Spotlight Dennis Baden
Q&A with Dennis Baden, Director, Kent State University Environmental Health & Safety; Kent State Alumnus
- What sparked your interest in environmental health and safety? Believe it our not, EHS was not my chosen profession. I began my work at Kent State as the Operations Manager for the Airport. I did that for nearly 15 years before I was promoted to Assistant General Manager for Transportation Services and oversaw the daily operation of the Campus Bus Service. When the Campus Bus Service was moved under PARTA, the University offered me a position as an Environmental Compliance Coordinator. With an undergraduate degree from Kent State in Geology, I had an interest in environmental matters. After a number of years I became the Director of EHS.
- What sparked your interest in sustainability in both your professional and/or personal life? Sustainability is an important part of our lives. First and foremost, we have to be financially sustainable. Without financial sustainability, we are unable to accomplish the remainder. I am most interested in Stormwater and the effects of stormwater pollution on the environment. How we can use sustainable practices at home, reducing lawn fertilization and utilize rooftop runoff for example, that can reduce stormwater runoff and improve stormwater quality.
- What is your favorite part of your position? I love working with the people in the university community. Working to address concerns to improve safety and environmental compliance in a collaborative manner.
- What are your favorite accomplishments or projects you have worked on? When I worked at the airport, we began the Aviation Day event and then collaborated with the City of Stow to make it a hugely successful event. While in my current position, we completed a large number of projects. My favorites include the Building Emergency Signage and the development and implementation of Flashtrain our Safety Learning Management System.
- How does sustainability manifest itself in what you do at Kent State University? Our efforts in environmental compliance to not only meet our compliance requirements, but to reduce our environmental impact in our stormwater, air pollution, waste reduction and proper disposal.
- What do you want the people of Kent State to know about you and your position as Director in Environmental Health and Safety (or any other roles you have)? I have been associated with Kent State University since I started my education here in 1979. I was first employed as a student employee and now as the Director. Kent State University has been a wonderful place to learn and work.
- What do you want people to know about Environmental Health and Safety? The Staff of Environmental Health and Safety are here to help. Please never hesitate to contact us should you have any safety or environmental compliance questions. We pride ourselves in our responsiveness. Visit our website at www.kent.edu/compliance for more information regarding our staff, contact information and services.
- What sustainability initiatives Environmental Health and Safety working on this year? We continue to improve our Stormwater Program.
- Can you tell us more about how you and/or Environmental Health and Safety in Compliance and Risk Management is advancing sustainability? We continue to look to improve safety, manage our risks, reduce our loses in an efficient and cost effective manner.
- Where is one of your favorite spots to visit on campus? And what makes it your favorite? I love the Beck Family Memorial Gardens behind Merrill Hall. The brain sculpture and concrete books are one of the most interesting areas on campus.
- What would people be surprised to learn or know? I have been married for nearly 36 years with 2 children and 4 grandchildren. Love to kayak fish in local lakes and spend many weekend days on Lake Erie fishing for walleye.