The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) aims to engage the general public, at risk communities and their opinion leaders and state, local and national policy makers in bidirectional communications to effectively translate Center research. COEC implements activities aimed at recruiting the next, diverse generation of EHS researchers and physicians in conjunction with the Career Development Program. Finally, the COEC develops outreach and educational initiatives aimed at translating Center and other EHS research to inform state, local and national policy makers, and increase environmental health literacy.


Robin Fuchs-Young, PhD.
Robin Fuchs-Young, PhD.Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine & TAMHSC Institute for Biosciences and Technology


Tim Lightfoot
Tim LightfootProfessor and Director, Huffines Institute


Dr. Arnie Vedlitz
Dr. Arnie VedlitzExecutive Associate Dean; Professor; Director of the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy; and Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy
Texas A&M University

Summer Institute

Description: The Environmental Health Science Summer Institute (SI) is an annual, 5-day professional development conference where Texas teachers are introduced to and trained to implement innovative, classroom-ready, STEM-based educational materials. The SI offers a series of 1-day workshops Monday through Thursday. An offsite field trip is offered on Friday. The workshops focus on the relationship between the environment and human health, including topics such as: indoor and outdoor air pollution, lead poisoning, water quality, toxicology, cancer, risk-assessment, genetics and cell biology. Workshops are facilitated by curriculum developers, classroom teachers, scientists and researchers and include explorations of content, new and exciting lesson and activity plans, demonstrations and hands-on activities, all of which can be immediately translated to classroom use. Elementary, middle and high school workshops are offered each day, so teachers are encouraged to attend for the entire week, although this is not required. Each workshop provides free integrated curricular materials and hands-on learning activities. The SI is accredited by the State of Texas to provide continuing education (CPE) and gifted/talented (GT) credits (6 hours per workshop). A Travel Grant program is available to defray the costs of lodging and transportation for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

The goals of the Summer Institute are the following:

Goal I: Train teachers and disseminate environmental health and science materials through professional development.
Goal II: Advance education through improved instruction and integration of environmental health and science materials across subjects, including science, mathematics, theater, reading, writing and social studies.

As teacher input is highly valued, at the end of each day, SI attendees are asked to complete an online survey to evaluate workshop organization, quality of curricular materials and instruction, and usefulness and applicability of workshop materials for K-12 education.

In addition, in order to evaluate long-term impact of the SI, a summative Implementation Survey is sent to all attendees in the spring of the school year following their participation. In this way, the teachers can report on the use and impact of the training and materials received. 

National Conference for Legislators

Description: The Community Outreach and Engagement Core will lead a workshop titled, “NCSL’s Environmental Health Preconference – An Open Dialogue on Hydraulic Fracturing, Water Scarcity and Quality, and Impacts on Environmental Public Health” at the NCSL Legislative Summit on Monday, August 3 from 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM.

The 2015 Environmental Health Workshop explores the relationship between the environment and its impact on public health. The plenary sessions highlight two major policy concerns–hydraulic fracturing and water resources–providing an open forum with experts in the field on their health impacts. Enjoy a lunch session afterward, with experts from several fields of environmental health policy. Discuss approaches to address toxics and chemicals, indoor air quality, U.S. Mexico border health concerns, environmental public health labs, and PCBs in schools. For further information please contact Doug Farquhar (doug.farquhar@ncsl.org or 303-856-1397).

Full Agenda

Mission Breathe

Field Experiences with Med High

Chung S. Yang, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor and John L. Colaizzi Endowed Chair in Pharmacy at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy

Marisa Bartolomei, Ph.D.

Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Co-Director, Epigenetics Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine

Christopher A. Bradfield, Ph.D.

Professor of Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Steven R. Kleeberger, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Respiratory Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,  National Institutes of Health

Scott W. Burchiel, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research and Professor and DeSantis Endowed Chair of Pharmacogenomics, College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico

Ting Wang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Genetics at Washington University in St. Louis

Kyongbum Lee, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Tufts University

Eric Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.

Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology; Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics and Pathology; Associate Director for Basic Science and Deputy Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine