Eagleson Institute Annual Newsletter
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2014: Year in Review

2014 was an exciting year at the Eagleson Institute.  Some of our higlights include:

Our 13th CDC International Symposium on Biosafety was held during "Snowmageddon" in Atlanta

Tours of Duke University’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory and Lemur Center added to the BSL3 Seminar Series

Our youngest attendee ever, Dawson Frasier (17), completed our “Verifying BSL3 Performance” class

Charlie Pellegrini, Energy Plus Scientific, Harrisburg, PA, joined the Advanced Certification instructor team

Eagleson Institute celebrated 25 years with staff and colleagues with a schooner trip through Maine’s scenic Casco Bay, followed by an evening dinner party at the Harraseekett Inn in Freeport.

Back-to-Back conferences “1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker HealthTM” and “Healthier Federal Workers 2014” held in Bethesda, MD

In this Issue:

  • 2014: Year in Review
  • Spotlight
  • Looking Ahead
  • BSC Donation to Haiti
  • BSC Donation to High School
  • Honor Society
  • Workplace Wellness
We are pleased to announce there were three members added to the Eagleson Institute Honor Society in 2014.  The Honor Society is for those who have attended five or more of our regular classes.  Congratulations to the following:

Jeff Anderson, Precision Air Technology, Morrisville, NC

Mark Kornblum, National Airfilter, Carlstadt, NJ

Les Miller, Micro Filtrations, Inc., Altamonte Springs, FL

Workplace Wellness

Workplace health and alternative work styles were hot topics at our “1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker HealthTM” and “Healthier Federal Workers 2014” in Bethesda, MD this year.  In effort to help promote a healthy workplace, the Institute has purchased a sit-stand workstation for employees to test out.  Michelle Hersom (pictured) has adapted well to the new style of working and enjoys spending her days using the versatile station.  In addition, employees are spending some time sitting on yoga balls in place of their office chair to help promote better posture and core body strength.


Spotlight: Mary Ann Sondrini

Mary Ann Sondrini, EdM, has been the Eagleson Institute’s Executive Director, as well as a course instructor, since the very beginning.  We are pleased to feature Mary Ann in this newsletter and want to congratulate her on her 25 years of success!
Born and raised in western Massachusetts, Mary Ann has a degree in biology from Williams College and a graduate degree in education with a focus in curriculum development from Harvard School of Education.
Mary Ann moved to Maine in 1988, and was looking for work that combined her interests in science and education, when she saw the advertisement for the Executive Director position in the newspaper. The rest, as they say, is history. Mary Ann has spent the last 25 years working with staff and subject matter experts to create a catalog of courses that satisfy the needs of a variety of professions in the biosafety field, while raising two children, along with her husband, Peter Taggart, owner of a design/build firm.  At Eagleson, Mary Ann oversees the development and promotion of all Institute activities, including training courses, seminars, conferences, DVDs and global mentoring projects.

She strongly believes that in order for learning to have an impact, there needs to be an emotional connection to the subject, and ensures that Eagleson Institute programs incorporate learning strategies and activities that engage learners.

Mary Ann also believes strongly in the value of personal relationships, and has worked with individuals and groups worldwide to promote laboratory safety. Over the years, she has been active in the American Biological Safety Association, receiving the Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award for her extensive contributions to that organization. In November, 2014, she attended the ASLM meeting in Capetown, South Africa – and spent several days hiking and bicycling that area. An avid hiker and cyclist, Mary Ann tries to incorporate outdoor activities with colleagues wherever she attends conferences. If you are a walker, hiker, or biker, look her up at the next conference you attend. Your trek might not be as exciting as the one she and a colleague experienced in Scottsdale, AZ, when they were completing a hike in the twilight, and could hear rattlesnakes rattling all around, but you’ll enjoy getting to know her!

Looking Ahead

2015 is shaping up to be a very busy year.  Along with our standard programs offered in Maine (see Catalog), we have many exciting conferences planned for the first half of this year.

APR 9-10: Healthcare Facility Response and Design for Highly Pathogenic Infectious Diseases (Atlanta, GA) more info

APR 27 - MAY 1: BSL3 Seminar Series (Raleigh, NC) more info

JUN 8-9: IBC Conference (Lafayette, CA)

JUN 9-11: Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures: An Occupational Health Colloquium (Lafayette, CA)

BSC Donation to Haiti

The Eagleson Institute was able to donate two Biological Safety Cabinets to a lab in Haiti, to aid The University of Florida College of Public Health Professionals and the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute in developing an infectious disease laboratory following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country.  The Institute donation, in turn, lead to more donations of laboratory equipment from many different manufactures and has helped the lab be commissioned and inspected to meet all US safety standards.  Read more about this project


BSC Donation to Maine High School

A high-school student from Gould Academy (Bethel, ME), was inspired to begin work in June 2014 on researching regenerative medicine treatments for patients with end-stage kidney disease because of his mother's battle with the disease. The young man reached out to our Chairman of the Board, Dennis Eagleson, to describe his impressive work and request a donation to his school so that he might continue his studies.  The Eagleson Institute was happy to accommodate the request and received this fascinating letter from him explaining the value of our donation both to him and his school and the very exciting research he is working on. Read the letter

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