Congratulations to 2022 Congress & Expo Scholarship Winners
First awarded in 2017, the Congress & Expo Scholarship provides attendance to the annual NSC Safety Congress & Expo, including access to all technical sessions, keynote addresses, an expo of more than 1,000 companies and networking events.
David Sawyer: University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Major: Mining Engineering
David is a senior and expects to graduate in May 2023. He plans to pursue a career in mining or mineral processing. He comes from a safety-focused family with a long history in emergency response. He says he’s learned that safety is more than preventing hazardous situations, and without emotional, mental and spiritual balance, there is greater risk to safety.
Why he chose to study safety: “Safety runs in my family via emergency response. My grandfather founded a volunteer fire department with his friends more than 50 years ago in a small Vermont town. My father, uncle and cousins have all served in that department. This is one reason why I am a member of the Mine Rescue Team at the University of Utah and am currently the president-elect. The mining industry has historically been one of the most dangerous industries. The shifts are long and usually labor-intensive and the miners usually have to commute a long distance to arrive to work. Once at work, there are so many moving parts that one moment of inattentiveness can cause a major disaster. I believe in preventing incidents before they start and then being further ready to overcome issues that may arise. Because something will always go wrong, mitigating the consequences is of utmost importance to everyone.”
Ivan Nail Ulloa: Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Major: Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Ivan is a fourth-year PhD student at Auburn University and expects to graduate December 2022 with a doctorate in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a focus on Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.
Why he chose to study safety: “I am a native South American from the Mapuche group of Indians (The Mapuche are indigenous people living in south-central Chile and Argentina along with the Andes Mountain range). I was born in Puerto Montt, Chile.
As my family's first professional, I have seen my relatives use their bodies as the primary tool to get their income since childhood. Hence, I have personally experienced the disadvantages associated with my family getting injured at work or due to work-related activities.
The occupational safety and ergonomics disciplines are still at an early development stage in my country of origin and South America. Chile does not have many comprehensive standards for general industry and construction like those in the United States developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) or Europe. This was an invitation for me to walk into this field; it was a chance to study something meaningful to help people at work.”
In addition, Ivan seeks to elevate diversity in safety. He believes it does little good to translate a word or concept into a local language if that word or concept is still not understood by those it is intended to reach. He intends to contribute to improving that scenario.
The NSC Construction & Utilities Division honors Billy D. Young, founder of the division and the first NSC Public Utilities Division chair, with this scholarship in his name. Given to students who are pursuing a career in safety in the utilities industry, the Billy D. Young scholarship provides a $2,000 tuition award. All Billy D. Young Memorial Scholarship recipients also are provided the opportunity to attend the NSC Safety Congress & Expo at no cost.
Sophia Naugle: Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
Major: Safety Management
Year of Study: Junior
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2023
In her own words: “A career in safety is demanding, yet rewarding. One of the most satisfying elements of the job, from my perspective, is making sure your workplace is safe and efficient so workers can remain on the job and later go home to take care of their families. I have a passion for safety, especially utilities and construction safety. I interned with a construction company in the summer of 2022 to broaden my knowledge in the field of safety, as well as expose myself to the working conditions of those I will lead in the future. I have been a member of my university chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals, as well as the chapter of Women in Safety Excellence. I have participated in our Week of Safety on campus to identify hazards on campus and attend trainings.”