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Rufus Eugene Godwin ’74

Current title:

Senior Industrial Hygiene Program Manager, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps Safety Division

Previous active duty title:

Deputy Director of Public Health, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D.C. I retired in 2006 after 28 years at the rank of Captain, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy.

Military branch:

United States Navy

How did Montevallo affect your military career choice? What aspects of your education at Montevallo prepared you for your service in the military?

UM indirectly affected my military career choice. UM prepared me for choices; the military was not a typical career choice for college graduates in May 1974. My UM degree earned me a teaching assistantship at Samford University, MS Biology, ’77 and toxicology experience as associate biologist (’74-’77) at Southern Research Institute.

In 1977 “industrial hygiene was an up-and-coming career” and the military needed additional industrial hygienists in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A fellow graduate student’s interest in Navy’s officer programs led me to apply to the Navy. The UM education and toxicology experience resulted in a commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), Industrial Hygiene Officer (IHO), in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps.

After the Navy I continue serving Marines, sailors and civilian employees as a civil service industrial hygienist for the United Sates Marine Corps.

Words of wisdom:

UM prepares you for choices. A degree is valuable, but it is the sum of one’s college experiences that makes you a whole person.

Who would you like to thank for your success?

My biology professors Dr. Sledge, Dr. Turner, Dr. Eagles and Dr. McGuire.

What was your favorite aspect of Montevallo?

Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, who teaches 17th-century poetry at Kenyon College wrote of his college, “both isolated and pastoral, is a small place to think big thoughts.” He captures for me what I remember about UM too: tree-lined sidewalks and streets paved with red bricks linking dormitories with academic buildings and lots of tree-shaded lawns.