Meet the 2020 NSC Scholarship Winners
Awarded for the first time in 2018, the Women in Safety Scholarship provides a renewable scholarship for women studying safety in the workplace. Any woman enrolled in a post-secondary program is eligible. Learn more about the award.
Women in Safety Scholarship winners for 2020 are:
Mackenzie Lofland: Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
Major: Environmental Health and Safety
Mackenzie expects to graduate in 2022 and will pursue a career in Construction Health and Safety.
In her application, she shared, “…in 2016, I had the opportunity to get involved with our department's Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) Prevention initiative, and it forever changed my perspective… It was fascinating to me, and I became enticed to learn more about construction safety. A few months later, I attended my first ACIG Safety/Claims Management Workshop, where about 200 Safety Directors/Managers and Claims Professionals come together annually to learn about emerging trends, technologies, best practices and lessons learned in the construction industry. It was there that I was able to see firsthand how the Safety Professionals that I work so closely with every day are making a difference, serving as trusted safety advisors to help safeguard others. At this point, it was as if a lightbulb went off in my head, and I knew that this is what I wanted to do; what I am supposed to do. I am here, on this journey, so that someday I, too, can make a difference.”
Maria C. Kander: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Major: Environmental & Industrial Hygiene
A third year, PhD student, Maria anticipates graduating in 2022 with a doctoral degree in environmental and industrial hygiene. She hopes to gain technical and professional skills in order to limit risks associated with varied work tasks, and to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to safely perform work duties.
In her application, she shared, “Through my efforts at NIOSH and UC, I have created the opportunity for collaborative research within the structural firefighter research field. As a second-year doctoral student, I am involved in a comprehensive study evaluating firefighters’ combustion byproduct exposures and the effect of tightening personal protective equipment around the wrist, ankles, waist, and neck, as well as the role that base layers play in these exposures. This work reflects my commitment to the health and safety of American workers, particularly those who work dangerous jobs, such as firefighters, and to my belief that assessment-based protocols can shape a healthier future for these workers so they can safely continue the important work that they do.”
Allison Kuhns: San Juan College, Farmington, New Mexico
Major: AAS Occupational Safety, Certificate Occupational Safety
A third year student, Allison anticipates graduating in 2022, and her goal is to use her knowledge of safety and the resources provided to ensure each person returns to their family healthy and uninjured.
She shared, “I am working for Southwest Airlines in Ground Operations. Up until this job, I have struggled to find a direction in life after high school. My first attempt at college was unsuccessful and working retail jobs was unfulfilling. When introduced to Southwest, I was exposed to an exciting industry that allowed me to grow as a worker and pursue opportunities I would have never dreamed of. It started when I was encouraged to join the volunteer Union’s Safety Representative team. I currently serve as the only female representative and continue to build more connections with my coworkers and members of management. By conducting accident investigations, performing safety inspections of facilities and equipment, and attending safety meetings I have obtained the skills to recognize hazards and determine risks found in the workplace. When I became proficient and enthusiastic with my new responsibilities, I began to consider pursuing a career in safety.”
Allison McClain: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Major: Environmental Health and Safety
A junior, Allison expects to graduate in 2022 and pursue her passion for helping others and making a positive difference in people’s lives through a career as a safety professional.
In her application, Allison shared, “Through internships for Corning Incorporated and Kiewit Construction, I learned to connect the technical/production side to the emotions and human nature of the employees. I face safety challenges head-on, ask questions, and not shy away from implementing improvements. Yet, I am receptive, an effective communicator, and a coach. I have learned that I am not just the safety person that is there to tell you to put your hard-hat on. I am your friend, your ally, your coach. Safety professionals carry a lot of weight on our shoulders but seeing our friends go home to what they love, well, that is why I choose this as my career.”
Katrina Fenimore: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
Major: Safety & Health Management
Katrina will graduate in June 2021 and plans to pursue career in Risk Management.
In her application, she shared, “I am excited to pursue this career as an effort to help others. I was seeking a career change in October of 2018 when I attended the Women in Industry event at Central Washington University. This consisted of a panel of over 15 women from a variety of Occupational Safety & Health professions, all of whom were very inspiring. They shared stories of overcoming obstacles and empowerment of others. It was then that I realized that I would be a perfect fit in this industry. This inspired me to go home, do my research, and apply for the opportunity to work in the safety field. I love working with people of all different backgrounds and participating in something larger than just myself.”
