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Central Washington University

CWU Safety Engineering Students Earn National Recognition

Central Washington University's American Society of Safety Engineer’s (ASSE) student section received the "outstanding student section" award from ASSE at its Professional Development Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The section is part of CWU’s Safety and Health Management (SHM) program.

CWU, which placed first out of 65 sections—twelve sections of which were eligible for the award—will receive a plaque and a $6,000 cash prize.

"The students worked very hard at the different criteria detailed in their application," said CWU Professor Sathyanarayanan “Sathy” Rajendran, SHM program coordinator.

The award was based on the section’s professional development activities, quality of research, campus and community activities, attendance and participation, awards and scholarships received by its members, newsletter quality, and endorsement by area ASSE chapters.

The section secretary, Celina Venegas, completed the application, with help from others among the 38 students in the group. Venegas, from Chicago, is a 2013 graduate of the SHM program, who will return to CWU for her master’s degree.

ASSE and the Mine Safety Appliances Company provided the $6,000 award, of which $4,000 may be used as scholarships for at least two deserving members of the section. Another $1,000 will go to further student research, such as seed money to buy equipment. The other $1,000 funded Venegas’ travel to the ASSE conference to receive the award.

CWU’s SHM program prepares students to excel in a wide variety of industries. Each year, graduates of the program have a near 100 percent job placement.

“Our program is regarded by employers as the best four-year SHM degree program in the western United States, with a restructured curriculum, and a high-tech learning environment that exceeds industry demands,” Rajendran said.

A 2,000 square foot, state-of-the-art laboratory was recently added, equipped with sophisticated tools and apparatus. Industry-experienced SHM faculty provides excellent guidance to students regarding the use of this equipment, which they will need to know when they enter the workforce.


ASSE is an international safety society with membership of more than 34,000 safety, health, and environmental professionals worldwide through its 151 chapters, 8 regions, and 105 sections, including student sections.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
June 3, 2013

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