For some people, their passion leads them to a specific job. For others, like Cathleen O’Higgins, however, her job led her to discover a passion.
O’Higgins is the health, safety, and environmental coordinator at Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, a company in the ethanol industry. In this position, she works to ensure the safety of the employees and the workers. On the environmental side, she oversees compliance with OSHA and the EPA. “I have a degree in exercise science, and I kind of fell into health and safety when I moved to Jamestown,” said O’Higgins, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in personal hygiene.
Before starting her current job, O’Higgins was not familiar with ethanol. She did a lot of interviewing and learning, and has found the process so interesting that she is considering pursuing further education on environmental topics.
Although her master’s program does not directly relate to her work, O’Higgins is considering taking advantage of diverse course offerings that would prepare her for future environmental work. “As I get through the program, I am looking at pursuing a dual program in environmental work, especially as the ethanol technology has continued to advance. As we are seeing environmental issues all over the world, I anticipate seeing more interest.”
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