Sunshine ERC > 2011-2012 SERC Recruitment


During the 2011-2012 academic year, Sunshine ERC (SERC) graduate students have participated as mentors/leaders/presenters in 16 different recruitment/outreach events, including:

  • 9 lab tours/information sessions for 140 college students at University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College and University of Tampa led by SERC faculty, staff and graduate students.
  • 3 Lab tours for 40 high school students & 3 staff/teachers.
  • SERC displays at 3 USF events (Graduate and Professional Fair in November); USF Health Research Day in February and Health Careers Expo (March) More than 100 USF undergraduate students, faculty and staff visited the SERC exhibit at these events.
  • A new Summer Institute in Occupational Health and Safety for 15 college students; see also
As noted above, our Sunshine ERC graduate students contributed IMMENSELY to our recruitment and outreach endeavors during the 2011-2012 academic year. We highly encourage our Sunshine ERC graduate students to participate in these rewarding recruitment and outreach endeavors in the future. Students can sign up by contacting Ellen Kent, MPH, CPH, SERC Coordinator at or (813) 974-6622.

Photo Gallery of Sunshine ERC Lab Tours, 2011-2012:

Our Industrial Hygiene (IH) students develop expertise in sophisticated techniques for sampling workplaces for possible contaminants and risk factors, such as exposure to heat, cold, radiation, noise and chemicals. See also

An ongoing controversy revolves around the question of whether or not cell phones and cell phone towers present a significant risk to human health. Sunshine ERC graduate students demonstrate the use of a sensor to detect radio frequency radiation from cell phones, microwaves, and power lines. See also

An industrial hygiene doctoral student demonstrates the use of a hand-held analyzer for detecting levels of mercury.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student demonstrates 'grab' sampling of air. The bag will be filled by pumping air into it and the air inside will be analyzed for contaminants.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student displays a charcoal tube and hand-held pump used for collecting gases and vapors. Various analytical methods can be used to determine if these samples contain toxic compounds that workers may inhale.

Another major focus area is personal sampling for air contaminants. See also An industrial hygiene doctoral student demonstrates how a worker can wear a passive sampling device on a shirt lapel.

In these three photos, industrial hygiene doctoral students demonstrate use of cassettes for collection of particulates (dusts) and the sampling pumps that employees can wear throughout their work day.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student demonstrates instruments used to collect and analyze gas and vapor air contaminants, in this case ethanol.

High school students participating in a tour of the SERC labs view samples of fly ash under a microscope. The silica particles in fly ash can pose a risk of silicosis/lung cancer to workers. Fly ash usually refers to ash produced during combustion of coal, e.g. at a power plant.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student explains his research concerning the collection efficiency of dust masks.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student introduces USF undergraduates to the heat stress lab and explains the research being conducted at USF concerning protective clothing ensembles, which can increase workers' risk of becoming overheated. See also Health Effects of Gulf Coast Heat for story about Dr. Thomas Bernard's research related to prevention of heat illness among the BP oil spill cleanup workers.

An industrial hygiene doctoral student explains his research on occupational exposures to nanoparticles.

During the lab tours organized by the Sunshine ERC, high school and college students are also able to visit the Lisa Muma Weitz Laboratory for Advanced Microscopy & Cell Imaging, where researchers perform in-depth microscopic analyses to investigate damage to cells caused by physical or chemical agents in the workplace.

You can also view additional Picasa albums of the SERC lab tours at: