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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in NEPHIP

The National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP) works to highlight the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the environmental health workforce (Journal of Environmental Health, PDF) and help build a diverse pipeline of future environmental public health professionals.

When the diversity of our workforce reflects the community they serve, we can better understand needs and be more responsive to their cultural values, beliefs, and practices. A diverse workforce allows us to provide equitable, respectful, and linguistically appropriate services to reduce preventable differences in public health outcomes.

2022 DEI Metrics

We measure diversity across multiple variables including being a first-generation college student, age, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, neurodiversity, disability, language, religion, sexual orientation, geographical area, etc.

The information below represents some of the data from our fifty, 2022 program participants. This illustrates our ongoing efforts to increase the diversity of student participants within the program, and in turn build a more diverse workforce.


NEPHIP works to expand the geographic diversity among host site and intern placements. We aim to build the pipeline within state, tribal, local, and territorial environmental public health agencies to meet current and future workforce needs across the nation.

Educational Background

Of the 50 NEPHIP interns in 2022, 14 of them identified as first generation college students and the remaining 36 were not first generation college students. Thirty-two of the program participants were undergraduate students and the remaining 18 were graduate students.

Language & Race

Participants reported speaking the following languages in addition to English: Chinese, Farsi, French, Ibo, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, German, Paois, Lingala, Tshiluba, and Ghanain Languages.

Impact of DEI Education

The graph below represents how the 2022 NEPHIP student participants rated how the internship helped them develop each of the identified diversity, equity, and inclusion skills. Rating was on a scale from 0-5 with 0 being “not at all” and 5 being “a great deal.”

2023 and Beyond

Demographic information provides context and background of the students we serve and assist to better understand the impacts on their experience, learning needs, and unique challenges and opportunities. With this meaningful data, services such as education, training, and resource development can be tailored and targeted to meet the specific needs of a diverse intern cohort.