This is the second in a summer series of alumni spotlights focusing on graduates of Orrville High School in Orrville, Ohio who went on to major in what was formerly known as the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health program, and is now known as Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability at University of Findlay. All of the articles in this series were written by Randy Van Dyne, who directed University of Findlay’s All Hazards Training Center, and was also an instructor, before retiring in 2019.
When Taylor Fetty ’08 learned about the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health (ESOH) program at University of Findlay (now Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability – EHSS) he was impressed with its 100% placement rate. Knowing, as well, that he would receive the best financial aid and scholarship package from Findlay, he became an Oiler shortly after graduating from Orrville High School in 2004.
While at Findlay, Fetty participated in the ESOH and martial arts clubs, and worked three summer internships for Compass Environmental in Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, and Georgia as a field technician and safety specialist. The technician role had him learning “the business end of a shovel” for lead remediation projects. As a safety specialist, he worked in an office assisting in the creation of site-specific health and safety plans and company safety policies and programs. He also worked as a work study student for the All Hazards Training Center, and worked on the Fear Factor event with the ESOH Academic Program.
Fetty said that he enjoyed the EHS major at Findlay because of the quality of the people, including his classmates, professors, and the administrators. “The coursework was regarded as the toughest program at the school, but I learned the fundamentals of applicable EHS laws and regulations, and also hands-on experience in applying what I learned,” he said. His fondest memory at UF, he added, was meeting his wife Autumn McCall, also a 2008 graduate of the University, and an ESOH major.
Upon graduation, Fetty was employed with SWS Environmental and Correct Care Solutions, before settling into his current job as the director of Environmental Health & Safety for Adtalem Global Education, located in Portland, Oregon. In these roles, he is responsible for all EHS concerns, training, and regulatory issues for the international company, as well as overseeing all security matters in seven states, including threat assessment management and physical security. Adtalem, formerly the DeVry Education Group, is a United States corporation that focuses on providing workforce solutions both in the U.S. and internationally.
Fetty shared that he thoroughly enjoys the EHS profession, including creative problem solving, training, creating policies and programs that positively impact the health and safety of employees and the environment. His work environment, he said, has changed drastically since leaving Findlay, as, fresh out of college, he worked everything from hazmat emergency response, responding to midnight calls for train derailments 500 miles away, to working inside prisons and jails protecting the safety of nurses and doctors. Now, he works from the comfort of his own home.
Fetty’s advice to students about potential careers in Environmental Safety and Health is to “listen to upperclassmen and heed their advice. The same thing goes for once you’re out in the ‘real world.’ People are often willing to share what they know, but you must be willing to listen and hear them.”