Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Support Industrial Hygiene Scholarships

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Support Industrial Hygiene Scholarships

Article excerpt

In an era of corporate downsizing and outsourcing of professional services, the best and the brightest people entering the health and safety profession should be supported in their quest for professional development and recognized for their accomplishments. This is critical if they are to be considered irreplaceable resources by their employers.

One crucial aspect of ensuring our profession's place in organizations of the future is through scholarships. Since industrial hygiene research and development efforts -- which advance our profession - are conducted at colleges and universities, industrial hygiene scholarships often fund a student's thesis research. Scholarships also help keep talented students in school, support experienced people who wish to change careers and stimulate continuing education.

Thousands of scholarships have been distributed in the years since industrial hygiene became a scholastic discipline. The money is well-spent. Frequently, recipients are those who have made significant breakthroughs and discoveries that influence government policy. Other recipients have developed outstanding health and safety programs that save lives.

* Economic Pressures. Unfortunately, the scholarship programs that have nurtured our profession are becoming increasingly vulnerable to economic pressures. Competition for dollars in high demand to support many worthy causes, is fierce. For example, one of the largest pools of traditional scholarship funding -- government agencies -- including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is under heavy presure to slash budgets. In response, we need to help sustain private and nonprofit scholarship funds, and identify and encourage the development of new funding sources.

In addition to NIOSH, there are several other major scholarships currently available. The Industrial Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), an industry association; American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), a professional association; and 3M, a private industry contributor, all have annual programs that award funds up to $3,000 per recipient. Criteria include academic excellence, professional experience and commitment to the profession. Many colleges and universities also fund scholarships for those who meet financial and academic eligibility requirements. …

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