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OCPL Welcomes New Staff

By Eddy Ball
October 2006

Cheryl Thompson
Web Manager Cheryl Thompson. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Robin Arnette
Science Editor Robin Arnette. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Eddy Ball
eFactor Editor Eddy Ball. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

OCPL recently welcomed three new employees. On September 17, Cheryl Thompson started her new position as NIEHS Web Manager and over the next few months will assume responsibility for overseeing the institute's new web site. The same day Robin Arnette began work as scientific editor for the web site and newsletters. In August, Eddy Ball joined the staff as editor of the eFactor, the institute's web-based employee newsletter. Commenting on the new hires, OCPL Director Christine Flowers said, "The new employees reflect the broadening of our efforts to communicate with the scientific community and make our science resources available on our new web site."

Thompson comes to NIEHS from Irving, Texas, where she was internet architect, web software manager and web master for seven years with the City of Irving, a community of approximately 185,000 in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Her content management system roll-out for the site earned the 2005 Technology Excellence Award from the Texas Association of Government Information Technology Managers. She served until recently as the founding Gulf Region director of the National Association of Government Webmasters, where she spoke at the 2005 conference on web re-design project management.

A graduate of Yale University, Thompson holds a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology from the University of Dallas, where she was a finalist for the Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholarship. She also completed two years of coursework in the Graduate Program in Epidemiology at Texas A&M University, where she was a Regent Scholar.

Prior to joining NIEHS, Arnette spent three years as editor of the Minority Scientists Network and a contributing writer for Science's Next Wave, two online journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). While at AAAS, she edited more than 300 articles and wrote 39 of her own feature stories. She also worked with Education and Training Systems of Chapel Hill as medical science editor. She contributed articles for the UNC Chapel Hill magazine Endeavors and for the Postdoctoral Association web site at UNC.

Arnette earned her doctorate in Biology with special emphasis in Biochemical and Molecular Parasitology in 1999 from the University of Toledo and was awarded a Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Fellowship as a postdoc at the UNC School of Medicine, where she served for two years. She has contributed research studies to Molecular Biochemistry and Parasitology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Ball was a writing instructor at Wake Technical Community College for two years before joining the OCPL staff. He also worked for Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory in Asheville, NC as an editor of publications for physicians. He taught English as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and held adjunct positions and graduate teaching assistantships at other universities.

Ball has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English language and literature. He received his doctorate in literature and composition from the University of South Carolina, where he was recognized for his academic performance. He was the first scholar ever awarded a National Defense Education Act Fellowship in the English Department at Georgia State University.

Working out of Nottingham, the new employees will join veterans on the OCPL team under the direction of Flowers. News Director Robin Mackar collaborates with DIR and NTP to enhance presentation of new research to journalists. Public Affairs Specialist John Peterson works with program administrators in DERT and a core of 100 major grantees to highlight news-worthy research initiatives funded by NIEHS throughout the country. Responding to inquiries from professional organizations, health groups and the general public, Public Information Officer Lou Rozier searches for the answers, information and resources requested by people who are outside NIEHS, but not members of the press.

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