Dr. John Staley

John A. Staley, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Deputy Director
NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
Co-Director, Outreach Core
Carolina Center for Healthy Workplace Design and Worker Well-being
1700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Suite 344
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
CB #7502
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7502


Dr. Staley’s research and teaching program focuses on occupational safety and health hazards, particularly among vulnerable workers. His work also includes disaster preparedness and response program development, infectious disease and environmental health/safety, and program/curriculum design for undergraduate and graduate programs. He has a strong background in outreach with front-line workers, particularly the first responder community, e.g., fire/EMS, law enforcement, the military, and underrepresented populations. He works with regional partners across the southeastern United States to foster regional cross-collaboration to improve the health of the US workforce, particularly with a Total Worker Health® approach. This includes the critical intersection of community engagement and workforce development with the public, health care, business, and practice sector stakeholders in occupational safety and health research, practice, and policy.

Honors and Awards

Award for Research to Practice
2022, CDC/NIOSH Bullard-Sherwood

University Teaching Council Teaching Development Grant Awardee
2018, Kent State University

Blackboard Exemplary Course Winner

Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow
2016-2017, Kent State University

Teaching Scholars for Early Career Faculty
2010, Kent State University

Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) Impact Award
2008, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Teaching Interests

I have extensive experience in course development having served as a founding faculty member of a fully CEPH accredited College of Public Health in Kent, Ohio. As such I developed and taught both undergraduate and graduate level public health courses in health policy and management and environmental health, covering a wide variety of topics, including public health policy and decision making, U.S. healthcare system, public health leadership, public health administration, legal aspects of public health, environmental health, and disaster preparedness and response. I have a strong passion for best pedagogical practices, and having developed award winning traditional, synchronous and asynchronous courses.

Representative Courses

Public Health Systems and Solutions, SPHG 352

Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, ENVR 797

Research Activities

Public health practice and collaboration

Workforce development

Disaster preparedness and response

Public health policy making

Health care repeal and reform efforts

Environmental health 

Occupational health and safety

Service Activities

CDC/NIOSH COVID Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Program Technical Adviser (2020-Present)

Southeastern Regional Research Symposium Committee (2019-present)

NIOSH ERCs Outreach and CE Directors Committee, (2019-present)

Gillings School of Global Public Health Workforce Development Committee (2019-present)
National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Panel Reviewer (2014- 2018)

Practice Activities

I have a strong interest in public health practice and outreach, having conducted these activities while associate director of the Office of Public Health Practice and Partnerships in the College of Public Health at Kent State University. I have facilitated academic health department growth and collaboration with northeastern Ohio health departments and community stakeholders, and enjoy fostering collaboration among academic institutions and community and practice partners on public health issues.

Key Publications

Feasibility of implementing a Total Worker Health® intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic in small- and medium-sized businesses: Results from the Carolina PROSPER study. McAden E, Leff M, Staley JA, Greenberg R, Nylander-French L, Linnan L.  (2023). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine..

Multidimensional stressor and protective factors shaping physicians’ work environments and work-related wellbeing in two large U.S. cities during COVID-19. Buchbinder M, Jenkins T, Staley JA, Berlinger N, Buchbinder L, Goldberg L. (2023). American Journal of Industrial Medicine. .

Safety and Health Implications of COVID-19 on the United States Construction Industry. Choi, S and Staley JA (2021). Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, 9(1).

Senior Adult Preparedness: What does it really mean? Staley JA, Alemagno S, Shaffer-King P (2011). Journal of Emergency Management., 9(6), 47-55.

Firefighter Fitness, Coronary Heart Disease, and Sudden Cardiac Death Risk. Staley JA, Alemagno S, Shaffer-King P. (2011). Journal of Emergency Management., 35(5), 603-617.

Preparedness Roles for Health Policy and Management Departments. Staley JA, Zelman WZ, Porto JE, Paul JE, Havala Hobbs S (2009). Journal of Health Administration Education.

“Get Firefighters Moving”: Marketing a Physical Fitness Intervention to Reduce Sudden Cardiac Death Risk in Full-Time Firefighters. Staley JA (2009). Social Marketing Quarterly, 15(3), 85-99.

Staff/Administrative Duties

As Deputy Director and Director of Outreach and Continuing Education in the Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center, Dr. Staley develops learning/certification opportunities for a variety of occupational sector needs, such as fire/EMS, law enforcement, military, industrial hygienists, and safety professionals. Additionally, he fosters educational opportunities for students across the following academic programs affiliated with the center- occupational exposure science, occupational epidemiology, safety and ergonomics, and occupational medicine. He also co-coordinates the center’s pilot projects program and the Targeted Research Training Program for Postdoctoral Fellows. 


  • PhD, Health policy and administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008
  • MS, Environmental health, East Carolina University, 1997