The Department of Health Sciences is honored to highlight Autumn Janiszewski as a featured student this fall semester. Autumn grew up in Lansing Illinois and initially came to ISU as a biology major. After her first few years at Illinois State, she decided the Biology field was not for her. She knew she loved science and helping others but struggled choosing a path for her career. After speaking to an ISU representative, she was introduced to Environmental Health and immediately knew she belonged in that field.

Over the summer, Autumn worked at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARCH) as an environmental and safety intern in Sitka, Alaska. She traveled to different native communities in Southeast Alaska where she inspected SEARHC health care facilities to ensure that safety regulations were followed. She also assisted the safety department in developing a pharmaceutical waste management program; conducted landfill and food distribution inspections; and performed respiratory fit tests to SEARHC employees. When asked what she learned through her internship, Autumn said, “, I’ve learned how to act in a professional manner in the EH field. I feel confident in conducting environmental tours and other inspections and writing audits that address any findings and recommendations. I am very appreciative of the position that I had, because I will use my knowledge from my internship in my future career.”

After graduation, Autumn would love to work with the Public Health Service (PHS). She began to be interested in public health when learning about it in the HSC Disaster Preparedness course with Mike Claver. Dr. George Byrns, who used to work with the PHS, has also inspired her to pursue a career in public health. She thinks a position in PHS would allow her to continuously help others and make a difference in her community.

Autumn states, “The environmental health program, in general, is an experience at ISU that stands out to me the most. All my professors from the past few years have been extremely supportive in directing my future. The feedback I receive from them show they truly care about their students, which personally and academically motivates me. Also, the information that I learn from the EH courses will greatly benefit me in the future.”

Thanks, Autumn, for being a part of the Environmental Health family at Illinois State University!

I nominated Autumn because she is a strong student who performed exemplary work during her summer internship” – Dr. Michael Byrns