Susan Goodwin Gerberich Symposium - Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center

Susan Goodwin Gerberich Symposium

Susan Goodwin Gerberich Symposium


2024 Susan Goodwin Gerberich Symposium
Formerly the NORA Symposium

2024 SGG Symposium

Thursday, May 2
2:00pm – 4:30 pm

Cowles Auditorium
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
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This is an in person event.

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Join us for this important discussion on the occupational health and safety considerations related to cannabis use and production.

As more states adopt cannabis access laws, and as more workers join the cannabis industry or choose to consume cannabis-containing products, the implications for existing workplace policies, programs and practices become more salient. Shifting legal standards and changing cultural views require us to craft workplace policies and practices that are adaptive to these new realities.

The symposium will feature a research poster session, followed by the keynote presentation by Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).


  • Describe the neuroscience, benefits and risks, and legal and policy aspects of the medical and recreational use of Cannabis.
  • Identify the hazard profile for the various types of workers engaged in the emerging Cannabis industry.
  • Increase understanding of various employment issues raised by the medical or recreational consumption of Cannabis by workers.


2:00 – 3:00 Poster Session and Refreshments
3:00 – 4:00 Keynote Presentation
4:00 – 4:30 Q&A


John Howard

John Howard, MD
Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM, MBA, serves as the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. He first served as Director of NIOSH from 2002 through 2008, and again from 2009 to 2015. He was re-appointed to a third six-year term in 2015 and a fourth six-year term in 2021.

Dr. Howard received his Doctor of Medicine from Loyola University of Chicago, his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, his Doctor of Law from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Master of Law in Administrative Law and his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Howard is board-certified in internal medicine and occupational medicine. He is admitted to the practice of medicine and law in the State of California and in the District of Columbia, and he is a member U.S. Supreme Court bar. He has written numerous articles on occupational health law and policy and serves as a professorial lecturer in environmental and occupational health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


In memory and recognition of Dr. Susan Goodwin Gerberich and her years of service and dedication to the field of occupational health and safety, we have renamed the annual NORA Symposium the Susan Goodwin Gerberich Symposium.

Dr. Gerberich served as the Director of the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (MCOHS) from 2007 to 2019, and was a faculty member in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences for 39 years. She was a pioneer in the field of injury and violence prevention, developing the original MCOHS injury prevention training program in 1987.  Dr. Gerberich was a devoted mentor, training future leaders in occupational health and safety.

“Of utmost importance, are the students whom I have taught and mentored and who continue to make a difference, locally, nationally, and globally!”

Susan Goodwin Gerberich, PhD

For many years, the NORA Symposium has been a reflection of Dr. Gerberich’s passion and vision, showcasing student research and bringing together students, faculty, researchers, media, and a wide variety of stakeholders to explore existing and emerging topics in occupational health and safety.  Therefore, it is only fitting that this annual event be renamed in her honor. We are proud to continue Dr. Gerberich’s legacy.