Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator Discovers New Passion at UCSC Extension

dana torres

- Dana Torres

Term : September, 2013
Department : EHS
Program : Environmental S&H MGT

When Dana Torres started taking Environmental Health and Safety courses at UCSC Extension, she was surprised and excited to learn skills that she could take back to work the very next day.

“Whenever I took a class, something would pop up at work that directly correlated,” she says. “A lot of projects that we did at school transitioned into what we did at work.”

Torres had been referred to Extension through her employer, where she was initially hired to work at the front desk and soon transitioned into a new role as environmental health and safety coordinator. She had to get up to speed on relevant industry regulations, and found that her instructors and fellow students were excellent resources when she had questions.

“Being able to meet other students who worked in the field and network with them and the professors has been invaluable,” she says. “I’m still in contact with a lot of them, so if a question comes up that I’m not sure about, I have a lot of people to reach out to. EH&S is not a cookie cutter profession—people specialize in different industries. There were a lot of things I would not have known how to do without the knowledge I gained at UCSC Extension.”

Torres appreciated the practical tips and industry know-how covered in courses such as Safety and Health Program Development and Implementation. As an added benefit, the online courses, as well as night and evening classes, made it easier for her to keep up in the program while working full-time. She is on track to complete the dual certificate in Environmental Health and Safety Management. In the meantime, she's embracing the compelling challenges of a career in EH&S.

“I like that it’s never the same,” she says. “You come to work and there are some obstacles that you have to address, all for the better of the employees and guests. You want them all to have a good experience, and it gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment [to be able to provide that].”


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