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December 3, 2018
Life After Witt

#LifeAfterWitt: Scott Voorhees ‘78

Fulbright Scholar Scott Voorhees ‘78 Serves on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s International Team

Scott Voorhees, Wittenberg class of 1978, is putting his uncommon double major in biology and East Asian Studies to work as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) international team.

Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Voorhees moved to Japan for two years to teach English after graduating from Wittenberg. Not completely sure about his career path, he sought advice from one of his Wittenberg professors, Horton Hobbs in the biology department, regarding any suggestions he may have for an advanced degree.

“Given my unusual dual major, he suggested environmental science, which led me to my master’s degree and then to my career at the EPA,” said Voorhees, who was honored as a Wittenberg University Lifetime Fellow in 1999, the program’s inaugural year. “A decade later my work at the EPA directly led to the opportunity to begin a doctoral degree program. To this day, I appreciate how significantly Wittenberg influenced my professional career path, and the inspiration of my faculty mentors. The access that we had to our professors was something I suspect is rare among universities.”

Voorhees currently works at the EPA’s national air program headquarters office located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He is a benefit-cost analyst who uses the computer model “BenMAP” to estimate health benefits associated with changes in air pollution levels.

“I work on the EPA’s international team, assisting China and other Asian nations with their air quality management programs,” Voorhees said. “I also coordinate foreign delegations visiting EPA on study tours. My favorite parts include occasional travel to Asian countries and introducing various aspects of air quality management in a capacity-building context. The most challenging parts include ensuring that our activities and policies always comply with strict legal and ethical standards.”

Earning his master’s degree from Miami University and his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo’s School of Public Health, Voorhees is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, who studied at the Japan Ministry of Environment to examine the country’s approaches to air pollution control and then at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, where he studied the health benefits of reducing air pollution in Shanghai. He also earned a Japanese Abe Research Fellowship to estimate health benefits of reducing air pollution in Pacific Rim cities.

During his time at Wittenberg, he was a member of the East Asian Studies Club, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and Christian Fellowship, a disc jockey at WUSO, the university’s radio station, and a founding member of Wittenberg’s first Ultimate Disc Club team, the UFOs or Ultimate Frisbee Organization.

As a freshman resident in Firestine Hall in 1974-75, Voorhees was part of the Living-Learning program in which professors came to the dorm to teach classes to help the newcomer residents form lasting friendships quickly. He spent his junior year at Kansai University of Foreign Studies in Osaka, Japan, studying various aspects of Japanese culture, including language, religion, sociology, psychology, art, and history. While teaching English in Japan, he met his wife, Cathy, who was also teaching for the same organization.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

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Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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