Women Leadership of the HPS
As part of the Health Physics Society (HPS) Public Information Committee (PIC) initiative to document and celebrate the women of radiation protection, this section features newly and past elected officers of the HPS Board, chapters, sections, and committees that make the Society function.
We are proud to have them as leaders of the HPS.
Please continue to submit biographies to the PIC chair.
Christine A. Bullock – Rio Grande Chapter President (2020–2021)
Sarah H. Goke – Rio Grande Chapter President (2019–2020)
Janet Gutiérrez – State of Texas Chapter President (2012–2013)
Kris Hyatt – Rio Grande Chapter President (2018–2019)
Kendall Berry has worked in medical/research radiation safety for 24 years and has worked as a radiation safety officer (RSO) for the last 13 years. She is currently the RSO at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. She served as treasurer of her local HPS chapter, Delaware Valley Society for Radiation Safety, for seven years.
For three years, Kendall was president of the HPS Academic, Industrial, and Research Radiation Safety Section, which is the name that was given to the revitalized RSO Section. Most recently, Kendall served as a member to the HPS Board of Directors for the last three years.
Outside of work and HPS, Kendall enjoys watching her three sons grow into adulthood, photography, and being outside in nature.
Dr. Kathryn Higley, CHP, is the head of the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oregon State University. Her career has sent her all over the Pacific Northwest, from Pacific Northwest Laboratories as an environmental health physicist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Oregon in environmental radiation monitoring.
Kathy is the vice chair of ICRP Committee 4: Application of the Commission's Recommendations. She is also cochair of the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization and chair of North Pacific Marine Science Organization Working Group 30: Assessment of Marine Environmental Quality of Radiation Around the North Pacific. Her goal as director is to "use her experience as a manager and educator to help the HPS successfully navigate the challenges facing many technical societies today."
Dr. Nicole Martinez, CHP, is an assistant professor at Clemson University. Her PhD is in radiological health sciences from Colorado State University (CSU), where she specialized in health physics and radioecology. Before her tenure at CSU, she served in the United States Navy as a nuclear power instructor and radiation health officer. She is on International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Committee 4: Application of the Commission's Recommendations and is the president of the HPS Women in Radiation Protection Section.
As secretary-elect, Nicole hopes to be a voice of encouragement for the Board and the Society as a whole to be open to new ideas and perspectives. She hopes that as a community we can increase involvement of members from all career levels, educational backgrounds, and areas of expertise to foster an environment in which ALL Society members feel welcome, valued, and included.
Adela Salame-Alfie has been working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Radiation Studies Branch for about 6.5 years after a long career with the Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection and the Division of Environmental Health Investigations at the New York State Department of Health. Adela is a Fellow of the Health Physics Society, served as chair and officer in the HPS Homeland Security and Emergency Response Section and the Northeast New York Chapter.
She is currently a member of the Atlanta Chapter. She chaired the Conference of Radiation control Program Directors (CRCPD) Board of Directors and chaired and served on several committees. She is a council member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and has cochaired and served on several committees. She received the CRCPD 2014 Gerald S. Parker Award and the 2021 Civil Servant Award. Adela obtained her BS in energy engineering from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, Mexico, and her MS and PhD in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Adela enjoys music, reading, and traveling.
Lieutenant Colonel Jama D. VanHorne-Sealy is the manager of the Army Reactor Program in Bethesda, Maryland. She has served in numerous roles in the Army throughout her career, including as an assistant professor of preventive medicine and biometrics and director of radiation safety for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, as the primary advisor on nuclear and radiation issues for the Office of Health Affairs and the chief medical officer of the Department of Homeland Security, and as the lead for the Department of Defense Medical Radiobiology Advisory Team and instructor for the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation course.
She was actively involved in the US military response to the Fukushima accident, where she established an in-country presumptive radiation detection laboratory for the US Pacific Forces and served as a technical advisor to US Forces Japan and US Embassy staff. She also developed and implemented the first Radiation Safety Program for US Forces in Afghanistan!
On being elected to the Board, Jama said, "It is my honor and privilege to serve this hardworking professional community. As one of your Board of Directors, my intent is to focus on identifying and improving our support to members and promoting young professional involvement, extolling the advantages of mentorship and being part of this community."
Christine Bullock holds a master's degree in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico and is certified in health physics by the American Board of Health Physics.
Christine has been a member of the HPS for more than 25 years and is a board member of the HPS Environmental/Radon Section (2019–2022). She has wholeheartedly served our Society in the past few years with her dedication to the Rio Grande Chapter of the HPS (RGCHPS), located in New Mexico. The RGCHPS, founded in 1962, represents professionals working in government, national laboratories, universities, and medical facilities or as consultants, among others.
At the RGCHPS, she has attained the highest honor of being president-elect (2019–2020), president (2020–2021), and past president (2021–2022). Among her presidential duties, Christine has organized and chaired technical meetings, encouraged scientific research, and supported the professional development of chapter members, especially those who are early-career health physicists.
