Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) &

Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education (SW Ag Center) 


1st Annual Southwest Centers Occupational Health Research Symposium via Webex
Friday, June 18, 2021  9:00AM - 12:00PM CDT

Keynote Speaker: Carissa M. Rocheleau, PhD, NIOSH

Understanding Reproductive Health and Occupational Exposures


This session is FREE, and open to all.


Please register in advance and check your email inbox for Webex connection information.

Learning Objectives

Target Audience: Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals and Students

Continuing Education Units:
Determination of credit is pending for CEUs and CME

At the conclusion of the symposium, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the primary challenges found in the field of occupational health and safety
  • Outline the key concepts in the innovative research presented during the symposium
  • Hypothesize how the results of one or more of these projects potentially impacts clinical practice
  • Propose novel approaches for enhancing knowledge, skills and clinical applications



Click here to open Agenda

Date: Friday, June 18, 2021
Time: 9:00AM -12:00PM CDT

Keynote Speaker

Understanding Reproductive Health and Occupational Exposures

Carissa M. Rocheleau, PhD
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Dr. Rocheleau has worked as a reproductive and occupational epidemiologist at NIOSH for 11 years, authoring 36 peer-reviewed manuscripts, over 3 dozen NIOSH topic pages on reproductive health in the workplace, multiple government documents, and providing hundreds of consultations to workers, employers, and health care providers as a designated CDC subject matter expert in occupational exposures before and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. She has a Ph.D. (2009) and M.S. (2006) from The University of Iowa in Epidemiology, and a B.A. in environmental studies and biochemistry & molecular biology from Cornell College (2002). She also completed traineeships in occupational epidemiology at the Heartland Center for Occupational Health at the University of Iowa and in reproductive molecular epidemiology with the Iowa Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention.

Awardee Presentations

Presentations by Pilot Projects Research Training Awardees:


Sumit Mandal, PhD
Oklahoma State University
Using Artificial Neural Network Modeling to Analyze the Thermal Protective and Thermo-physiological Comfort Performance of Oil and Gas Industry Workers' Clothing

Pedram Roghanchi, PhD

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Respirable crystalline silica dust characteristics and sources in the mining industry

Jennifer Scott, PhD

Louisiana State University
Avoiding Sonographer Injury - Randomized Controlled Trial of Standard and Specialized Prenatal Sonography with Restricted compared to Usual Daily Exposure to Obese Gravidas (Prenatal SONO study)

Mark Wilson, PhD

Tulane University
Physiological and psychological impacts of fabric face masks in the occupational environment: an assessment of real perceived heat stress, cardiovascular load, and work rate

Jianan Zhao, MA

Oklahoma State University
Mitigating infection risks to airborne SARS-CoV-2 laden aerosols in the patient rooms via in-table air sanitizers and smart ventilation control

Nicole Stevens, BS

Oklahoma State University
School-based Agricultural Education Instructors' Self-Perceptions of their Wellness

Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD

The University of Texas Medical Branch
SMS messaging to improve occupational health outcomes among commercial fishers

Shilpa Kusampudi, PhD

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
Role of protease from poultry organic dust in induction of lung inflammation

Anabel Rodriguez, PhD

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Needs assessment of total worker health interventions among dairy workers in West Texas

About the Pilot Projects Research Training Program




The goal of the Pilot Projects Research Training Program is to enhance Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) regional outreach efforts in research training and to foster stronger inter-institutional ties in occupational health research within Public Health Region 6 (PHR 6) (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). The Program is directed by Jenil Patel, MBBS, MPH, PhD.

The objective of the program is to provide a support mechanism for pilot research projects initiated by:


  • Junior faculty exploring the feasibility of new research approaches that may allow investigators to collect preliminary data to subsequently develop larger grant applications
  • Graduate research trainees that need partial or supplementary funding to complete or enhance short term studies (e.g., doctoral dissertation research); and/or
  • Faculty in areas other than occupational health research who wish to transition or expand their research interest to workers' health issues (“new faculty investigators”).


SW Ag Center


The Feasibility Studies Program within the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education (SW Ag Center) offers funding for R21 type projects focused on agriculture, forestry, and/or commercial fishing (AFF) occupational safety and health in Public Health Region 6. The program incorporates mentoring opportunities for AFF researchers and provides critical data for future research. The Program is directed by Kevin Moore, PhD.

The goals of the feasibility studies program are:

  • Identify and mentor new/junior researchers to conduct innovative research, intervention, and translation projects in AFF worker safety/health.
  • Support projects that provide data for innovative approaches to improve AFF occupational safety and health that justify further research.
  • Promote mentoring relationships between junior and established scientists to build capacity for AFF occupational safety and health careers

Contact Us

For additional symposium information contact:

Silvia P. Santiago, MAHS

Pilot Project Coordinator

Continuing Education Coordinator


Visit the Centers to learn more!

Your Best Response to a Changing World!

The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) supports research, education and outreach in occupational and environmental health. The SWCOEH is housed within the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences of the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. The SWCOEH was established in 1977 as a NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center (ERC), now one of 18 ERCs in the nation. In 1985, the SWCOEH became a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health and in 2019 a NIOSH Total Worker Health Affiliate. Visit www.SWCOEH.org to learn more about our graduate-level education in environmental and occupational health, research, and continuing education and outreach programs, designed to promote and improve health, safety, and well-being in the workplace and the community.

The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education (SW Ag Center) was created in late 1995 at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler to serve Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas as part of a program initiative of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The initiative established a network of centers, funded on a competitive basis, to conduct programs of research, prevention, intervention, education and outreach designed to reduce occupational injuries and diseases among agricultural workers and their families. Vanessa Casanova, PhD, currently serves as the Center Director.

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