Health Physics Academic Programs

University of Alabama at Birmingham

On 31 March 2018, Health Physics Society (HPS) President-elect Nolan Hertel, PhD, visited Huntsville, Alabama, to share his talk on exposure to the public from 131I patients released after therapy treatment and the state of health physics and the HPS. During his meeting with the Alabama Chapter, Dr. Hertel visited with the health physics faculty and students in attendance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Master of Science in Health Physics (MSHP) program.

The UAB health physics program is one of the newest in the country and was born out of a desire to start a program that goes back over 20 years. The late Professor Emeritus Michael A. Thompson, who worked for decades in the UAB Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) program, dreamed of starting a health physics program at UAB. Several years ago, the dean of the UAB School of Health Professions decided to shift the offerings of programs primarily to the master's level. The current program director of the UAB NMT program, Norman E. Bolus, saw an opportunity to not only move the NMT to the master's level but also to have a joint program offering with a Master of Science in Health Physics as well. After getting all parties involved to support this endeavor and with support of the administration of UAB, the health physics program celebrated its first class offering in the fall of 2016. Tremendous help from Dr. Emily Caffrey, adjunct faculty for the UAB MSHP program, allowed this first class to begin. Since then UAB has hired its first full-time faculty member, Associate Professor Dr. Mohammad Maqbool, who has many years of experience teaching health physics to aid in helping the program continue to become established.

The program currently has three part-time students and two full-time students as enrollment continues to grow moving forward. The fall of 2018 class will include 5 to 8 new students. The unique curriculum has several joint MSHP and MSNMT classes offered for both sets of students. This enhances the quality of both programs by broadening the students' experience base. Professor Emeritus Thompson would be proud of the program that UAB is now establishing and grateful to all those who are supporting it to get it established.

Front row, left to right, Domenica Pringle (UAB MSHP program student), Liliana Navarrete (UAB MSNMT program assistant professor), Misty Liverett (UAB MSHP program student), and Manar Sakalla (UAB MSHP program student); back row, left to right, Jordan Pugh (UAB MSHP program student), Norman E. Bolus (UAB MSHP Program assistant professor and UAB MSNMT program interim program director and program director), Dr. Nolan Hertel (HPS president-elect), and Dr. Mohammad Maqbool (UAB MSHP program associate professor); not pictured, Dr. Emily Caffrey (UAB MSHP Program adjunct faculty and current president of the Alabama Chapter of the HPS). Photo courtesy of Jarvis Caffrey



Idaho State University

The 22nd annual John Horan Symposium was held at Idaho State University (ISU) this April in honor of the late John Horan. This annual meeting—held among the Health Physics Society (HPS) Eastern Idaho Chapter, Great Salt Lake Chapter, and ISU Student Branch—is meant to bring together both students and local professionals from many different fields. Horan was a world-renowned and highly respected health physicist who contributed invaluable time and experiences to both the ISU health physics and nuclear engineering programs. This year's symposium included presentations on innovative dispersion modelling and radiological detection systems developments, a look at the growing role of health physicists in emergency-response planning, and an overview of current research being conducted at ISU. The health physics program at ISU, directed by Dr. Richard Brey, was very excited to host the symposium. For the spring graduates, it was an excellent way to end their time here at ISU.

The students of the ISU Student Branch of the HPS with Dr. Richard Brey and HPS President-elect Dr. Nolan Hertel at the 2018 John Horan Symposium, left to right, Rijul Chauhan, Jose Hurtado, Mark Williams, Jessica Graeber, Brey, Amelia Miller, Hertel, Sarah Black, Madison Cooke, Aaron Otterstein, and Andrew Turner. Photo courtesy of Jessica Graeber

Bryce Rich (left) with Nolan Hertel at ISU. Submitted photo