"I am learning a lot about the workplace and how important safety is through my coursework as an Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing [OEHN] Fellow. Specifically, Debra Novak, PhD, RN, came to my seminar class last semester and presented her findings about the low rate of use of N95 respirators by nurses who are in contact with infected patients. Dr. Novak is a senior fellow with NIOSH… I intend to continue to use the knowledge I gain in my OEHN curriculum in my career as a nurse researcher."
– Jacqueline Shukla, PhD student / OEHN trainee, UK College of Nursing.

Graduates of the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center and other NIOSH-funded ERC programs are equipped to enjoy lifelong learning and professional service and advancement in fields such as:


Emergency Preparedness
Environmental Protection
Government and Public Policymaking
Hazardous Waste Management
Health Education
Industrial Hygiene
Insurance / Assets Protection
Labor Representation and Advocacy
Mine Safety and Health
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
Occupational Safety
Public Health


Our graduates enter their chosen field in a wide number of positions. Example titles and locations:

  • Surveillance Epidemiologist/Data Manager and ORISE Fellow to the Enteric Disease Branch’s FoodNet Team
  • Threat Preparedness Coordinator position at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in Charleston, West Virginia
  • Two Year Fellowship with the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)
  • Research Coordinator at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA
  • Director of the Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Virginia Department of Health at the Virginia Health Department
  • Epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health in the Health Surveillance and Bioinformatics branch
  • Epidemiology fellow at the California Public Health Department’s Environmental Health Investigations Branch (Cal-EIS) 
  • Summer Occupational Safety Intern at Boeing in Everett, Washington
  • Spring Occupational Safety Intern at General Electric in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Spring Occupational Safety Intern at Toyotetsu America in Somerset, Kentucky
  • Safety Specialist at Amazon Inc.
  • Corporate Safety Specialist at Toyota Tushusho
  • Fellowship with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) in Charleston, South Carolina

Through its occupational safety and continuing education programs, as well as its interdisciplinary field surveys course, CARERC seeks to build and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships with regional employers. In Central Appalachia these include, but certainly are not limited to, Marathon Oil, Ashland Oil, Georgia-Pacific,, Owens Corning, and Aera Energy.

Graduates of NIOSH-funded ERCs frequently advance to rewarding careers in vital U.S. industries and health care settings. Former ERC trainees hold positions of leadership in both state and federal government and institutions of higher learning. Some have advanced to serve as commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service and as leaders in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many engage in research and teaching at public and private universities nationwide and/or assist state public health departments in their mission to protect the well-being of America’s communities and families. Some may also share their expertise beyond the United States, through entities such as the International Commission on Occupational Health.


Other links of interest

Work supported by CDC/NIOSH Training Program Grant T42OH010278. The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not constitute position statements of the USDHHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC/NIOSH). Mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations does not imply endorsement by these federal agencies, the University of Kentucky or Eastern Kentucky University.