SRU receives ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award


Safety students giving a virtual presentation

From left, Slippery Rock University students Sam Miloser and Evan Hilk present face mask research virtually from a room in the Strain Safety Building. They are among the SRU students who are members of the American Society of Safety Professionals chapter at SRU that won the 2020-21 ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award.

July 2, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — A safety management student organization at Slippery Rock University has earned national acclaim. The American Society of Safety Professionals chapter at SRU won the 2020-21 ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award, honoring the section that made the most significant contributions toward advancing safety education and research. The ASSP at SRU received a $5,000 stipend for its recognition that will be applied to the organization's budget for next year. There are more than 134 student members of the ASSP at SRU.

"This is a remarkable award that recognizes the determination and work that our students do to enhance the safety management education and profession," said Joseph Losko, assistant professor of safety management and faculty adviser of the ASSP at SRU. "There were many challenges during the pandemic and our students rose above these difficulties to engage with one another to both make a difference and meet the stringent criteria of the award.

"This recognition certainly boosts the profile of our program and reflects the efforts of the faculty and students. We are extremely proud of our students and this is further evidence that SRU has a premier safety management degree program with exceptional safety laboratories, teaching facilities, students and faculty."



To earn the award, the ASSP at SRU demonstrated ways that it delivered value to its members, even virtually during the pandemic with guest speakers on Zoom, and by members conducting research. For their research component, chapter members conducted fit testing of different types of face masks, such as N95 respirators, to see how well they protect people from exposures to particulates, which was timely and relevant to the pandemic environment.

"I reached out to different speakers from different walks of life, from insurance or construction companies, and was able to provide a diverse group of perspectives throughout the semester," said Alina Schlichtkrull, a senior safety management major from Wexford, who served as the chapter president. "We're also happy with how the research project turned out given our limitations and everyone not being together on campus. We were still able to meet in small groups to conduct the fit testing with the supervision of our professors and we even got to present the research at a virtual conference."

Five students presented the research at the ASSP Western Pennsylvania Chapter's Professional Development Conference which was attended virtually by approximately 50 safety industry professionals and college students from around the region.

Separate from the chapter recognition, four members of the ASSP at SRU received 2021 ASSP Foundation Academic Scholarships totaling $24,500. They included the following:

  • Schlichtkrull received the Amazon Impact Scholarship, $10,000.
  • Kaycee Vanchure, a 2021 graduate with a degree in safety management from DuBois, received the Amazon Impact Scholarship, $10,000.
  • Brad Kane, a senior safety management major from Ellwood City, received the ASSP Region VIII Scholarship $3,000.
  • Denelle Balach, a senior safety management major from Freedom, received the New England Area Future Leadership Award, $1,500.

Funded by the safety community through the ASSP Foundation, 130 scholarships totaling $328,000 were awarded this year.

"We are extremely proud of the student section of the ASSP and the academic scholarship awards received by for Alina, Kaycee, Brad and Denelle," said Joe Cali, professor of safety management and department chair. "They are excellent representatives of the safety management major and the University."

There are more than 80 ASSP student sections from around the world. Recent winners of ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award include schools such as Indiana University, Illinois State University and Murray State University. Student chapters have access to the ASSP's network of 36,000 safety professionals. Founded in 1911, the ASSP is the longest-running safety society which advocates for workplace safety and health professionals.

More information about the ASSP's Outstanding Student Section Award is available on the ASSP website. More information about SRU's safety management program is available on the University's website.

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