Membership Spotlight: July 2020

Frieda E. Sanders, PhD, MESH, IH-MESH, AOEE

Chemical Hygiene & Biosafety Officer

Wake Technical Community College

Frieda Sanders graduated from Tuskegee University (AL) in 2003 with a BS in Plant and Soil Science and Horticulture, and in 2008 with an MS in Plant and Soil Sciences with a focus on Plant Genomics. Frieda has over 10 years of diverse laboratory science experience, ranging from plant-based RNA molecular biology to synthetic peptide integration using nanotechnology. She worked at North Carolina State University Veterinary School in the Vector-Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory as a PCR technician before going back to school with hopes of becoming a Plant Breeder. Little did she know, there was a different unexpected path to safety ahead for her. After accepting a position at Wake Tech (the largest community college in the state of North Carolina) in the Biology Department as a lab technician, she changed career paths. She became part of the newly formed Wake Tech Environmental, Health, & Safety Department in 2014. Frieda feels that she has found her niche in safety, through serving others.

Frieda recently earned her PhD in Public Safety and Emergency Management from Capella University (2020). Her dissertation focuses on the multi-disaster emergency preparedness perceptions of emergency responders in the South Atlantic Region. In addition to serving as the Chemical Hygiene & Biosafety Officer at Wake Tech, she is an OSHA Outreach Trainer in General Industry as well as an Accredited Office Ergonomics Evaluator. Frieda earned her General MESH (Manager of Environmental Safety and Health) and Industrial Hygiene MESH certificates from NCSU Industry Expansion Solutions. She is currently working on her Emergency Preparedness MESH certificate. Frieda serves as a Board member for the North Carolina Science Fair Foundation and is a member of the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina.

Frieda has found her career in safety to be most rewarding as every day is a service to others. Her advice for those considering a career in safety is to bring your unique background and experience to the field because safety is universal. All forms of diversity are needed in the field of safety, and it genuinely applies to every person and occupation. Take advantage of the plethora of training opportunities available and become a lifelong learner in your field.