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And the Winner is…. Congratulations to our SPPH OEH 2023 Student Award Winners!

Apr 24, 2023 |

Congratulations to our SPPH OEH 2023 Student Award Winners!

Roberta Ellis Awards

In recognition of the contribution made by Roberta Ellis to the field of occupational hygiene, the School of Population and Public Health, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health and with the support of WorkSafeBC, is pleased to present the Roberta Ellis Award to a graduating student of the Masters of Science, Occupational and Environmental Hygiene program.  The award ($1,000) is given to an outstanding student who best represents an ideal practitioner in occupational hygiene in terms of citizenship, scholarship, and potential to contribute to the betterment of worker health.

Winners:  Robert Duffy and Andrew Lichty

Robert has been involved in school, community student leadership and volunteer opportunity with Japanese Canadian community gaining understanding of the importance of collaboration, cultural connection and community protection.  His interests lie in field work, research and disease prevention. 

His research practicum experience with CAREX Canada focused on Carcinogenic exposures in the workplace: Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of young workers.  He is completing an analysis of how community planning and build environment feature influence children’s physical activity for his capstone project. His long-term goal is to work at WorkSafeBC in prevention or policy.

Andrew is an OEH student representative.  During his recent practicum with BC Wildfires, he conducted innovative research examining the risk of carbon monoxide exposure for wildland firefighters.  This provided implications of a CO exposure assessment conducted during wildland firefighting operations in the summer of 2022.  The work with wildland firefighters and carbon monoxide exposure allowed Andrew to apply core hygiene principles in a vastly different and challenging work environment.

Graduate Award in Population Health and Engineering

Awards totaling $2,000 are offered annually by friends and family to honour and remember UBC faculty members in the disciplines of occupational & environmental health and mechanical engineering who dedicated their careers to training and mentoring students to use knowledge from different disciplines with the goal of improving work and community environments.  This award is for graduate students enrolled in the School of Population and Public Health or the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who undertake multidisciplinary research or training activities that bridge health and engineering disciplines to improve work or community environments.  The awards are made o the recommendation of the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with the Faculty of Applied Science and in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Winners: Helen Wu and Molly Mastel

Molly’s summer practicum with the BCCDC on safe inhalation sites for overdose prevention to save lives by providing resources and supervision to people who use substances.  With her background in environmental health, the practicum focused on air quality, controlling the airborne drug hazards inside the sites.   The data at the indoor site can be used for monitoring the ventilation system’s maintenance and efficiency by ensuring the particulate levels remain as expected and taking action if they are not.

Molly continues to work with the BCCDC on the safe inhalation sites and has since become involved in a research project at the UBC Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Laboratory that is developing a standardized method to test for airborne drugs.

With Helen’s passion in healthcare and appreciation for workplace safety, she plans on pursuing doctorate in optometry and work with organizations that prioritize policy and education to enhance workplace safety and to reduce occupational injuries.

Helen’s practicum with WorkSafeBC Risk analysis Unit was on hidden dangers of nanomaterials in the cosmeceutical industry.  This opportunity led to understanding of occupational injuries, including cases of ocular injuries, retinal detachments, highlighting how trivial tasks can result in the impairment of a vital sense.  Through these experiences Helen developed a motivation to work towards occupational optometry.


UREA Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Action Association Bursary 

A $1,050 bursary has been made available through an endowment established by the Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Action Association, a group of concerned home-owners who had UFFI installed in their homes.  The award is made on the recommendation of the School of Population and Public Health to a student investigating toxic chemicals and pollutants, with particular emphasis on their effects on human health.  Students who have recently completed research or studies in this field should apply in writing by January 15 to the Director of the MSc (Occupational and Environmental Hygiene) in the School of Population and Public Health. A copy of a recent paper or report on the relevant topics or a description of current studies should be included. (modified Co-Op reports are accepted)

Winner: Mahdieh Bazyari 

Mahdieh began working as an HSE expert in industrial environments – oil and gas, construction and manufacturing. This experience provided her with a fundamental view of work-related hazards and risks contributing to human health outcomes providing her the opportunity to observe and assess occupational risk and health of employees in dangerous work environments. Based on Mahdieh’s work experience and graduate studies, she has the understanding to promote and develop occupational and environmental health and safety within various industries. Through related research, she aims on creating a healthier and safer work environment for every worker in the world.

Madi’s practicum was on occupational Exposure assessment to welding fumes at construction site of the liquified natural gas (LNG) export facility in Kitimat.

Grace and Alexander MacInnes Award in Occupational and Environmental Health 

An $2,200 award has been made available through an endowment established by Grace and Alexander MacInnes to support a graduate student studying in the area of occupational and environmental health.  Given the many global challenges we face, there is a pressing need to train researchers who can find solutions to new and existing environmental health issues.  Students must be entering their second year of graduate studies, with preference given to students who have returned to academia after an absence of at least one year and who demonstrate leadership qualities in the course of their studies.  The award is made on the recommendation of the Faculty of medicine in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Winners: Tracy Hu and Kwaku Attafuah

Tracy has been involved in OEH program as Teaching Assistant. Her practicum placement with Health Canada and internship with Hazmat industry have prepared her well to apply her knowledge and technical skills to make workplaces healthier and safer, providing immense opportunities for learning and growth.  Tracy’s practicum project was occupational exposure to whole body vibration on rigid hull inflatable boats.  This study characterized the level of whole-body vibration experienced by RHIB operators under different operating conditions as Health Canada study.

Tracy hopes her work as an industrial hygienist can improve the safety and health of all workers, particularly among immigrant and marginalized populations.

As a student from Ghana, Kwaku’s interest lies in addressing poor occupational health and safety policies in Ghana where there are few occupational/industrial hygienists and an urgent need for guidelines to ensure optional occupational, health and safety management for employees.

Kwaku’s practicum was on Occupational Noise Exposure and Assessment of Fluor Constructors Employees on the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, BC.  Both area and personal noise sampling were conducted to better understand the exposure of noise and other aggravating factors to noise exposure of employees.

Kwaku’s ambition is to work in the heavy industry to gain practical experience in occupational hygiene field contribute enormously to the occupational health, safety, and environment fields for his country, Ghana.