During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Dana Szymkowicz, PhD, Toxicologist, has been an “absolute champion” for our partners and her teammates. She has “kept her cool” throughout stressful projects, fielding questions and requests to help clients “work efficiently and safely.” At the same time, she has built a “foundation of training and departmental protocols” to assist on future deployments. We are proud to name her Employee of the Month and have her on our team. Learn more in the Q&A below:

What does a day at CTEH look like for you?
There is no “typical” day at CTEH. While each has its challenges and unknowns, especially during a global pandemic, the majority of my time is spent addressing community and occupational exposures; conducting human health risk assessments; and providing emergency response planning and support.

What has been your focus during COVID-19?
Recently, I have focused heavily on community and occupational exposures; emergency responses; and COVID-19 consulting for critical infrastructure and film/TV production clients. This includes serving as a Health Safety Supervisor for a television production, where I developed, reviewed, and oversaw COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for the cast and crew. Along with our contact tracing team, I also provided oversight for COVID-19 testing to help ensure safe operations.

Why do you enjoy working at CTEH? 
CTEH has provided many opportunities to expand my skill set, both as a technical director for emergency responses and as a supporting toxicologist for human health risk assessments. During my two years here, I have learned a great deal, and the ever-changing nature of this job provides countless opportunities to find my niche. CTEH very quickly became a family to me, and I am extremely thankful to have the support and encouragement of my colleagues.

What are you excited for professionally in 2021?
I am looking forward to growing as a manager and consultant, especially with my continuing TV production work. I also hope to begin preparing for the American Board of Toxicology exam.