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Symposium Keynote Address

 2016 Graduate Research and Creativity Symposium

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jennifer L. Schneider, CIH

Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking



Climate change and Disasters:  Remaking our world through interdisciplinary research

Climate change has already resulted in severe shocks to our world as we know it, with more to come.  This is a sad state of affairs, but it is also an opportunity to reimagine and recombine our collective individual ‘worlds’ and expertise to address to address this challenge in novel and productive ways.  This talk will use the example of disaster to explore what it may take to reimagine our world, at all levels.



Dr. Jennifer Schneider is the Eugene H. Fram Chair of Applied Critical Thinking in Academic Affairs (2015-2018) and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management & Safety at RIT.  She earned her Sc.D. In Work Environment from UMASS Lowell, College of Engineering, her MS in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and her BA in Comprehensive Science:  Chemistry & Biology from Roberts Wesleyan. Prior to coming to RIT, Dr. Schneider worked her way up the corporate EHS for Kodak, Mobil and ITT/Goulds, where she honed her technical management and crisis response skills.  She also has served on the local HAZMAT team, and comes from a family of first responders.

Her research interests include critical infrastructure emergency planning and disaster management and application of risk analysis and decision systems theory to determine community level critical infrastructure, impact on emergency management systems and target capabilities. She also studies exposure assessment, modeling of exposure scenarios, particularly hazardous material emergencies, and requisite response planning. Multidimensional sustainability and analysis of sector based corporate sustainability related activities and management systems are also an area of interest.  She was a  ‘2014 Board of Trustees Scholar’ award winner, an RIT ‘million dollar PI’ and has been a Co PI or senior personnel on many more interdisciplinary research projects, spanning RIT colleges and external partnerships.

 Dr. Schneider has developed and taught 12 courses and has chaired over ninety graduate thesis/ projects and seventy five senior projects. She continues her own education through various industrial hygiene and emergency management (FEMA) related coursework, tabletops and conferences to update professional certifications including risk analysis, PCII, A/CAMS, border security, incident command & operations, HAZWOPER, influenza, combustible & explosive dust, process safety & radiological monitoring.

Dr. Schneider is recognized by both RIT and external organizations. The RIT Provost appointed her Eugene S. Fram Endowed Chair in Critical Thinking Advisory Board (2012), RIT Institute Review Board for Human Subjects Safety (2009-) and McNair Scholars Advisory Board & Scholar Mentor (2009-2013).  She was also on the NSF/Science Masters Program (SMP for Disaster Science) advisory (2010- 2013). 

Dr. Schneider has been appointed by Honorable NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to NY Respond Commission (2012-2014), created in response to Hurricane Sandy; the National Academy of Sciences, Offshore Windfarm Health and Safety Standards Committee (2012-2013); OSHA Regional 2 Technical PI for Regional Education Center, Voluntary Protection Program Mentor (1999-); Genesee Valley Safety Conference Elected Board Member (1997-) Treasurer (2009-); USEPA Environmental Education grant reviewer (5 years); NYS Pollution Prevention grant proposal reviewer (3 years), and is a regular NIH peer review panelist. Dr. Schneider is also an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Board of Industrial Hygiene- Diplomate Level (23 years, continuous), American Society of Safety Engineers, Air and Waste Management Association, Military Operations Research Society- Decision Systems (MORS), and the Great Lakes Hazard Coalition.


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