DSC Fall / Winter News

Deep South Center ERC News

ERC Trainee Presentations and Awards:

  • Southeast Mine Safety and Health Scholarships, 2022 awarded to, Industrial Hygiene PhD Trainees, David McMahon, Nathan Chen and Seunghyeon Yang
  • Industrial Hygiene MSPH and PhD Posters won awards at the 2022 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce). Winners were, Jake Shedd, Nathan Chen, David McMahon, Seunghyeon Yang and Donglee Yang
  • Jake Shedd and David McMahon won 1st and 2nd Place in Poster Presentations at the 99th Annual Alabama Academy of Science Meeting, 2022
  • OHN Trainees, Jessica Campbell, Pamela Snyder and Eva Carbone presented posters at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses 2022 Meeting
  • Paula Levi, OHN PhD Trainee was awarded an Honorable Mention, Golden Pen Award for her paper based on her, NIOSH Pilot Project Training Grant
  • Kristen Ashley, OHN Trainee, was awarded the UPS Foundation Academic Scholarship at AAOHN in June
  • OSE Trainee, Andrew Spivey was selected as one of Auburn University’s outstanding Masters students for 2021—2022

Recent Publications:

OIP PhD Trainees, Duha Ali and Yasin Fatemi published, “Investigating Frontline Nurse Stress: Perceptions of Job Demands, Organizational Support, and Social Support during the Current COVID-19 Pandemic,” in “Frontiers in Public Health”, was a collaboration with Associate Professor Haneen Ali.

Dr. Sean Gallagher (along with long-time collaborator Dr. Mary F. Barbe) published a book entitled “Musculoskeletal Disorders: The Fatigue Failure Mechanism” (Wiley and Sons). This book provides an evidence-based approach and an incisive discussion of how musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) develop and progress, as well as how they can be prevented and controlled, based on Dr. Gallagher’s fatigue failure model of MSD development.

DSC Faculty Awards

Dr. Richard Sesek was recently awarded the William F. Walker Teaching Merit Award from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from the Auburn University Graduate Student Council.

Dr. Mark Schall Jr., industrial and systems engineering associate professor, has been named a 2021 Rising Star of Safety by the National Safety Council.

The class of 2021 is comprised of 38 honorees younger than age 40, showcasing the next generation of leaders redefining the future of safety and health.

Other Recognition:

Dr. T’Anya Carter, a recent OHN graduate, has been honored by the UAB School of Nursing—an award has been established in her name for PhD students who are DEI and social justice champions. Click here to read more


Deep South ERC – RENEWED!

Deep South ERC Renewed!

The team at the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center (DSC ERC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is pleased to announce that our Center has been renewed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for the project period 2022-2027.

Since 1982, the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety has been a cornerstone of OHS Education, Research and Outreach in the Southeast.   We are addressing the burden of OSH in our region by providing state-of-the-art interdisciplinary training for the next generation of OSH practitioners and researchers.  Our Trainees will take their experiences and training into the field and transfer knowledge to practice.   We are proud of the work of our Faculty, Program Directors and Trainees—who make each component of our ERC successful toward our goal to protect and promote the health and safety of workers. The research, mentoring and leadership in the DSC provides a solid foundation for the success of our programs and Trainees.

The Deep South Center is a consortium of programs at two universities—UAB and Auburn.  We offer advanced degrees in Industrial Hygiene (School of Public Health), Occupational Health Nursing            (School of Nursing) at UAB and Occupational Safety and Ergonomics and Occupational Injury Prevention at Auburn University in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.  Along with coursework and research, ERC Trainees also take part in center-wide interdisciplinary projects, and participate in professional and research focused conferences, meetings and organizations.

The DSC’s commitment to Outreach and Continuing Educations is evidenced by our strong presence and support of the OSH community, offering courses and conference support and by reaching out to minority and underserved worker populations.

Finally, our DSC Pilot Project Research Training Program provides competitive annual awards to emerging researchers in our region.  PPRT outcomes are shared annually at the Southeast Regional Research Symposium—a collaboration of several ERCs and Agricultural Safety and Health Centers in the Southeast.

We thank you for your participation and support of  the ERC—be it in a CE course, a conference, as a member of our Board of Advisors—a host at a site—or as one of our graduates, faculty, university administrators or community leaders—without your support, we would not be a Center of Excellence in the NIOSH portfolio. 

We look forward to serving you in the coming years.

Claudiu Lungu, PhD,
Center Director

Allyn Holladay
Deputy Director/Director CE and Outreach

Paulisha Holt
Program Manager/Deputy Director, Outreach

Laura Wilson,
Program Coordinator

Jonghwa Oh, PhD,
Program Director, Industrial Hygiene

Karen Heaton, PhD,
Program Director, Occupational Health Nursing

Sean Gallagher, PhD,
Program Director, Occupational Injury Prevention

Mark Schall, PhD,
Program Director, Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

Public Health Influencer


JUNE 10-14, 2024


The Public Health Influencer Summer Institute is a free summer enrichment program open to high school students who are interested in public health, environmental health, chronic and infectious disease prevention, epidemiology, or social/environmental justice.

Eligibility Requirement:

  • Accepting rising 10, 11, and 12th graders. 
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, a permanent resident to attend


Valuable Hands-on Experience

Students will learn about public health and its impact on communities.  Students will participate in hands-on experiences and learn from health, healthcare, and environmental health experts.

Explore Public Health in Alabama

Students will participate in immersive field experiences with multiple site visits throughout central Alabama including Birmingham and Montgomery.  Travel to sites provided through the institute.


The program is free for interested students and will feature a variety of speakers, presenters, and activities.  Up to 25 students will be accepted into the program, so please apply early! A $250 stipend will be awarded to participating students.  The program will run from 9am until 5pm each day, so students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the UAB School of Public Health.  Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided each day. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Other Information for Students Confirmed attend PSH

What is the Dress Code:  Casual Attire

  • You may wear blue jeans, modest-length shorts, sleeveless tops, dresses, skirts, jackets, and sweaters.
  • You may not wear mid-drift tops, muscle shirts with gaping armholes, super-short shorts, or garments with offensive images or words, neither hats nor sunglasses may be worn indoors.

Should I bring a laptop?

  • No, we will provide you with the needed materials and electronics.

How will I receive my stipend?

  • Stipends are distributed via mail.  We will provide you with paperwork to complete prior to starting the summer program.  Once this information is processed, you will receive a payment 3-5 following the conclusion of program. 

Contact Us

If you have questions, or concerns, feel free to contact us at phisi@uab.edu.


Deep South ERC @ MSHA

Andrew Perkins, CIH was awarded the Hugh Talbert Merit Award for his many years of dedication, as a long-standing committee member of the Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference.





Several IH students were recipients of the Deep South Center Scholarship:

    • Jasna M. Rossner- Williams
    • Donglee Yang
    • Kelvin Duy Dam

ASSP Annual Awards Luncheon:

At the AL Chapter of ASSP annual awards luncheon on May 14, 2021, several of our UAB and Auburn University students won scholarships along with Allyn Holladay, the Deep South Center Deputy Director and Continuing Education Director, who won the SPY award for academics. Congratulations!

Faculty Achievements 2021

2021 Ergonomics Best Paper Award by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors:

Mehdizadeh A, Vinel A, Hu Q, Schall Jr MC, Gallagher S, Sesek RF. (2020). Job rotation and work-related musculoskeletal disorders: a fatigue failure perspective. Ergonomics. 63(4), 461-476. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2020.1717644


