Meet the Chemical Hygiene Officers

Michael McKinstry

Chemical Hygiene Officer, Department of Biology
Michael McKinstry holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and has been an employee at WVU since 2009.  Mike is currently an Academic Laboratory Manager in the Department of Biology. Prior to coming to WVU, Mike worked as a Research Associate in a molecular biology lab at the Biological Defense Research Directorate of the Naval Medical Research Center in Rockville, MD and also at the National Institutes of Health.  

An area of professional interest for Mike is bacteriophage biology and bacteriophage use in biotechnology. He has published, presented work at national meetings, and is listed on several patents involving the use of bacteriophages in bacterial detection.   

In his spare time Mike enjoys fly-fishing and spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.  

Casper Venter

Chemical Hygiene Officer, Department of Forensic and Investigative Science

Casper Venter is currently the Chemical Hygiene Officer for the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU. He also serves as the director of the forensic facilities, which include Oglebay Hall and the crime scene complex. Casper serves as a non-tenured faculty member in the department and teaches forensic courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Casper presents workshops on clandestine laboratory investigation for law enforcement and chemists. 

Before joining West Virginia University, Casper worked for 22 years in a forensic science laboratory in South Africa as a forensic drug chemist. He obtained his first degree in 1992 in analytical chemistry, two graduate degrees in both chemistry and laboratory management (cum laude) during 1994 and 2002, respectively, and an MSc Biochemistry (cum laude) during 2010. He joined the South African Police Service in 1988, went through internal basic and advance police training and was then assigned to the forensic science laboratory. During his 22 years in the forensic laboratory Casper completed various training programs related to instrumentation used in the chemistry department, crime scene investigation, clandestine laboratory investigation, photography, forensic disciplines in forensic sciences, hazardous material first response, and advance risk assessment. He examined more than 5,000 drug- related cases, investigated clandestine laboratories for 13 years and testified as an expert witness for 17 years. He was a member of clandestine laboratory investigation for chemists (CLIC) from 1997 until 2010 and attended three of their international technical training seminars.

Graham Andrews

Assistant Professor of Geology & Chemical Hygiene Officer, Department of Geology and Geography

Dr. Graham Andrews completed his M.Geol. and Ph.D. in geology from the University of Leicester, UK. He subsequently worked as a researcher at the University of British Columbia, the Geological Survey of Canada, and at the University of California Santa Barbara. He was a faculty member in geology at the California State University Bakersfield (2012-2016) and a visiting faculty member at Franklin & Marshall College. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Geology and Geography at WVU since August 2016. Dr. Andrews has been the Chemical Hygiene Officer within the Department of Geology and Geography since August 2017. He has a dog and too many cats.

Barbara L. Foster

Chemical Hygiene Officer, C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry

Barbara L. Foster has been a certified Chemical Hygiene Officer through the National Registry of Certified Chemists since 2000 and is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  She was the recipient of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety (DCHAS) Tillmanns-Skolnick Award in 2006 in recognition of her service to the division. She served as chair of DCHAS in 2007 and currently serves as a reviewer for the ACS Journal of Chemical Education. Ms. Foster is   a member of the College Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) and an elected member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 45  Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals technical committee.

Ms. Foster is the author of over 20 papers and instructional publications, including  Laboratory Safety and Management: A Handbook for Teaching Assistants. She has presented over 60 talks on various aspects of chemical safety at professional meetings, workshops, academic institutions, and government facilities across the nation. Ms. Foster served as co-chair of the committee that was formed by the National Academy of Sciences Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology to revise the seminal safety reference book,  Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards (2011).

D.J. Pisano

Chemical Hygiene Officer, Department of Physics and Astronomy

DJ Pisano

D.J. Pisano is the chemical hygiene officer, an associate professor and the interim chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He previously worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the NRAO in Green Bank, WV, the Naval Research Lab and the Australia Telescope National Facility. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his BS from Yale University. He is a radio astronomer who studies how galaxies form and evolve.