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Oct. 19, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

Safety management lands Alcoa grant

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A $25,000, grant from the Alcoa Foundation will help make Slippery Rock University's safety management laboratories among the best in the nation according to Joseph Cali, professor and department chair of safety management.

The grant was announced this week.

"We applied for funding to improve the safety curriculum for our undergraduate students and the foundation agreed to support us. The funding will allow us to buy much-needed laboratory equipment as part of our upgrade of on-campus safety labs. Those upgrades will make us among the best in the country," he said.

The safety management labs in Strain Behavioral Science Building are dedicated to aiding SRU students majoring in safety management. Applied EHS labs are used to teach problem-solving skills, how to make predictions and how to think like an EHS professional, Cali said. "These labs will expose students to the instruments, equipment, tools and technologies they will use in their professional work."

"The lab experiences often form the basis of applying lessons learned into real-world situations thus ensuring a robust environment supportive of environmental health and safety values for the workplace, the community and society in general," he said.

"The best way to learn about science, engineering and technology is generally by getting hands-on experience in the field or in the laboratory," Cali said.

"While our current equipment is adequate, this grant will allow us to upgrade to state-of-the-art equipment, equipment students will actually see and use in their professional jobs," he said. "We are very grateful that the Alcoa Foundation has agreed to provide the necessary funds."

Among the equipment on the list are sampling pumps; dry calibrators and glass calibrators; noise monitoring equipment; scaffolds; fall protection equipment, including harnesses, lanyards and lifeline set ups; fire suppression equipment and training aids; lockout tag equipment; and a confined-space simulator with rescue equipment. The purchases could also include range-of-motion calipers and anthropometric calipers.

"Overall, we will use the equipment to further improve skills and knowledge for students in the safety major that will better prepare them for employment," Cali said.

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Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.