the end of his postdoctoral study and considering a field position in the oil and gas industry to prevent future environmental and worker accidents.


Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Alma Mater: University of Illinois (BA)
Certifications: First Aid/CPR/AED, OSHA 10
Interests: writing, traveling, and photography

IH Hero - Jordan

Coming from a hardscrabble neighborhood in East St. Louis, Jordan helped support her family from an early age by working as a dishwasher for a local restaurant. The management introduced the NIOSH Safety Matters program to the staff; it inspired her to do more to help protect her fellow workers.

A gifted writer, Jordan graduated college and worked as a reporter for several regional magazines, writing comprehensive and award-winning articles on workplace safety and labor laws. Determined to do even more, she landed a position in a corporate safety department for a regional construction firm. She is exploring options for postgraduate education in safety or law, recently acquired her OSHA 10 certificate, an

Young Professionals: Expanding Their Leadership Horizons

Meet Melinda and Marcus! They’re early career professionals with some experience under their proverbial belts. Now they're expanding their career outlook by taking the lead on projects and volunteer groups hoping the experiences will elevate them into future leadership roles within the profession.


Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alma Maters: University of Pittsburgh (BS); University of Tennessee (MPH)
Certifications: ASP, STS, First Aid/CPR/AED
Interests: Hockey, photography, and gardening

IH Hero - Melinda

Born to a multi-generational steel mill family, Melinda grew up working in one of Pittsburgh’s last remaining steel mills. Taking advantage of a union’s scholarship offer, she went to college as a pre-med student, but quickly found it was not for her. Switching to a BS in health services, she graduated and was quickly scooped up by a Tennessee-based consulting firm that recruited her at an AIHce Career Development fair.

After securing her MPH, she is now part of an advisory team at the construction site of a large containment facility for the Department of Energy. While her work in monitoring workplace safety practices and procedures is fulfilling, she is already looking ahead. She began studying for her CIH and was recently elected as secretary of her AIHA Local Section.


Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Alma Maters: University of Illinois, Chicago (BS); University of Illinois, Chicago (MS, PhD)
Certifications: OHST
Interests: Hiking and camping, actively involved in local school board and PTA

IH Hero - Marcus

Marcus was inspired to build a career in public safety after seeing the debilitating effects of asbestos in his grandfather’s life. Though he graduated with a BS in biology and worked in the safety office of a large construction firm, he decided he wanted more. Intrigued by his prior studies in occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS), he diligently pursued and acquired a MS and PhD through UIC’s OEHS Education and Research Center. The center recently placed him in a position at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Marcus is actively involved in his AIHA Local Section, helping to organize virtual workshops on current safety topics and serving on a volunteer committee for the national association. He is in the midst of acquiring his CIH and is actively looking for more leadership opportunities.

Professionals: Mentors and Teachers Sharing Knowledge

Meet Ramone and Rebecca! Seasoned professionals, both Ramone and Rebecca find themselves immersed in various pursuits within their careers. Both have begun to share their knowledge and experience with others as they establish themselves as mentors and leaders within the profession.


Hometown: Winter Park, Florida
Alma Maters: University of Central Florida (BS); University of South Florida (MPH, PhD)
Certifications: Epidemiology, CIH, CIC
Interests: Community volunteer work, local theater, travel

IH Hero - Rebecca

After serving in the U.S. Army for four years after high school, Rebecca took advantage of the educational opportunities offered to achieve a college degree. Working for a software developer that specialized in health information technology, she made her first forays into epidemiology. She soon found that she had a knack for data research and a passion for public health, receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees in short order.

An active leader within the AIHA Local Section, Rebecca taught future professionals for several years at UCF before leaving academic life. She is now with a private consulting firm that works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on a long-term health technology initiative.


Hometown: Lubbock, Texas
Alma Maters: Texas State University (BS); University of Texas at Austin (PhD)
Certifications: CSP, CET, CIH
Interests: Horseback riding, family camping trips, charity work

IH Hero - Ramone

Ramone always wanted to be an educator, and started teaching high school science after earning his BS in education from Texas State. In the aftermath of a major hurricane, he and his family helped the community recover from the extensive devastation. Seeing first-hand the lingering health hazards posed by the damage from the mass flooding, Ramone decided to pursue a PhD in Public Health.

Wanting to help safety professionals and first responders be better prepared, he joined a consulting firm that instructs IH professionals in new and emerging technologies. Ramone is now the head of their training division, chairs AIHA’s Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Committee, and recently contributed to updating AIHA’s body of knowledge on IAQ practices.

Senior Professionals: Industry Experts and Leaders

Meet Sarah! At the peak of her career, Sarah positions herself as a thought leader, industry expert, leader, mentor, and more to many inside and outside the profession. She pursues multiple passions within her work, providing influence and experience to industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals worldwide.


Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Alma Maters: New York University (BA, BS), Yale University (MPH, PhD), University of Oregon (PhD)
Certifications: CIH, CSP
Interests: Gardening, family time, local chamber orchestra

IH Hero - Sarah

A gifted violinist, Sarah attended college on a full music scholarship and graduated with two degrees: one in music and the other in biology. While trying to start her classical music career, she answered an ad for an insurance company looking for biology majors. She spent the next decade inspecting facilities for insurance compliance and learned the fundamentals of industrial hygiene.

Sarah discovered her life's calling in IH after deployment to Ground Zero's cleanup efforts. She went onto complete her postgraduate studies and served on AIHA’s Board of Directors for several years, before relocating her family to the Pacific Northwest when offered an executive role within a scientific research firm. Now semi-retired, Sarah consults for a few international manufacturers and she is in constant demand as a keynote speaker at IH conferences around the world.​

Emeritus Professionals Professionals: Thought Leaders and Innovators

Meet Stephen! Retired but not reclusive, Stephen enjoys spending his days relaxing, but is still also engaged with the profession he has loved for decades. A thought leader and inspirational innovator, he provides guidance and knowledge on critical global IH professional topics.


Hometown: Bozeman, Montana
Alma Mater: Montana Tech (BS, MS)
Certifications: CIH, CSP, CAE, LEED
Interests: Mountain climbing, skiing, hunting

IH Hero - Stephen

Fascinated with adventure from early on, Stephen loved to mountain climb around the United States with his father. He graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering and took a job in Canada, working at remote mining sites in the far northern reaches. After several years as a health and safety coordinator, he returned to the USA to further his education.

Intrigued with the rising interest in sustainability, he joined a regional firm and spent several years working towards transforming mining sites into a more ‘green’ platform. Stephen eventually retired as a top executive for a multi-national consulting firm and a leading expert in strategic sustainability. He also spent several years on the Board of Directors of AIHA and the Product Stewardship Society and now actively advances sustainability strategies through public policies and legislation at the state and territorial levels in the USA and Canada.

Be an IH Hero!

Wondering what it’s like to be an IH Hero? Step alongside one of our heroes and see if you can save the refinery from destruction!