Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH named new Deputy Director of MCOHS - Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH named new Deputy Director of MCOHS

There’s a new Deputy in town…


The Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (MCOHS) Education and Research Center is pleased and excited to announce that Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH has been named as the new Deputy Director of the Center.

Dr. Susan Arnold is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Hygiene program in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She is also Director of the Exposure Science and Sustainability Institute (ESSI), and Co-Director of the MCOHS Outreach program. In her 5 ½ years teaching within the Division and MCOHS, she has made invaluable contributions in strengthening our academic programs, with a strong focus on research-to-practice, as well as engaging businesses and local communities in research and outreach.

Dr. Arnold recently sat down for a virtual chat with our web coordinator to discuss her new role as Deputy Director, as well as her unique perspectives and experience, and her vision for MCOHS, occupational health and safety, and public health at large.




Dr. Arnold brings a unique perspective, with over 20 years of professional practice as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). This practitioner-level experience, combined with her strong focus in academic training, research-to-practice, outreach, and community engagement will help lead the Center in our mission to promote occupational health and safety (OHS) and health equity in diverse workplace environments, and training the next generation of OHS professionals.

“The unique perspectives gained from working in and for industry as a certified industrial hygienist (CIH) inform my research and outreach activities, addressing some of the gaps and barriers to improving health and safety that I observed as a practitioner.”Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH

In her new role as Deputy Director, Dr. Arnold is working to strengthen the links between the academic core programs, outreach, and continuing education, with a broader goal of expanding the Center’s reach to include diverse workers especially from under-resourced communities. To ensure that our faculty, staff and students anticipate, recognize, evaluate and manage occupational health and safety health risks equitably, she is leading research, teaching and outreach initiatives with an equity lens.

“My vision for the Center is to create an inextricable link between our academic core programs, Outreach, and Continuing Education. As Deputy Director, I look forward to gaining a better understanding of the strengths across all programs, both individually and collectively, and how we can better utilize those strengths in a collaborative nature to advance our Center’s mission.”Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH




Dr. Arnold also sees the current public health challenges we are facing within our country, and across the globe, as a priority. The concurrent pandemics of structural racism and COVID-19, combined with the resulting economic and occupational health and safety impact on workers and business owners, have exposed great gaps and challenges in public health, but also opened the door to exciting opportunities for advancements in health equity and occupational health and safety.

“These concurrent pandemics have highlighted the need to address the differential health and safety risks across the spectrum of work environments, where uneven access to the tools and training on how to mitigate these risks leaves some workers unnecessarily vulnerable. It also emphasized for me the urgent and immense need to expand and extend our reach, especially to under-resourced communities, through research-to-practice activities, and educational products and services. It is a time of unprecedented challenge but also an opportunity to pursue new partnerships, new directions, new approaches and new solutions as we rise to meet these challenges.”Susan Arnold, PhD, CIH

According to Dr. Arnold, this renewed focus on the importance of public health and equity makes it a very exciting time to be a student in our programs, but also to be a public health researcher. Our faculty, students, and staff have a greater opportunity to bring all that we and the School of Public Health and the University have to offer, to raise awareness, and train the next generation of public health professionals who will effect change in occupational health and safety and health equity.


“We’re on the cusp of great change. We’re at this place in time, I think, where the workplace is about to undergo another revolution. We have the opportunity to help define a new normal, a better normal, that is more inclusive; one that is safer; one that reduces injury and illness for the workforce of today and tomorrow.”