Previously, I had a conversation with Carla Reinhard, Program Administrator about this MSPH program. Now we have an audience with Dr. Breyssee, the Program Director. We're re-visiting because the value to students or healthcare professionals considering this field are well worth the consideration of a second look. 

Programs that afford the opportunites and options (such as those described in the interview) are indeed rare, and deserve a bit more of our attention. Sometimes we're overloaded with all that Hopkins, and specifically the School of Public Health, can provide. We're only a few mouse clicks away from an abundance of riches. This being said, we wouldn't want a true jewel to go unnoticed.  

For more information.....


And in case you're wondering it's Alonzo doing the "Q," and Dr. Breysse providing the "A".


Q: Dr. Breysse, what do you see as the advantage of getting a master’s degree in the field of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene?

A: it seems as though everyday we’re confronted with problems that relate to how our environment directly affects our health. Last night on the radio I was listening to a conversation about problems with mountaintop coal-mining in West Virginia; the other day I was reading an article on the web about the  big environmental concerns  associated with the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas production; in the local Baltimore paper I was reading about issues with excessive sedimentation in the Chesapeake Bay; and of course we are always hearing about air pollution and its effect on health. As a result of all this, there is a need to train health professionals who have the tools and skills to address these issues in a variety of capacities, and I think that is very attractive to someone considering this program.

One of the best things about the profession of occupational and environmental hygiene is that there is a scientific basis for investigating and mitigating health concerns. We attract people who are not only interested in science, but who also are interested in working with people with a wide range of backgrounds. They may not necessarily want to work in a research lab and study how chemicals affect mice, but they want to study chemicals in the environment and how they impact working and living in the real world. We are looking for students who want to study how the environment affects people where they live and work.

Q) What feedback have you received from graduates of the program?

A) First of all, our graduates get jobs in many types of workplace settings. We have graduates that work for organized labor, private industry, consulting companies, and healthcare providers. They work for government organizations at national and local levels; they work for non-profits; and they work in academia.

We maintain a great deal of contact with our graduates. We have a 100% employment record - students have no difficulty getting a job right out of our graduate program, or getting a nice promotion from their existing job. We also turn to our graduates to help mentor students currently in the program. A number of our graduates come back to lecture in our classes, and we have others who hire students for internships. Some of our greatest ambassadors for the master’s program are our graduates, our alumni.

Q) What would you say is the typical background for students coming into your program?

A)   Students move into the environmental health fields through a variety of paths. They typically graduate with a science background. For years, I’ve always told students to “get as much science as you can, you’ll never go wrong”. No one looks back and says “gee I wish I hadn’t taken that math class”. No, they say “I wish I’d taken ANOTHER math class, or ANOTHER science class or biology”. You’re never going to regret taking more basic science classes. So we look for students coming into our program who have a good science background.

 Ultimately, the kind of job that’s out there for new college undergraduates might not be their first choice, but they migrate to the kinds of fields and opportunities that are available. They get a job as an Environmental Compliance Officer, or perhaps they do Risk Assessment for a government agency----and they discover they like environmental health. We’ve found that students who move into these fields come to us because they need a little bit more training to do their jobs better, and to advance further.

Because we offer two delivery options for our master’s degree (full-time/on campus and part-time/internet-based), we get students who are right out of undergraduate programs, and students who are established professionals.

Q) What do you think are the challenges for this program?

A) Tuition is certainly a big challenge and a bit of a barrier, but on the other hand the investment in a Johns Hopkins education is something you’ll never regret. JHSPH is the biggest School of Public Health in the world, it’s the oldest School of Public Health in the world, and our department of Environmental Health Sciences alone is bigger than half the other schools of Public Health. So in terms of the breadth of experience you get, and the depth and level of interaction with the faculty and fellow students---this is  a very unique experience that I don’t think you can get anywhere else in the world.  

I think another challenge is the lack of understanding that this training exists. I think we need to do a better job of informing people that getting a degree in this type of program will really help your career.  Not everyone has the awareness that a master’s degree in environmental health is really a gateway for future advancement in terms of a higher paying job.


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Baltimore Community , Hopkins Community  Tags:

This article has some great quotes and observations which show up more and more in the debate over the future of libraries. Here's one of them:

"..........Part of it is that the library's focus has changed, and I think in some ways the library is reverting back to the library as it should have always been — as a service point rather than a great collector," said Mike DiCarlo, Louisiana Tech's Dean of Library Services.

"In the 19th and 20th centuries, collecting was important. Now the library becomes more of a service organization helping the researcher find and navigate material in the electronic age."


Alonzo LaMont

CommComm posted on March 14, 2011 19:12

The theme of the newsletter is "leaving the buildings behind". The article about Welch is very apropos. When you scroll down, there we are, smack dab on page two---"The Welch Medical Library of 2012---Wherever you are".


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Baltimore Community , Hopkins Community  Tags:

This info was passed my way and caught my long-time-pet-owner sensibility.

"We promote humane science by supporting the creation, development, validation, and use of alternatives to animals in research, product safety testing, and education. We seek to effect change by working with scientists in industry, government, and academia to find new ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, reduce the numbers of animals necessary, or refine methods to make them less painful or stressful to the animals involved."

Part of the CAAT philosophy is based around the, perhaps not so simple formula, that humane science is better science. Credit belongs to two British scientists William Russell and Rex Burch for that discovery.

"CAAT promotes humane science because it is the best science."

Is that a little meow-meow/bark-bark applause I hear in the background?

Here's where they are:


Alonzo LaMont



Posted in: Baltimore Community , Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on February 14, 2011 22:09

Yes, there IS a new MESH tutorial in PubMed. Your prayers were answered.


Alonzo LaMont

CommComm posted on February 10, 2011 18:17

Thousands of online academic books are available for reading on or offline. Very easy to access. Topics GALORE. All the specifics (how-to's) are right on the link. I already gave it a test run myself, so fellow patrons.....start your engines.

Alonzo LaMont


CommComm posted on February 9, 2011 18:29

We don't hear much from our "sister site," and then along comes news about their "school at work" program. Nothing beats good news in the morning.

Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Baltimore Community , Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on February 7, 2011 20:34

The SpringerImages app brings …. SpringerImages to the iPhone and iPod touch. Discover photos, diagrams, graphs, figures and tables taken from Springer's ….  ebook collection and journal portfolio as well as the images.MD database. Search image captions, keywords and references to find the right image.

Those Apple Wizards are just so gosh-darn clever.

Alonzo LaMont

CommComm posted on February 2, 2011 23:01

From their home page, scroll down to "New from BioMed Central". 5 new journals are now being published through BioMed (the open access publisher) Central.

Alonzo LaMont

Harry Marks, longtime Professor in the Institute of the History of Medicine passed away on January 25th, 2011. Anyone who's spent time at Welch remembers Dr. Marks moving about the library. On many occasions, he passed by the reference desk with a variety of books-in-tow.  He was always concerned about their destination. His presence will certainly be missed. Again, our sincerest condolences to Dr. and his family and friends.


A memorial lunch will be held at The Institute of the History of Medicine, 1900 E. Monument Street, Baltimore, MD on Saturday February 5 between 12-2pm. Services by: Sol Levinson & Bros.


Alonzo LaMont


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