OEE Alumni Profiles | Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

OEE Alumni Profiles


AllenElizabeth Allen, PhD, MPH

Post-Doctoral Associate
University of Minnesota

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?
I was a research coordinator in the Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine while pursuing a MPH from the University of Minnesota. I also worked as a student paraprofessional at the Minnesota Department of Health in the foodborne disease surveillance unit. I then started my PhD while working as a research assistant in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences before enrolling in the OEE program.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?
I was very interested in epidemiological methods and wanted to pursue a field that was rigorous, interesting, and that would expose me to a wide range of topics. Occupational and environmental epidemiology was a great field to learn about exposures and population characteristics that affect health, in addition to advanced statistical and epidemiological methods.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?
I was very interested in public health issues and epidemiology methods. The University of Minnesota School Of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Sciences offered a flexible program in which I could explore my public health interests with the diverse courses the school offers as well as pursue a course load heavy in epidemiology and statistical analysis. I was attracted to the programs’ flexibility and the diversity of the courses, the students, and the faculty research.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program? If you have already commenced a position, please elaborate upon that.
I am currently a post-doctoral associate in the Cancer-Related Health Disparities Education and Career Development Program at the University of Minnesota. I’d like to pursue a career in academic research with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. The OEE program provided me with such range of experience that I am able to apply knowledge and skills gained working in occupational epidemiology in the field of health disparities research.

What would you say to a student considering the program?
The faculty are incredibly helpful, the research interests are diverse and, overall, this is a fantastic group to be a part of. Throughout the program I felt like I was supported, respected, given opportunities to advance my skills, and exposed to a variety of research topics. The program prepared me for a research career and could be applied to many public health fields.

lambertChristine Lambert, PhD

M.D. Candidate
University of Minnesota

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?
I graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. and a major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Following college I spent one year working at Brigham and Woman’s Channing Laboratory as part of a lab investigating the genetic epidemiology of Asthma and COPD. I entered the University of Minnesota Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD program) in 2006, finishing two years of medical school prior to the start of my graduate training.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?
Occupational and environmental epidemiology incorporates a wide range of both conditions and exposures making it a diverse and interesting area to work in.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?
I was looking to enter an MD/PhD program that offered graduate degrees in epidemiology. The University of Minnesota has both an excellent Medical School and School of Public Health, providing ideal training for me.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program? If you have already commenced a position, please elaborate upon that.
I am working towards a career in academic medicine that would combine research, clinical time, teaching, and eventually administrative work. At this time, I plan to complete training in Internal Medicine with a clinical and research focus in the field of Pulmonology.

What would you say to a student considering the program?
The OEE program provides the opportunity to work with great faculty who have expertise in a variety of areas, and are committed to teaching and giving students ownership of their projects. The University of Minnesota is an institution that thrives on collaboration and cross-disciplinary studies, creating unique and timely research.

austin-bellAustin Bell

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?
Bachelors’ of Science in Geography at The University of Iowa,
GIS Intern for the Office of Sustainability at the University of Iowa,
Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of Iowa

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?
My interests in geographic/spatial modeling of infectious diseases and how climate change affects human health led me to occupational and environmental epidemiology.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?
The variety of courses offered, prestige of the program and the helpfulness of Environmental Health and Sciences faculty and staff were all major factors in why I chose the University of Minnesota.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program?
I would like to work as an epidemiologist in a state health department.

What would you say to a student considering the program?
It’s a multidisciplinary field that allows you to combine a lot of different interests. Everyone works and lives in a specific environment, so it is incredibly relevant to people’s lives. I believe it is an area that has a lot of room for potential for growth and new findings.

craig-meyerCraig S. Meyer, PhD

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?

Before enrolling in the OEE program, I had completed a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health Sciences, worked as a student intern at the Minnesota Department of Health, and worked in Behavioral Health Services at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?

I was very interested in methodological research in occupational and environmental epidemiology.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?

I am originally from Minnesota. However, as I was looking at different graduate programs, I realized that the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota had a lot to offer in terms of programs, training opportunities, and faculty mentors.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program?

I hope to work as a quantitative epidemiologist, providing statistical and methodological expertise in a research environment.

What would you say to a student considering the program?

The OEE program is a great opportunity that provides excellent training, faculty mentorship, and research collaboration. Students are encouraged to develop and explore their individual research interests, while gaining valuable experience in communicating their work. Students can feel confident that upon graduation, they will have gained valuable skills that will allow them to be competitive in the job market.

odoNnaemeka Odo, PhD

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?
Before enrolling in the OEE program, I had graduated from medical school and practiced as a physician for a year in Nigeria, West Africa. With my interest in global health, I enrolled in the M.P.H program at the University of Minnesota School of public health, in the Environmental Health Sciences Division.
With the research experience during my M.P.H and with an opportunity to further extend that experience and training to doctoral level training, I seized the opportunity to enroll in the OEE program also at the University of Minnesota.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?
My interest in occupational and environmental epidemiology extends from the great opportunities it provides to be part of key research that aims at understanding occupational and environmental exposure-related public health challenges. Its relevance also stems from the wide applicability to various fields of public health epidemiology.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?
The University of Minnesota is continually a top ten school of public health nationwide and its researchers, academics and instructors are among the best in the country. This results in cutting edge out-of-the-box thinking and attracts world class researchers all year round to study within its walls.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program?
My target job, on completion of the program, is as an occupational or a public health epidemiologist with emphasis on occupational epidemiology, medicine and health policy.

What would you say to a student considering the program?
It is a good, competitive, demanding program for a reason. This OEE program makes you better and more competitive globally in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology.

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