Workplace Health and Safety Manager Certificate Program grad Carmel Gacho headshot

Student Spotlight: Carmel Gacho

Moving across an ocean is daunting enough, but starting a new career in a new country was a task Carmel Gacho was more than capable of undertaking. Gacho used to work for a government research institute in Manila, Philippines as a Supervising Science Research Specialist and Environmental Committee Chair, focusing on hazardous material management and environmental compliance. “My job exposed me to the complex health and safety issues in an R&D [research and development] environment and perked up my interest to learn more on the science of safety,” said Gacho.

Gacho moved to the US in 2017, when her husband was transferred by his company, and she began considering where to take her career. Keeping her interest in health and safety in mind, a schoolmate from Manila recommended the Workplace Health and Safety Manager Certificate Program. “I knew that UC Davis is one of the best universities in the U.S., and I know how important it is to keep yourself competitive at all times, so I decided to be a student once again,” said Gacho.

As a student, Gacho appreciated the in-person traditional classroom setting the certificate program offers. “I love classroom learning as there’s a continuous interaction between students and teachers. You get motivated as a student to directly share your views and experience, and clarify queries with the teacher” said Gacho. “I got most of my questions answered right away.”

The applicability of the material, and the quality of the instructors are two things that particularly stuck out to Gacho. “This certificate program taught me how to develop a more robust health and safety program and helped me keep abreast with related federal (OSHA) and state (CalOSHA) laws, rules and regulations,” she said. “The Program has a great line-up of excellent instructors who are very approachable and knowledgeable in their field of expertise.”

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After six months as a student, Gacho landed her first job as an environmental health and safety specialist at Advantech Corporation, and was given a promotion to supervisor, leading and managing the company in establishing a more robust EHS [environmental health and safety] program.

Since completing the certificate program, Gacho has joined the American Society of Safety Professional, and in less than three months has sat for all the exams required to become a Certified Safety Professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management.

Gacho recommends this program to those who find themselves in her position. “I would highly recommend this program to everyone. It has excellent foundation courses, particularly for those who are new to the EHS profession.”


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