Sudley Perez: Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana
Major: Occupational Safety Management
Sudley, a graduate student, will graduate in May 2021 and plans to pursue a career in Occupational Safety Management in the manufacturing industry.
Sudley shared, “In recent years, I have noticed that employee safety culture across the nation has not received the attention it deserves, resulting in numerous fatal injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Latinos experienced the 2nd highest rate of these fatalities across the nation. Additionally, research performed by the Annual Review of Public Health found that many of these fatalities occurred due to language and cultural barriers but, most importantly due to unsafe working conditions – including physical hazards, environmental exposures, lack of safety standards, workplace abuse, and forced labor. As a Latina woman, I am driven and passionate about ensuring that Latino employees, as well as all those who struggle due to language barriers, understand and know their rights to a safe working environment. I hope that, in doing so, I will be making a difference in the lives of marginalized, hard-working people.”
Rubi Ramirez: Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Baltimore, Maryland
Major: Public Health
Rubi will graduate in 2021 and plans to pursue a career in Industrial Hygiene.
In her application, Rubi shared, “I am a first generation low-income student born to immigrant parents. I am their American dream, the culmination of their hard work and sacrifice. I have the passion, the determination, and the perseverance to continue my education and I am deeply committed to safety. I feel so passionately about occupational safety and am currently working on a research proposal concerning forklift fatalities and OSHA standards and regulation. I feel a deep need to keep learning about safety in this country, the systems we have in place to protect it, and ways in which we can improve the state of safety in the workplace. I have experienced firsthand how certain marginalized groups are even more susceptible to poor safety practices and this is frankly unacceptable. I hope to eventually work in a position that will grant me the ability to work towards ensuring that workers are being treated as fairly and carefully as the law demands and as they as human beings deserve.”
The NSC Construction & Utilities Division provides a scholarship each year in honor of Billy D. Young, a founder of the division. Learn more about the award.
The 2020 Billy D. Young Memorial Scholarship winner is Payton D. Amend, an occupational safety and health major at Southeast Oklahoma State University, Durant. Payton, who graduated in December 2020, shared her reasons for choosing to study safety:
My father was a student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University studying Occupational Safety and Health when I was young, hearing him discuss things that he was studying piqued my interest in the field. Today, I am in the second semester of my junior year at the same university, studying and working to earn a bachelor’s degree. My major is Occupational Safety and Health with a minor in Management. My goal is to obtain a degree, then pursue a career where I can apply the knowledge I have gained to promote and ensure safety in the workplace, remove dangers and improve working conditions so workers can go home to their families at the end of their shift. I would like to work in the manufacturing industry where I will gain experience to complement the knowledge I have received. My ultimate goal is to educate employees, foster a safe and healthy work environment to protect employees, customers and any other people that might be affected in that environment. After I have had the opportunity to gain some experience, I would like to pursue a master’s degree and eventually work to develop workplace safety and educational materials, videos.
Lorraine Pack inspired those around her to care for each other’s safety and protect the environment in which we live and work. She participated in Campbell Institute events and embraced the Institute’s focus on solving global environmental, health and safety challenges through innovation and research. Lorraine mentored women of all ages on what it takes to be an EHS professional, the importance of connecting with operational leaders, and inspiring employees to improve stewardship and lead with EHS. The Lorraine Pack Memorial Scholarship Fund, established by Laura Fiffick, Brittany Westphal and other generous donors, allows Lorraine's legacy to live on by inspiring young women to pursue careers in the EHS field. Learn more about the award.
NSC Congratulates D’Andrea Prim, the 2020 Lorraine Pack Memorial Scholarship recipient. Ms. Prim is a student at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. This award will assist in her pursuits of a degree in EHS – environment, health and safety. Ms. Prim is the first recipient of this award.
The award is given to one or more female students per year who are interested in pursuing EHS or related fields. In addition to the tuition award, the Lorraine Pack Memorial Scholarship provides the opportunity to attend either the annual Campbell Institute Symposium or NSC Congress & Expo at no cost.
A part of the National Safety Council Scholarship program, the Certificate Assistance Program helps support individuals on a safety career path obtain their NSC Advanced Safety Certificate®. Through the ASC program, NSC teaches best practices to those who are transitioning into a safety career or are currently in safety roles within their organization and need additional professional development to create a more proactive process for safety and health. Recipients are awarded free access to select virtual, instructor-led courses in the ASC course lineup.
Applications are reviewed and awarded quarterly.