Education Highlight – On April 29, members of the College of Public Health (COPH) faculty were recognized for notable achievements at the Annual Awards Dinner.
Dr. Chandran Achutan is the 2013 recipient of the College of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award, honoring a governing faculty member whose outstanding teaching contributions facilitate the highest levels of student learning. Dr. Chandran Achutan is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health. He serves as the chair of the COPH Student Recruitment and Admissions Committee and the Graduate Program director for the doctoral program in Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Toxicology.
Dr. Achutan received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia, and both a master of science and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Iowa. He joined the UNMC College of Public Health, Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, in June 2008. He teaches the Public Health Environment and Society course, a core course for MPH students, and the Environmental Exposure Assessment course, a concentration course for students in the environmental and occupational health concentration. He is interested in combining didactic instruction with hands-on experience for students. As part of the exposure assessment course, he provides students with the experience of designing exposure assessment projects that are unique. Students have presented their findings at national and international conferences and published them in scientific journals. Some of these projects include biohazards at a petting zoo, chemotherapy drug contamination to nurses, and isoflurane exposures to dental researchers.
Dr. Achutan’ s research area is in occupational exposure assessment. His current project focuses on preventing noise-induced hearing loss among farmers. He also provides assistance to the UNMC Safety Office in preventing employee exposures to chemical and physical hazards. He is the author of over 40 research articles and is a member of numerous professional organizations.