Employee Spotlight: Jill Fermanich

All across campus various positions and duties require employees to utilize OSHA compliance, PPE, and various other safety mechanisms in their day to day work.  Wondering what these acronyms stand for and who is behind the health and safety they represent? Look no further! Environmental Health and Safety are Jill Fermanich’s forte!

As the campus safety manager, Jill is responsible for environmental and occupational safety programs that meet the standards established by federal, state and local authorities. From Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), assessment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary for various tasks, management of campus hazardous waste, and Ergonomic assessments, Jill spends each day ensuring we maintain our EcoU™ commitment!

Jill FermanichSummary of what you do?

I am responsible for developing and maintaining OSHA-compliant safety programs such as laboratory safety, bloodborne pathogen awareness, respiratory protection, etc. as well as providing training in support of these programs. In addition, I provide services such as respiratory fit testing, lab audits, fume hood inspections, consultations on indoor air quality issues, and ergonomic assessments. I also manage the campus hazardous waste program and collect, prepare, inventory and manifest all campus hazardous waste.  I manage several campus waste streams (lamps, batteries, infectious waste, aerosol cans, photographic waste) and prepare annual environmental reports for the WDNR and Wisconsin Emergency Management.  I am also currently the interim sustainability coordinator and serve as a resource for students interested in various sustainability programs or projects on campus.

How long have you been employed?

4 years in this position; have worked at UWGB since 2003

Brief history of employment with UWGB?

Prior to EHS position, I worked for 2 years as an LTE in Facilities Management developing the University’s storm water permitting program, and before that (from 2003 – 2009), I worked as an LTE on the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program as teacher liaison.

Three words that describe you? quiet, curious, adventurous

Personal interests:

Travel, Nordic skiing, reading, bicycling, canoe/kayaking, camping and pretty much anything outdoors – and especially doing any of these with my family & friends!

Random facts/interests?

I grew up in the Chicago area, and went to Grinnell College after high school graduation.  I traveled extensively in my 20’s and then returned to UW-Madison to get my M.S. degree in soil science and hydrogeology.  I worked at an environmental engineering firm doing soil & groundwater contamination investigations, and subsequently for a regulatory agency overseeing those types of environmental investigations.  I have also worked on priority watershed projects for a county land conservation district.

My husband Kevin is on the faculty here at UW – Green Bay and together we have two children, Lydia and Wes. Lydia is finishing her sophomore year in college, majoring in biology and Spanish, with a minor in community & global health. Wes is a sophomore in high school. He loves math, plays sax, runs cross country & track and is on a Nordic ski team. We’ve had some pretty terrific times together as a family sharing our love of traveling and the outdoors – we’ve hiked and backpacked in the Rockies, the Sierras and the Swiss Alps and have traveled together to New Zealand, Costa Rica, China, Peru and Europe, and have also taken several canoe/camping trips and ski trips together. We now keep ourselves busy (especially Kevin) working on and managing Kevin’s family farm north of New London.