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Enrollee Spotlight

Enrollee Spotlight

Isaiah L Harris
SEE Enrollee

Dr. Isaiah Harris is a Laboratory Program Assistant in the Region 6 EPA Laboratory in Houston, TX.  In this position Dr. Harris receives and performs sample logins, sample disposal, organic and inorganic extractions, and assists Laboratory personnel in other duties around the Lab.  He has been in his position for almost 3 years and says he enjoys the scientific working atmosphere and the autonomy he is given in his work.  He also likes the fact that his work is very detail oriented and appreciates its importance to the EPA.

As you would guess, Dr. Harris wears a lab coat to perform most of his SEE position duties.  However, it is attire in which he feels at home.  As a dentist, Dr. Harris wore one every day during the years of his practice.  Dr. Harris actually started his working career with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts as a Tax Enforcement Officer, working his way up to the position of Administrator of Technical Programs with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts before leaving to attend dental school at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston.

The seed of Dr. Harris’ desire to become a dentist was planted in the 1960’s when he father took contract work with the U.S. government to provide training to Kenyan longshoremen as part of an aid package to newly independent Kenya.  Dr. Harris was only 14 years old at the time of his family’s move and had come from a poor background where medical and dental services were sought only when the need was dire.  In East Africa, the U.S. provided medical and dental benefits to the family and Dr. Harris discovered first hand the importance of preventive dentistry.

Finally, after years being a dentist, Dr. Harris decided that he was ready to retire from the intensity of dental practice.  After retiring in November of 2007, Dr. Harris found just the work he was looking for with the SEE Program – a job that is both satisfying and low stress.  And, fortuitously for EPA, while Dr. Harris enjoys his work, the SEE Program greatly benefits from his extensive background in science and his unfailing positive attitude.  David Neleigh, Director of EPA Region VI Laboratory and Monitor for Dr. Harris says, “Isaiah is truly a bright spot for us. We are honored to have him.  Isaiah is always ready with a smile and pleasant greeting, no matter how hectic the day has been. He is a real positive force in the laboratory.”