Lab Safety Instructors
Jack Breazeale Ph.D.
Dr. Jack Breazeale received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1966. He taught at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC from 1965-1970. In 1970, he was a founding faculty member of a new state college in Florence, South Carolina, Francis Marion University. From 1970 until his retirement in 1997, he was Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics and Professor of Chemistry at Francis Marion. He also served in the administrative offices of Associate Dean of the College and Associate Provost.
Dr. Breazeale has been active in the American Chemical Society for over 40 years. He served nine years as a member of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, including three years as chair. Currently, Dr. Breazeale serves as a consultant to the Committee on Chemical Safety. He also has held offices in the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety, including that of chair. Other activities at the national level have included appointments to the Committee on the Economic Status of Chemists, the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, and membership for over ten years on the National Chemistry Week Task Force, serving as chair of the Task Force from 2000-2003. He currently is a member of the elected Council Committee on Committees, the ACS Speaker Service, and the Board of Trustees for Member Insurance Plans for ACS Members. At the local level, in the South Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society, he has held several offices in the Section, including chair, and currently serves the Section as councilor.
Dr. Breazeale became active in laboratory safety in the early 1980’s in the South Carolina Section of ACS. He has presented in the Laboratory Safety Institute workshops for over twenty years. As a Senior Instructor for the Institute, he has presented one-, two- and four-day LSI workshops nationwide and presently serves on the Board of Directors of LSI. He resides in Mount Pleasant, SC and is an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the College of Charleston.
Christina Dillard has worked as an Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) consultant, safety trainer, and program coordinator. She has worked in the biotechnology industry developing and managing laboratory safety programs. During the course of her career, she has had continued success with biological safety, chemical safety, facility safety programs and training. In addition, she has experience with emergency response planning, radiation safety, IBC and IACUC coordination, recycling, and organizational management. She currently works at the Boston Museum of Science as an environmental health and safety program manager.
In his career, Tony Gemmellaro has provided safety leadership and direction for construction project teams during expansion of facilities and new buildings, taught students about construction safety standards and general industry standards, and consulted with clients on written standard operating procedures for equipment.
As a skilled teacher, he has a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge to improve programs that help develop and implement safe practices, promote safety in the classroom, and engage others.
He has deep knoledge of OSHA, CDC, NIH, EPA, and DEP regulations, biological safety practices, including rDNA technology, select agents and bloodborne pathogens, chemical, radiation and facility safety, as well as emergency response planning.
Jim Kaufman Ph.D.
Dr. Kaufman has retired from his position as Professor of Chemistry at Curry College near Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to Curry, he was a research chemist at Dow Chemical. While there, he became increasingly involved in lab safety activities and authored Laboratory Safety Guidelines, which has become the world’s most widely distributed lab safety publication. Dr. Kaufman is regarded as the nation’s foremost authority on safety instruction in academia. He is the author-narrator of the ACS audio course on laboratory safety and editor of Waste Disposal in Academic Institutions, (Lewis Publishers), as well as the “One-Day Lab Safety Audio Seminar” and “Two-Day Lab Video Short Course.”
Additionally, Dr. Kaufman is a past chair of the International Council for Associations of Science Education (ICASE), Committee on Safety in Science Education.
Andrew (Andy) Minister is a registered fire protection engineer with over 42 years of experience, mostly with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Department of Energy national laboratory operated by Battelle. There, he served as the technical group leader for fire protection, and was responsible for supporting other ES & H activities as well. He is a principal member of the Technical Committee of Laboratories Using Chemicals for the National Fire Protection Association since 1995 and chair since 2007. Andy has presented at major universities, DOE national laboratories and NFPA conferences.
Andy is contributing author and editor for the 2014 revision to the Department of Energy Handbook 1081, Primer on Spontaneous Heating and Pyrophoricity and the AICHe Center for Chemical Process Safety book Process Safety in Labs and Pilot Plants (pending publication). You can read “Unsafe Science,” Andy’s article on fire safety in student laboratories in the September/October 2015 issue of the NFPA Journal.
