Hero Image

NSC Honors First Recipients of Diversity in Safety Scholarship

$5,000 awarded to four individuals seeking post-secondary education in EHS

The National Safety Council honored the first recipients of its new Diversity in Safety Scholarship at the 2022 NSC Safety Congress & Expo in San Diego Sept. 19.

“Diversity in the EHS profession makes everyone safer,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “The National Safety Council envisions building a workforce of environment and occupational safety and health professionals that is inclusive of all people it represents.”

To achieve this vision, the Diversity in Safety Scholarship from NSC helps support students from diverse backgrounds who are pursuing safety as a career. The 2022 recipients are:

● Ashley Craddock — University of Central Missouri
● Leila Ruggs —   North Carolina A&T State University
● Garrett Washington — American University
● Emmanuel Winful — Auburn University

The Diversity in Safety Scholarship provides the winner a $5,000 tuition award, renewable up to four years. BIPOC individuals, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQIA+ who are seeking post-secondary education leading to a career in environmental, health and/or safety are eligible to apply.

The scholarship was made possible by an anonymous donor. NSC thanks the National Association of Black Compliance & Risk Management Professionals, Inc. for their service on the NSC Scholarship Selection Committee, as well as providing internship and mentorship opportunities to these scholars. NABCRMP will also recognize the Diversity in Safety Scholarship recipients at their annual summit in October. Learn more about this scholarship opportunity.

Meet the Winners

Garrett Washington: American University, Washington D.C.
Year of Study: Freshman
Major: Political Science
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2026

Although young, Garrett has already earned recognition as an advocate for preventing injuries to young children in his home state of Oklahoma and has a keen interest in ensuring marginalized communities are represented in safety.

His interest in safety started early:

From a young age, I volunteered with Safe Kids Tulsa Area. This non-profit organization works to prevent childhood injury through research, community outreach, legislation advocacy and media campaigns. As a volunteer, I have worked at car seat check-up events, passing out educational bags to attend community events and distributing safety information to caregivers. Some have said I have given back to my community as an advocate and a role model to protect and prevent injuries to young children. For the past three years, I have advocated for updating Oklahoma’s child passenger safety law that would require children 8-17 to buckle up in the back seat.

How he plans to impact diversity, equity and inclusion in safety:

I intend to develop safe environments that cultivate non-discriminatory practices in my academic and post-collegiate endeavors. While attending my undergraduate program, I will work to educate and ensure that my peers, teammates and marginalized individuals are not underrepresented or discriminated against for gender, sex, sexual orientation, race or neurodiversity.

Leila Ruggs: North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina
Year of Study: Sophomore
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2025
Major: Environmental Health and Safety

Leila believes that a culture of safety builds trust and is interested in exploring how biases impact problem solving and how a psychologically safe environment can improve the workplace.

Why she chose to study safety: 

Studying safety became a topic of interest for me when I took my first EHS class in my second semester of college. I was able to understand how EHS contributes to work culture; when there are safety rules established it creates a positive relationship between employees and employers, which means everyone tends to value not only themselves but their coworkers as well.

How she plans to impact diversity, equity and inclusion in safety:

To start, I want to learn more about biases and how they can affect solutions to solving specific problems that occur; not everyone is going to have the same belief when it comes to certain situations and whoever is in charge could potentially have underlying feelings about the situation. Articulating those feelings and creating a safe space to properly handle those biases is going to improve the workplace. Secondly, I would want to implement policies that require employers to be transparent about pay for all positions. Lastly, I believe it is important to consider every culture and ethnic group when it comes to communication styles, holidays and cultural practices. Many companies tend to ignore the fact that many people were raised differently and in different cultures, so accommodating everyone should be a priority.

Emmanuel Winful: Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Year of Study: Graduate Student-PhD Candidate
Major: Occupational Safety and Ergonomics/Industrial and Systems Engineering
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2025

Emmanuel’s water quality work with a mining company in Ghana, West Africa, helped him discover his desire to help people be safe both inside and outside the workplace. He supports diversity, equity and inclusion outreach through the American Society of Safety Professionals and wants to impact the development of new leaders with a comprehensive view of safety.

His interest in safety started early:

As a young boy growing up in a mining town in Ghana, West Africa, I developed a strong desire to help others. My father, a miner, would come home and tell my mother about the horrors of his workplace, which resulted in some of his coworkers being injured and others, sadly, dying prematurely. In a developing country with a strong religious foundation, many workplace incidents are attributed to God punishing someone or some other unexplainable mechanism. Though I had no idea what safety was at the time, I concluded this was not an act of God.

I majored in biochemistry in college, hoping to attend medical school and help the injured. After graduation, I went to work for the mining company where my father worked in the environmental division. Monitoring water quality and toxic metal levels in mine tailings were among my department's responsibilities. This work helped me understand how the work I was doing helped us advise locals about the impact of water on their crops and health. After working for the company for several years and experiencing the joy that comes from helping others, it became clear to me I want to help people become safe both inside and outside of the workplace.

How he plans to impact diversity, equity and inclusion in safety:

I am the Assistant Administrator for the Blacks in Safety Excellence common interest group of the American Society of Safety Professionals. We are able to provide professional development courses and open-forum discussion for blacks and people of color through this group. My professional ambition is to become and assist in the development of new safety leaders who will take a comprehensive approach to addressing environmental, occupational and health-related issues. This is why I am pursuing a Ph.D. program in occupational safety and ergonomics, which will allow me to teach safety at a university or community college level. I hope to promote DEI within the safety community through this work and my volunteer opportunities with ASSP and BISE.

Ashley Craddock: University of Central Missouri, Blue Springs
Year of Study: Senior
Anticipated Graduation Date: Spring 2023
Major: Environmental Health and Risk Management

With 17 years as a general laborer in manufacturing, Ashley knew all too well how safety mishaps can turn a typical day into a life-changing situation. She plans to utilize her education, background and experience to make a change for all workers, regardless of their job title.        

Why she chose to study safety: 

I have worked as a general laborer in the manufacturing and production industry for 17 years. I have seen and been involved in workplace incidents and have experienced firsthand how quickly a typical workday turns into a life-changing situation. While six months pregnant, I had my foot run over by a forklift driver. The employee had no proper training and was under the influence, and it was at that moment I knew safety was important to me.

How she plans to impact diversity, equity and inclusion in safety: 

Collaboration of voices based on the diversity of people within an organization can build the foundation of a safety program. I also believe to show equity, you must have empathy. The ability to put yourself in someone's shoes can help identify root causes and open a dialogue for possible changes. I plan to utilize my education, background, and experience to make a change for everyone involved no matter the job title.

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart