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February 10, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU’s new safety director brings expertise, experience

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Paul Novak, Slippery Rock University’s new director of environmental health and safety, is wasting little time in taking the reins, including stops across campus to examine fire extinguishers, automatic defibrillators and potential safety hazards as he learns the campus layout.

Novak started work Monday, coming to SRU from Cleveland State University where he had served in a similar capacity since 2002.

“I am already enjoying being on campus, and I see that many good things are already in place,” Novak said. “Right now I am getting acclimated to the campus, touring buildings, looking at various systems already in place and evaluating what will be our priorities in the coming week.”

He said he was pleased with the emergency alert system and would soon sign up for the e2Campus system. “The system in place in the academic buildings is also impressive,” Novak said.

He will soon begin reviewing worker compensation details and will look at ways of increasing safety training across campus while also reviewing risk management areas.

Before going to CSU, Novak spent 13 years in the department of environmental and occupational health and safety at Youngstown State University. At YSU, he served as a laboratory/technologist/micro-biologist, and later as an environmental scientist.

In addition to safety and environmental duties such as environmental assessments, employee safety training and radiation safety, Novak also operated an Ohio EPA-approved Drinking Water Laboratory, analyzing drinking water samples for microbiological contamination and served as assistant radiation safety officer.

He earned an associate degree in applied science with a major in medical technology at YSU. He also earned his bachelor of science in combined sciences with a biology major and a master of public health from the Northeast Ohio Universities Master of Public Health Program. The program is a cooperative program between CSU, YSU, Kent State University, the University of Akron and the Northeast Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Novak has served as a limited-service faculty member in YSU’s Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, instructing courses in public/environmental health and infectious disease for the department of health professions. He has taught courses and laboratories in anatomy and physiology, industrial hygiene and microbiology.

He is a certified instructor in the Building Operator’s Certification Program of the Ohio Public Facilities Maintenance Association, teaching environmental health and safety regulations and indoor air-quality classes.

At CSU, Novak served as director of environmental health and safety, radiation safety officer and university safety officer.

His department was responsible for overall environmental health and safety on campus, fire prevention and safety, emergency preparedness and response, and insurance and risk management.

He has earned certification from the:

American College of Forensic Examiners Institute, including in homeland security, level III;

Environmental Assessment Association, as an environmental inspector;

National Environmental Health Association, as a registered hazardous substance professional and registered environmental health specialist;

National Fire Protection Association, as a fire protection specialist;

Ohio Board of Sanitarian Registration, as a registered sanitarian;

Ohio Department of Health, for asbestos hazard abatement project designer, asbestos hazard evaluation specialist; and

National Swimming Pool Foundation, in swimming pool/spa operation.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.