Andy is currently supporting the US Consumer Product Safety Commission effort to get flame mitigation devices installed on portable gas cans and other containers of flammable liquids that are sold to consumers to prevent flame jetting burn injuries and fatalities.
In addition to teaching lab safety for LSI, Ian is a Chemical Health and Laboratory Safety Professional at the University of Connecticut Office of the Vice President for Research . He has extensive experience overseeing biosafety and biosecurity training and compliance for federal, military and civilian organizations. Some of his areas of expertise include: virology and microbiology, biological select agent federal regulatory compliance, high-containment biosafety training and development, and integrated data management design. One of his recent projects was managing biosafety compliance for more than 1,000 employees of 60 different companies at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. This is the only laboratory in the nation that can work on live foot-and-mouth disease virus. He began his career in the Navy as a special operations hospital corpsman and a flight emergency medical technician in East Asia.
Carolyn Pesthy Ph.D.
Dr. Pesthy is currently a senior lecturer at the department of biology in Texas State University, San Marcos. She has served as a science education consultant and teacher for decades and is a recipient of Al Gore’s Hammer Award and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Science Educator Award. She has served as a science fair judge in Chile, Peru, Tunisia and Slovakia. As a senior instructor with LSI, she has presented one-, two- and four-day workshops nationwide.
Russell Phifer, Ph.D.
Dr. Phifer has been active in the environmental health & safety field for over 30 years. He has twice served as chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Health and Safety. He has also served the Division as counsellor, secretary, and manager of the Division’s continuing education program. Mr. Phifer has been a member of the ACS Task Force on Laboratory Chemical & Waste Management since 1981, and served as chair from 1987-1993, 2003, and 2010. Other ACS activities include chairing the Committee on Chemical Safety and serving as a member of the Committee on Environmental Improvement. He was elected an ACS Fellow in 2010.
He has been an active member of the Chester County Occupational Education Advisory Board since 1989 and vice-chair of the Chester County Local Emergency Planning Committee since 1987. He wrote the approved Pennsylvania state curriculum for environmental technology.
Through his employment, Mr. Phifer has served as project manager and health and safety officer on two Superfund cleanup sites. He routinely develops and presents safety-oriented workshops, including chemical waste management, on-site emergency management training programs for the federal HAZWOPER standard, and laboratory safety. He has consulted for such clients as Proctor & Gamble, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, MIT, and Dartmouth College.
Mr. Phifer has received professional certification from the World Safety Organization, the National Environmental Training Association, the Academy of Hazardous Materials Managers and the Environmental Assessment Association. He currently serves as executive director of the National Registry of Certified Chemists.
Mr. Phifer is the author of several publications on hazardous materials management, and has delivered over 75 technical papers at regional and national meetings.
Raj Santhappa M.D.
Raj Santhappa is appying his backround in science, medicine and marketing to teach LSI’s lab safety courses and coordinate LSI’s Enrollment Management Program. His hardworking, positive, and professional attitude has been a great addition to our team.
Sandra West Ph.D.
Dr. Sandra West Moody received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1990 after teaching various high school science courses for 16 years and middle school science courses for two years in Houston and San Antonio area schools. She was the Science Department Chair at two high schools and one middle school. Her teaching career also includes 8 years of teaching experience in a Montessori elementary school. She first became interested in conducting science laboratory and field safety research in 1988 when as a department chair, a student came running to get her because another teacher’s student had glass in her eye from a shattered thermometer. In 1989, she conducted her first statewide study on accidents in Texas high school chemistry classrooms. Subsequently, she conducted statewide longitudinal studies on the conditions of safety in Texas secondary science classrooms in 1990, 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Dr. West has received several awards for science education leadership, including the prestigious AAAS Fellow’s, the National Science Education Leadership Association’s and Texas Science Education Leadership Association’s award for outstanding leadership in science education.
Her interest in science laboratory design came as a result of observing the linkage between safe science laboratory design and accident rates, concluding that safe laboratory design is the basis for safe laboratory use. Science laboratory design should enable, not impede, safe and effective science education. She collaborates with a number of school architects and is the co-author of the NSTA Guide to School Science Facilities and the NSTA Guide to Planning School Science Facilities.
Dr. West has been active in the Science Teachers of Texas for over 34 years having served as president, secretary, regional director and currently as the chair of the legislative committee. She testifies on a regular basis to the Texas Senate and House educational committees, State Board of Education, State Board of Educator Certification. Her expertise includes laboratory safety, science and math teacher certification, science education standards, teacher quality, and charter schools. She was on the Texas science standards writing team and former chair of the NSTA Safety Committee and is a current member of the ICASE Committee on Safety in Science Education International Council for Associations of Science Education.
She is currently an Associate Professor of Biology and Science Education at Texas State University, San Marcos where she teaches science courses for elementary and middle school preservice teachers, science methods courses for secondary science and math preservice teachers and supervises secondary science and math student teachers. Her current research topics include safety in K-12 science classroom and field settings, integrated science and math, and confusing language in science and math.
Andrew Zlotorzynski is the health, safety and risk manager for the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa. He has over 35 years experience working in research laboratories in industrial and academic institutions. For the past 15 years, he has developed and managed well-respected health and safety programs in both the research and teaching laboratories at the University of Ottawa, Faculties of Science and Engineering. He has been recognized for his animated and engaging teaching of laboratory safety, hazardous materials handling, compressed gas safety and chemical spill response. In addition to teaching within the University of Ottawa community, he is a frequent and recurring guest speaker at other Canadian universities as well as government and private laboratories. He teaches hazardous materials response to local responders and actively participates in hazardous materials spills cleanups across the Ottawa region. He has taught laboratory safety for high school science teachers and he advised school boards on science laboratory safety.
He holds two Master of Science degrees, in Chemical Engineering and in Analytical Chemistry and he is a registered safety professional in Canada.
Ana recently celebrated 17 years working at LSI. She handles LSI’s accounts, human resources, course registrations and many other tasks that come her way. Her hardworking, loyal and honest personality has always been a great addition to our team.
LSI welcomed Molly Carraway as a new full-time operations assistant in November 2018. Molly graduated in 2016 from Berklee College of Music. She has worked in a wide variety of industries and has a strong background in administration and customer service.
Jim Kaufman, Ph.D.
Dr. Kaufman founded the Laboratory Safety Institute after retiring from his position as Professor of Chemistry at Curry College near Boston Massachusetts. Prior to Curry, he was a research chemist at Dow Chemical, where he became increasingly involved in lab safety activities and authored Laboratory Safety Guidelines, which has become the world’s most widely distributed lab safety publication. Dr. Kaufman is regarded as the nation’s foremost authority on safety instruction in academia. He is the author-narrator of the ACS Audio Course on Laboratory Safety and Editor of Waste Disposal in Academic Institutions, Lewis Publishers, as well as the “One-Day Lab Safety Audio Seminar” and “Two-Day Lab Video Short Course.”
Additionally, Dr. Kaufman is chair with ICASE, Committee on Safety in Science Education International Council for Associations of Science Education.
Web and Advertising Manager
Connor has worked in advertising and PR for 13 years at LaVoie Health Science and the American Lung Association. He has a degree in Advertising from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Colorado. He enjoys the variety of assignments involved in working in a nonprofit environment and implementing creative strategies to engage science professionals in lab safety.
Brandon Paradie joined LSI in 2019 as a part-time Operations Intern. He functions as our all-around IT support person and helps with packing, shipping for our courses, as well as updating our marketing database.
Raj Santhappa, M.D.
Acting Executive Director / President
Raj is appying his backround in science, medicine and marketing to teach LSI’s lab safety courses and coordinate LSI’s Enrollment Management Program. His hardworking, positive, and professional attitude has been a great addition to our team.
Mary comes to LSI with an extensive background. A graduate of Harvard University, she has operated her own nonprofit in the past. With a wealth of knowledge and skill, she has tackled our market in search of those in need of LSI’s services.