Virtual Fall Symposium

Resiliency & Change | October 13-14, 2021

As our universities see a rapid return to pre-COVID activity, EH&S professionals find themselves at the brink of change. The goal of this program is to capture the shifts in thinking and working, now with higher stakes involved. From changes to laboratory inspections, to the ergonomics of shared (hotel and work) spaces, EH&S professionals find themselves balancing risks in a new paradigm. Let’s share the best practices, learning tools, and lessons learned so that we can build resilience.

MEMBERS: please sign into your account in order for your member discount to be applied. When done correctly it will read "Event Fees (Includes automatic member discount of: $60.00) - $199"

This year, CSHEMA will be offering (for the last time) an institution rate for the Fall Symposium. The institution rate is $499.00 and covers registration for current members at your institution. Any attendee that is listed under the registration for your institution must also be members under your institutional membership.

  • ONE person from each institution must register for the event

  • Attendees must be confirmed prior to registration 

  • A copy of the payment receipt AND a list of attendees must be sent to central office. CSHEMA central office will then send the listed attendees a promocode to register for the event.

  • Attendees listed under the registration for your institution must also be members under your institutional membership


***All times listed are in CDT

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

  10:00 AM – 10:05 AM

Welcome from CSHEMA President
Meagan Fitzpatrick, President

  10:05 AM – 11:05 AM

Coherent Communications in Chaotic Times
Amy Orders

  11:05 AM – 12:05 PM

Vendor Spotlight | Safety Stratus
Industry & Academia: Lessons Learned in EHS Software Implementation

  12:05 PM – 12:15 PM

   12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Epidemiological Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 on Campus:
An Integrated Approach to Saliva, Wastewater, and Diagnostic Testing

Aydin Nazmi

    1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Vendor Spotlight | ACS Publications
ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry and the Developing Portfolio

    2:15 PM – 2:30 PM


    2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

The 2020 Safety Dance
Maddie McMurray

    3:30 PM – 3:45 PM

One-on-One Speed Networking Session

    3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Adapting to a Rapidly Changing Regulatory Environment
Scott Bourdon

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

  10:00 AM – 10:05 AM

Welcome from CSHEMA Vice President
Beth Welmaker

  10:05 AM – 11:05 AM

Are We Still Getting Too Many Things Wrong? 
Now is the Best Time to Change Them!

Jonathan Klane

  11:05 AM – 12:05 PM

Vendor Spotlight | SafeTraces
In the Era of a Pandemic & Beyond:
Evaluating Ventilation Solutions through Field Data

  12:05 PM – 12:15 PM


    12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Being Prepared When the World Tilts: Working on the Fundamentals
Stephanie McChesney

      1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Vendor Spotlight | Rypos
Reducing Harmful Emissions from On Campus Diesel Generator Exhaust

     2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Evaluation, Training & Design of a University Home Ergonomics Program
Neil Carlson

     3:30 PM – 3:45 PM

One-on-One Speed Networking Session

     3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Safety Training for Academic Theater Programs
Tracy Stark

     4:45 PM

Closing Remarks

Session Descriptions

Coherent Communications in Chaotic Times

Presented by Amy Orders, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Environmental Health and Safety

2020-2021 proved to be the era of simultaneous, multi-layer challenges. Using every available communication option, safety and preparedness programming aligned salient information, limited chatter and focused the action needed for campus.  Using Google Datastudio, Google Sites and Zapier, NC State automated updates on health and safety, emergencies and compliance tracking for campus projects. Managing projects during remote campus operations took communications and automations to a new level.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Review effective communication strategies during crisis
  • Consider stakeholder communication expectations
  • Review open source communication options and software
  • Reflect on program efficacies and easy improvements  

About the presenter
Amy Orders is the director of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity and assistant director of EHS at NC State. She has over twenty years of safety and emergency management experience across medical, industrial and higher education settings.

Epidemiological Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 on Campus:
An Integrated Approach to Saliva, Wastewater, and Diagnostic Testing

Presented by Aydin Nazmi, Professor, Cal Poly

A COVID-19 public health case study from one CSU campus during the 2020-2021 academic year. In 2020-2021, Cal Poly SLO was one of the only CSU campuses to host a range of in-person activities including classes and residential housing, internal COVID-19 laboratories, and a wastewater testing program.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn about public health strategies
  • Cover findings related to the surveillance and diagnostic testing programs implemented at Cal Poly SLO during the pandemic

About the presenter
Aydin Nazmi is an epidemiologist and professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he currently serves as Presidential Faculty Fellow to COVID-19 Response and Preparedness. Dr. Nazmi is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, Expert Scientific Advisor to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and president of epi-intel, an epidemiology consulting firm. He has been recognized with the President’s Community Service Award at Cal Poly, the Distinguished Educator Award from the California Faculty Association, and the Wang Family Excellence Award for service, the highest honor in the California State University system.

