On December 10, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2020 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize individuals who are making a bold difference right here in the Central Valley. We will highlight the nine honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.


Name: Elizabeth Tucker

Occupation:  District Environmental Health and Risk Management Officer, State Center Community College District (Department of Environmental Health and Safety)

Nominated by: The Department of Public Health

In her professional role, Elizabeth Tucker is responsible for the health and safety of over 50,000 students, staff and visitors on each of the seven campuses within the State Center Community College District. As the district environmental health and risk management officer, she ensures the campuses are compliant with respect to environmental and occupational health and safety codes and regulations. 

This includes managing the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, coordinating hazardous materials and waste, developing and implementing health, safety and risk management training, monitoring water quality in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, and overseeing incident/accident investigations, among many other significant tasks. 

Although the work is complex, Tucker says she enjoys the human connections above all else. 

“I’m able to connect with employees in different fields from different backgrounds, in different situations to help them in some small way,” Tucker said. “I hear about their difficulties in the workplace and train them on topics they didn’t even know could be important.”

Her wealth of knowledge, and desire to share it, led to Tucker currently teaching in the Department of Public Health at Fresno State, specifically as an adjunct professor in the Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety (EOHS) option. She also serves as a guest speaker and has provided valuable, hands-on internships for students in the field. 

She recently collaborated with department faculty in leading efforts to qualify the EOHS option as a qualified academic program under the Board of Certified Professionals designation,  enabling graduates to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner certification upon graduation.

The two-time alumna of the department says her own education at Fresno State propelled her career, and she hopes to do the same for current students. 

“I used what I learned in the program to help multiple industries provide safe and healthful workplaces to their employees for the last 12 years,” Tucker said. “I want to be able to provide those skills to the current EOHS students, so they may thrive in their future career.  I also want to provide them with perspective from someone who has worked in the field and share key learnings that are not always found in textbooks.”

Tucker’s ultimate goal is to become a full-time professor at Fresno State, and she is one step closer to that goal. In the fall, Tucker will begin the doctoral program of Safety Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The 2020 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held virtually this year. To register, visit bit.ly/CHHS-Heroes2020. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.