EHS Alumni Help Students Chart Futures in Environmental Health

The event was held at the International House (photo by California Magazine)

Alumni from the division of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health met with current students to share first-hand information and experiences about their careers in Environmental Health. The professional networking event, the first of its kind for EHS, was conceived by recent graduates Nina Townsend and Michelle Stewart (MPH 11), Program Coordinator Norma Firestone and Professor Emeritus Robert Spear.

Ten alumni, six faculty and almost thirty graduate students attended the event held on campus at the International House in April 2011.

EHS faculty Michael Bates, Katharine Hammond, John Balmes, Nina Holland, Steve Rappaport and Spear helped to facilitate connections between students and alumni who shared wide-ranging academic and professional interests.

Alumni included Paurene Duramand, MPH, PhD 05, Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, MPH 06, Michael M. Fischman MD, MPH 82 (COEH Advisory Chair), Chris Kirkham, MPH 08, David Pennise, PhD 03, Donna Seid, MS 79, Candace Vahlsing, MS, GHE 08, Michael Williams, MS 75, David Zalk, PhD, MPH 94 and  Amod Pokhrel, PhD 10.

Duramand commented that, as a student, she always appreciated faculty and alumni who took the time to come speak about their careers. "Their informal guidance and encouragement helped me get a better sense of what I wanted to be 'when I grew up.' It is in this spirit that I happily return to my alma mater."

She adds that there are many resources out there for students; it's a matter of making connections and being able to tap into them at the right time.

"I really enjoyed the vitality and passion of the students who are committed to a better future ― for themselves and for the environment around them," noted Duramand. "Their energy is contagious."

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