The 2020 Safety Dance

Presented by Maddie McMurray, EH&S Coordinator, La Jolla Institute for Immunology

As with many employers, La Jolla Institute for Immunology’s (LJI) response to the COVID-10 stay-at-home order was one of temporary accommodations, including but not limited to ergonomics, safety training, and research hiatuses. Almost 18 months into the pandemic, we now look back with 2020 hindsight (pun intended) at myriad innovations we have created around what constitutes current workspaces and practices and the safety considerations that have been implemented. One of the greatest challenges of creating safe environments for employees when they work from home is lessened controls for variables in equipment and structural environments. This presentation will discuss our past and current obstacles, potential solutions, and future-looking threats to research and workplace safety in the new age of flexible work environments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will leave this presentation and subsequent roundtable with ideas on how to improve online training offerings.
  • Assist offsite employees with workstation ergonomics challenges.
  • Take resources for their own organization to use in the future.

About the presenter
Maddie McMurray is the EH&S Coordinator at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Within this role, she serves as the institute’s ergonomic specialist, assists with creating and maintaining trainings and records, and oversees medical surveillance records. Maddie’s background is in Environmental Studies and she started at LJI the fall after completing her undergraduate degree. Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, baking, and spending time with her cat, Tip Toe.

Adapting to a Rapidly Changing Regulatory Environment

Presented by Scott Bourdon, Senior Manager of Risk and Environmental Health & Safety, Cal State University

Adapting to a rapidly changing regulatory environment is difficult for a large decentralized organization like the 23 campus Cal State University system.  And inconsistent messaging between regulatory agencies, ever evolving "science", anecdotes in the news, and expanded use of executive orders from the Governor’s office during the pandemic made this even more challenging.  This session will explore how the CSU addressed the pandemic and what new approaches and directions they might continue to use afterward.  It will also provide an overview of the unique regulatory framework in California and the pros and cons it has on responding to widespread issues.​

Learning Objectives: 

  • More direction is being sought from the System wide office.
  • Cross communication with System, wide peers became more important.
  • EHS teams were challenged to keep up with edicts from the Chancellor, State, and National agencies.  
  • Fragmented public health oversight in California resulted in inconsistent requirements for different campuses.  
  • Silos started to disappear and cross-functional System wide teams became key to the response. 
  • The Cal/OSHA rule making processes shifted toward use of emergency rule making and issuing of guidance.  
  • Cal/OSHA and public health policy makers were not consistent and this caused confusion. 
  • Regulators could not keep up with new information and research early in the pandemic.

​​​About the presenter
Scott Bourdon has worked in EHS leadership roles for over 17 years and is now Systemwide manager of Risk and EHS for the California State University.  He also worked at the Director, Deputy Director and manager level of Cal State University and University of California campuses.  He leads and participates with cross-functional teams and efforts to improve the ability of EHS teams to support the overall mission of their employers.

Are We Still Getting Too Many Things Wrong? Now is the Best Time to Change Them!

Presented by Jonathan Klane

Are we still getting too many things wrong? Now is the best time to change them!

We have successfully changed so much about who we are, what we do. And how we do it, you would think that is it. But they were pandemic driven. Now’s the right time to make strategic changes to increase our effectiveness! In 16 areas, we will indentify the problem, reasons, examples, and better ways to channel our energies. Here they are-just the problem and better approaches (abbreviated for space).

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the changes we should make in 16 areas
  • Defend the reasoning and basis for each of these and how they benefit our people
  • Propose a new way to be more effective for each
  • Put them into an order and context for their institution

About the presenter
Jonathan Klane, M.S.Ed., CIH, CSP, CHMM, CIT focuses on effectiveness and intended outcomes through a lens of logic combined with a deep understanding of risk, perceptions, and our many cognitive biases. He spent 20+ years solving problems for clients as a consultant, 17 years teaching management courses (part-time) and another 8.5 years troubleshooting and implementing safety, health, and risk challenges for two colleges of engineering. And he loved it all. He now spends his time creating engaging content for the community in his role with BioRAFT and working on his PhD dissertation on how storytelling affects our risk perceptions.

Being Prepared When the World Tilts: Working on the Fundamentals

Presented by Stephanie McChesney, Director of Safety and Facilities, University Of Dayton School Of Engineering

We do not have a crystal ball to show us what the next big challenge or threat will be to our institutions, so we need to concentrate on building a fundamental knowledge base around our campus community, our facilities, and our operational structures.  An athlete would call this "working on their fundamentals."  As an embedded safety professional during the pandemic response at my University, I was able to see how university-wide policies and guidance around COVID played out at the ground level in my classrooms, offices and laboratories.  I will discuss how our struggles, failures and eventual successes all centered around the knowledge base of our COVID response teams.  Then I will conclude by discussing how a good fundamental knowledge base can help better position you and your institution to face future health and safety threats big and small.