"I am honored to serve as president of the Rio Grande Chapter of the HPS and for the opportunity to inspire other women in the field to be leaders and become involved in their local HPS chapters too," she said.
Christine has over 25 years of experience in the Department of Energy complex, including working at the Hanford site (Richland, Washington) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, New Mexico). She has worked in radiological operations, nuclear engineering, radiation protection management, and environmental health and safety management.
Christine is currently an environmental health physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and her expertise has been recognized recently through the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award (received in 2020).
Born and raised in Maine, Sarah Goke holds a BA in physics from the University of Southern Maine and an MS in radiological sciences and protection from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Sarah has been a member of the HPS for 23 years and an active member in the Rio Grande Chapter of the HPS (RGCHPS) for 16 years. She has been elected to several positions within the chapter, including director (2015–2018), president-elect (2018–2019), president (2019–2020), and past president (2020–2021). She currently serves as chapter secretary. The RGCHPS, located in the state of New Mexico and founded in 1962, represents professionals working in government, national laboratories, universities, and medical facilities or as consultants, among others.
Sarah has over 23 years of experience as a health physicist, including five years' experience in health physics consulting at Scientech NES (New Milford, Connecticut) and 16 years in the Sandia National Laboratories Radiation Protection Program (Albuquerque, New Mexico). She has worked in decontamination and decommissioning, occupational external and internal dosimetry, radiological operations support, radiation protection policy and requirements management, and nuclear incident response.
Sarah is currently a principal health physicist at Sandia National Laboratories. In her free time, she enjoys genealogy, hiking, and exploring the state of New Mexico with her husband and their 6-year-old son.
Dr. Janet Gutiérrez has over 20 years of experience working in radiation protection. She is the radiation safety program manager within the Environmental Health & Safety department of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She is also the radiation safety officer of UT Physicians, which is the university's clinical practice plan. She supports two radioactive material permits (broad scope for the research and medical use of radioactive materials and medical radioactive materials permit) and the medical and research uses of x rays and lasers at UTHealth and UT Physicians.
In 1995, Janet became a student member of both the State of Texas Chapter of the Health Physics Society (STC-HPS; previously named South Texas Chapter) and the HPS. The STC-HPS has expanded more recently to encompass the entire state of Texas. She has been a full member of the HPS since 2002. She has served various roles within the STC-HPS, including as president from 2012 to 2013, Nominations Committee chair from 1999 to 2001, and Public Relations Committee chair from 2013 to 2018. She even provided a salute to the STC-HPS presidents in an STC-HPS Billet article. She also received an HPS Volunteer of the Year award in 2002 for outstanding service. Most recently, Janet served as secretary (2018–2019) and director (2020) for the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) Executive Committee.
Janet is a member of high distinction within the STC-HPS and is a remarkable example of leadership and volunteering for the profession. She has served as a judge for the local Science and Engineering Fair of Houston on and off for 20 years, representing the STC-HPS. She has enjoyed working with other women and men through the years in the health physics profession and within the STC-HPS and AAHP.
Janet has demonstrated academic and professional achievement through the years. After earning her bachelor's degree in radiological health engineering from Texas A&M University, she earned her master of science in industrial hygiene and a doctorate of public health in occupational health from the UTHealth School of Public Health. She is also a certified health physicist and has coauthored nine peer-reviewed articles (most in Health Physics) and one book chapter. She is currently in pursuit of the 10th peer-reviewed article. Almost all of her achievements were remarkably completed while she was working full-time and raising two wonderful children.
In her free time, Janet enjoys time with her family, photography, and walks in the park.
Kris Hyatt has over 15 years of experience working in radiation protection, including emergency response and weapons test engineering. She is currently working at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for the Environmental Protection and Compliance Division.
Kris has been a member of the HPS for seven years and is a key member of the Rio Grande Chapter of the HPS (RGCHPS). The RGCHPS, located in the state of New Mexico and founded in 1962, represents professionals working in government, national laboratories, universities, and medical facilities or as consultants, among others. Kris was president-elect (2017–2018), president (2018–2019), and past president (2019–2020) of the RGCHPS.
Kris is the type of member any local HPS chapter would be honored to have, as she has set a great example of leadership and boldness. In fact, she has inspired and encouraged other women to be actively involved in the chapter. After Kris, three women (Sarah Goke, Christine Bullock, and Alexandra Robinson) assumed the presidential position within the RGCHPS in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively.
"I am pleased to see that, for four years in a row now, incredibly talented women accepted the challenge to serve as president of the Rio Grande Chapter of the HPS," she said.
Kris' motivation and determination are inspiring, as she is currently pursuing her master's degree in nuclear engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, which includes taking classes over the summer while she is still getting adjusted to her new position in the Radioactive Air Emissions Management Group at LANL.
In her free time, Kris enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking.