Millersville University’s (MU) student chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) was named runner-up in a national competition for student section of the year.
The announcement, made earlier this year, comes with a certification and $500 stipend for the organization. Eighteen schools around the country qualified for the award.
“This is a very competitive national award and it is a testament to the work done by the students even through the pandemic,” said Dr. Jack Ogutu, faculty advisor to the chapter and occupational safety & environmental health program coordinator at Millersville.
Millersville’s ASSP chapter holds bi-weekly meetings with about 45 people in attendance, according to Emily Seiler, vice president of the organization. Seiler, who will graduate following summer courses with a degree in occupational safety & environmental health, said the majority of students are also in her program. Occasionally, emergency management majors will also join the club.
“One of my favorite parts about being involved with ASSP is that you get to see and learn so much,” Seiler said. “We go on trips and bring speakers in to learn more about what they do, why it’s important, and learn if it will be a good career fit for us. As someone who has changed my major quite a few times, that type of experience helped me feel more comfortable with occupational safety.”
The ASSP application detailed the number of meetings, attendance, trips, speakers, technical sessions, projects and community involvement done by the club through the year. Outside of bi-weekly meetings and regular guest speaker appearances, Millersville’s ASSP also hosted CPR training, conducted a research project, hosted a picnic, was involved in safety preparedness day and planned to visit a local kindergarten class to teach kids basic safety fundamentals. The trip was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We have managed to do so many different things this year that set the bar for what the chapter will look like every year moving forward,” Seiler said.
The ASSP research project, conducted in 2019, related to walkability safety around the Millersville campus. Specifically, the chapter hyper-focused on the parking lot across from the Lombardo Center to determine which students walked through the lot versus around it. Then, they researched what other schools have done to update their walkability patterns and presented their findings to the University with hopes it will be added to the master plans for renovations around campus.
“We thought the research project would be a good way to make an impact at the school,” Seiler said. “I think it became a good experience not just for me but for all of the students involved, because we got to take what we’re learning from our classes and meetings and apply it to the real world.”
Students who wish to get involved should email president Sam Hackney at email@example.com.