Learning Objectives: 

  • What is the fundamental knowledge base
  • How do you build a fundamental knowledge base
  • The unique and valuable role embedded safety professionals can play 
  • Leveraging your knowledge base in challenging times: lessons learned
  • Being prepared for what's next

About the presenter
Stephanie McChesney has worked in the Dean's Office in the University Of Dayton School Of Engineering since 2012 and became the Director of Safety and Facilities in 2018.  Prior to coming to UD, Stephanie worked at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for 10 years conducting site assessment and remediation activities at Superfund and Brownfield sites in southwest Ohio. Stephanie received a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Dayton and a MS in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Kentucky.

Evaluation, Training & Design of a University Home Ergonomics Program

Presented by Neil Carlson, Public Health Specialist, University of Minnesota

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety had set up occasional remote ergonomic evaluations for home offices far from our central campus. As the pandemic extended out from weeks to months, employees and departments expressed concern with ergonomic issues resulting in discomfort and injury. We produced written training materials to assist on remote office ergonomics and do specific additional virtual assessments assisting our office of disability services. We are now developing policies for a flexible remote work/in-person office environment as the university is reopening. The combination of online training, literatures posted on websites, stretching videos, and virtual evaluations can assist with reducing ergonomic concerns with remote sites that were not originally designed for extended office work.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand a variety of options for providing ergonomic training individuals who are working remotely.
  • Participants will learn about different methods for providing ergonomic equipment for individuals who are working remotely.
  • Participants will be able to explore different methods of funding changes for these remote work sites.
  • Participants will recognize remote work activities likely to cause ergonomic concerns for employees working remotely.
  • Participants will be familiarized with solutions using available materials and purchased ergonomic products

About the presenter
Neil Carlson, MS CIH has been working as a Public Health Specialist at the University of Minnesota Department of Environmental Health and Safety for over 30 years. He has worked on NIH sponsored grants researching Stand and Move ergonomics and has recently published a paper on office changes leading to sit stand ergonomics. Additional areas of interest include Indoor air and mold investigations, emergency management, and research on respirator design.

Safety Training for Academic Theater Programs

Presented by Tracy Stark, Safety Engineer, UC Riverside

While we have really made big strides to ensure all students working in a laboratory, get the proper documented training and PPE we have overlooked another student group that was exposed to equally high hazards. Students who work in the theater work at height, use mobile elevated work platforms, perform electrical work and wiring, use power tools, operate rigging equipment, perform hot work, use hazardous chemicals, and so much more. The quality of their training can vary widely depending on the knowledge and training of the theater’s staff and faculty. Sometimes the faculty or staff may or may not have had training themselves and while they do their best could really use the support of EH&S to meet regulatory requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will learn what training faculty and staff should receive to supervise and train students.
  • Creative ways to support training and safety for students.
  • Way to document student training and how EH&S can help.

About the presenter
Tracy Stark is the Safety Engineer for UC Riverside. Safety is Tracy’s second career. Prior to joining the University of California in 2016, Tracy worked in commercial entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip for almost 20 years. She worked for several shows including, Siegfried & Roy and Cirque du Soleil’s O. She joined the UC as a performing arts safety subject matter expert working with all 10 campuses on safety improvements for the arts. Tracy is also a former Performing Arts Safety Community of Practice chairperson and CSHEMA presenter.

Vendor Spotlights

Industry & Academia:
Lessons Learned in EHS Software Implementation

Presented by Stephenie Langston | Safety Stratus

ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry and the Developing Portfolio

Presented by Michael Blayney, PhD | ACS

There has been excellent work done by individuals at different colleges and universities to strengthen initial laboratory safety instruction for undergraduate students. Additionally, ACS members have developed high-quality resources upon which we all draw. However, many institutions still struggle to find the time and resources to continuously develop up-to-date, consistent, and engaging safety instruction that is built into the curriculum. The ACS Center for Lab Safety, part of the new ACS Institute, will soon house a range of short online courses developed with Subject Matter Experts drawn from this active community to support the teaching of safe technique instruction in the lab. In this session, we will introduce you to the first course in this series: ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry.

In the Era of a Pandemic & Beyond:
Evaluating Ventilation Solutions through Field Data

Presented by Erik Malmstrom & Kevin Brown | Safe Traces, Inc.

While engineering controls are critical to mitigating airborne disease exposure, determining which engineering controls or ventilation solutions are appropriate for specific spaces and how they perform under specific conditions is extremely challenging. SafeTraces is a safety technology leader that has developed the first aerosol-based solution for assessing risk and evaluating ventilation and filtration performance for airborne diseases in real world environments. They will share their independent science-based data on the performance of commonly recommended engineering controls in the field, including the impact of outside supply air rates, MERV-level in central AHU's, local HEPA filtration, physical barriers, and fans, among others.

Reducing Harmful Emissions from On Campus Diesel Generator Exhaust

Presented by Bill Collins | Rypos