Environmental Health and Safety Manager Stays Up-to-Date at UCSC Extension


- Shelley Odell, HAZWOPER Alumna

Term : January, 2014
Department : EHS
Program : Occupational S&H MGT

When Shelley Odell graduated from college, she realized that she had developed a strong scientific foundation, but like many recent grads, she wasn’t sure how to apply this knowledge to her job. Shortly after landing her first position, her employer referred her to UCSC Extension’s Occupational Health and Safety program to learn the latest regulatory standards. After taking a few courses, Odell discovered practical ways to apply her passion for chemistry and environmental science at work, and went on to pursue the certificate.

“UCSC Extension’s program was an excellent way to bridge the knowledge I learned in college to real-world applications,” she says. “The value of the certificate was [that it taught me] how to do my job on a day-to-day basis, how to deploy training, how to read regulations, analyze risk…that’s huge.”

Since completing her certificate, she has returned often for annual HAZWOPER and HAZMAT trainings, which are designed to keep EH&S professionals up-to-date.

“Whenever there’s an update in regulations, we have to revise what we do,” she says. “One thing I love about our instructor is that he teaches you how to focus on what information really pertains to the work you do.”

As an environmental health and safety manager, Odell is responsible for 50 projects at her company, which means that she must stay current on any changes to regulatory policies. Because she must often train new employees, she appreciated Extension’s focus on implementing health and safety training.

“The certificate program taught me how to talk to people and explain why we do what we do, and how we’re going to get there,” she says. “There was a course on how to develop and deliver training—something I was really afraid of, but now I provide tons of training at work and I really enjoy it.”

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