EKU Update HomeA Newsletter for Eastern Kentucky University Faculty & Staff
Volume 4 • Number 12
Feb. 18, 2003
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In this issue:

The Centers for Disease Control official who managed CDC investigations into recent disease outbreaks on international cruise ships will teach for the next four years at EKU, thanks to a nationally unique partnership between the University and the CDC.

Capt. Dan Harper, deputy chief and senior environmental health officer for the CDC?s Vessel Sanitation Program since 1996, is a special faculty member in EKU?s Department of Environmental Health, the nation?s largest baccalaureate-degree program.

?This is the only agreement of its type in the United States and another step in the placement of EKU?s Environmental Health Program in the national forefront of undergraduate programs in the field,? said Dr. Darryl Barnett, chair of EKU?s Department of Environmental Health. ?We?re extremely pleased with the assignment of Captain Harper. EKU, the CDC and the National Institutes of Environmental Health intend for it to serve as a model for duplication by other academic programs.?

Barnett said the purpose of the partnership is to:

? Increase the visibility of the U.S. Public Health Service and attract more students into the commissioned officer component of the Department of Health and Human Services.

? Increase the number of minority applicants to the program.

? Reduce the time for applying current information and research findings from CDC and field practice to the classroom.

? Establish a model for academic/professional practice collaboration.

? Develop models for applied research collaboration between students, faculty and federal institutions.

? Develop a leadership institute for environmental health.

Harper joined the Public Health Service in 1976. Other assignments have included the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and eight years with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

A sister agency of CDC, ATSDR was created by Congress to provide health advice and assistance to the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local health and environmental authorities responsible for cleaning up more than 900 hazardous waste sites nationwide. Harper eventually became the deputy director of Office of Regional Operations in Atlanta, managing 10 regional offices and 30 senior-level staff.

While graduates of EKU?s environmental health program are employed in both the private and public sectors of environmental health, many are selected each year for commissioning by the U.S. Public Health Service. The students then are assigned environmental health responsibilities in several branches of the federal government, including the Indian Health Service, Coast Guard, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Bureau of Prisons.

?Since 9/11, the need for environmental health graduates has accelerated to the point that most employers will not be able to find qualified individuals with academic credentials matching the job responsibilities,? Barnett said. ?There are an estimated 150,000 vacancies in the private sector and an estimated 30,000 federal and state openings.

?Environmental health is best defined as protecting people and populations from chemical, biological and physical threats to their health and sense of well-being,? he added. ?Because of our increased awareness of radiological, biological and chemical risk, the demand for professionals for the war on terrorism means new and challenging work opportunities for our graduates.?

EKU also offers a new executive-style master?s degree program in public health that features an extensive environmental health option. Harper

More News
EKU?s Justice & Safety Center has received a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to work closely with the Center for Rural Development to address issues of interoperability between law enforcement, public safety and ?first responder? agencies in Eastern Kentucky and to test prototypes of emerging safety and security technologies for the national justice and safety community.

Two business students from The Hogeschool Brabant in The Netherlands are studying at EKU this semester, thanks to a student/faculty exchange agreement between the two institutions.

Renee Kulp is the new athletics ticket manager at EKU, Interim Athletics Director Jack Lengyel announced recently.

The Touchstone Energy All-A Classic drew players, students and fans from all across the Commonwealth for five days of basketball action. Here, Ali Shubert of Christian Academy of Louisville is defended by Tabatha Witt of Betsy Layne High School.

Matthew Lutz, Louisville, does his part for Phi Kappa Tau?s presentation, ?Cars,? at the Greek Sing competition. Greek Week activities concluded with the Executive Ball and an awards ceremony.

A recent exhibit at the State Capitol showcased the scholarly, creative and research accomplishments of eight EKU students. Pictured with President Glasser, front, in Frankfort Feb. 6 were, first row, left to right, Kathryn Takacs, Kristen Kerns, Mandi Benson, Suresh Sah; middle row, left to right, Kelli Harris, Sara Pace, Jordan Hall, JoAnn Sturgill; and back row, left to right, faculty sponsors Dave Marden, Jon McChesney, Frank Shaw, and Bill Farrar.