Department of Health
The Environmental Health Program
Charles V. Shorten Ph.D, P.E.
209 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Sheehan joined West Chester University's Health Department in 1980. She enjoys the integrated approach needed to solve environmental problems. Dr. Sheehan has combined her interest in biology and engineering in the field of industrial hygiene. Industrial hygienists are health professionals who protect workers from disease agents by using a variety of hazard control strategies.
Dr. Sheehan's research involves the generation, measurement and control of workplace aerosols. Aerosols are airborne particles or droplets, and many aerosols cause significant diseases such as lung cancer, silicosis, tuberculosis, and asthma. She uses various test methods of generating aerosols for toxicology studies. Dr. Sheehan works with students and colleagues in the automobile and aerospace industries, evaluating control methods for metalworking fluid mists and "high tech" composite dusts. Both of these very different aerosols are generated by machining, a common industrial process.
By teaching courses in industrial hygiene, toxicology and air quality, Dr. Sheehan enjoys the opportunity to integrate my education and research to help students learn. In her classes, students focus on solving problems, and for course projects, students are linked with mentors practicing in the field. These mentors explain their specific problem solving experiences, and students share this information in class presentations. Students teach each other, integrating their own experiences into the learning process.