Recent Publications: 2021

  • J. G. Balanay, J. Oh. 2021. Adsorption Characteristics of Activated Carbon Fibers in Respirator Cartridges for Toluene. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 18(16), 8505
  • R. Thaper, B. Fagen, J. Oh. 2021. Decontamination of Respirators Amid Shortages due to SARS-CoV-2. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 20(7), 955-965
  • R. Thaper, J. Oh, R. Sesek. 2021. Performance of Smart Device Noise Measurement Applications: A Literature Review. Prof. Safety. 66(06): 38-46. 
  • M. C. M. Tsou, S. C. C. Lung, Y. S. Shen, C. H. Liu, Y. H. Hsieh, N. Chen, J. S. Hwang. 2021. A community-based study on associations between PM2. 5 and PM1 exposure and heart rate variability using wearable low-cost sensing devices. Environmental Pollution, 277, 116761.
  • L. Locke, O. Dada, J. C. Shedd. 2021. Aerosol Transmission of Infectious Disease and the Efficacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): A Systematic Review. J Occup Environ Med. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002366.
  • M. Summers, J. Oh, C. T. Lungu. 2021. Determination of Activated Carbon Fiber Adsorption Capacity for Several Common Organic Vapors: Applications for Respiratory Protection. In revision. 
  • Bardhan, C.T. Lungu. 2021. Investigating Low Dose Ionizing Radiation Exposure and Health Risk among a University Hospital Radiation Employees. Safety. In review.
  • Coker J, Chen H, Schall Jr MC, Gallagher S, Zabala M. (2021). EMG and Joint Angle-Based Machine Learning to Predict Future Joint Angles at the Knee. Sensors. 21(11), 3622.  doi: 10.3390/s21113622
  • Schall Jr MC, *Zhang X, Chen H, Gallagher S, Fethke N. (2021). Comparing Upper Arm and Trunk Kinematics between Manufacturing Workers Performing Predominantly Cyclic and Non-cyclic Work Tasks. Applied Ergonomics. 93, 103356. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103356


Disparities in Occupational Health Webinar

The Deep South Center ERC was honored to host Dr. Zeke McKinney on October 1, 2021, to speak on Disparities in Occupational Health.  Dr. McKinney is the Program Director for HealthPartners Institute where he holds an Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency, and he is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. 

BOA Member Ellen Hahn, PhD Presentation

Citizen Science and Policy Development to Reduce Environmental Exposures and Foster Environmental Justice

Monday, June 14 from 1245 – 1345 pm

Dr. Ellen Hahn is an environmental health nurse researcher from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Her work on tobacco control changed policy so that cigarettes, cigar, and vaping use was banned in restaurants, bars, and other public venues in Kentucky. At the time, it was the largest tobacco-producing state in the country. While she still focuses on tobacco control, she is now researching the effects of radon. Dr. Hahn is on the OHN advisory board for the Deep South Center for OHS, is the OHN Director for the Central Appalachian ERC, and will be speaking next week via ZOOM at the UAB SON PhD Program Intensive.



DSC @ AIHce 2021

Faculty Presenting: Monday, May 26

Research Roundup Ergonomics ~ 10:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. The Shoulder Tool: A New Risk Assessment Tool for Shoulder MSDs. Sean Gallagher, Auburn University

Research Roundup Sampling and Analysis 2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Thermal Properties of Buckypaper Sorbent used in Newly Developed Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Sampler. Claudiu Lungu, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Graduate Students Presenting: Tuesday, May 25

 UAB IH Student on Zoom Presentation for AIHce

Connecting Students and Career Professionals, Part 1 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Moderator: Jacob Shedd, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Presenters: Alessandra Pratt, University of Iowa; David McMahan, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Vishal Nathu, University of Cincinnati.

UAB Doctoral Student Research Presentations:  10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Moderator: David McMahan, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Presenters: Jacob Shedd; Margaret Summers; Nathan Chen, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Posters Presentations

Mon, May 24: 3:15 PM  – 4:15 PM

Transmission of Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) and Vascular Disorder of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS): Laboratory Simulation of Grass Trimmer Operations, Nathan Chen

Transmission of Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) during Backpack Blower Operations, Chris Hughes, MPH

Backpack Blower Noise Exposure Assessment: A Laboratory Simulation, David McMahan

Development of a Fit Matching App: Prioritizing Gap Measurement Locations between Safety Eyewear and the Wearer’ Face, Erin Lindsey

Noise Exposure during Laboratory Simulation of Grass-Trimmer Operations, Andrew Spivey

Alumni Presenting

Monday, May 24

Effect of Extended Use/Reuse of Masks and Filtering Facepiece Respirators on Fit and Filtration Efficiency, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Presenter and Moderator: Evan Floyd, University of Oklahoma Health

Tuesday, May 25

Research Roundup Big Data 8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Comparison Between OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App and WBGT Monitor to Assess Heat Stress Risk in Agriculture. Jo Anne Balanay, East Carolina University.

Wednesday, May 26

Sampling for SARS-CoV-2 and Deactivation of Aerosol Via 254 nm UVC 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Moderator: Evan Floyd, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Presenters: Evan Floyd; K. A. N. Aithinne, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Respirator Fit Testing With Controlled Negative Pressure 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Presenters: Stephanie Lynch, OHD, LLLP.