$40,000 in scholarships for safety students

Haley Hays/The News Kristen Spicer, professor of science, engineering technology, lectures in an upper-level OSH class.
Haley Hays/The News Kristen Spicer, professor of science, engineering technology, lectures in an upper-level OSH class.

Haley Hays/The News
Kristen Spicer, professor of science, engineering technology, lectures in an upper-level OSH class.

About $40,000 in scholarship money has been raised by the Kentucky Safety and Health Network, and it is up for grabs for students across the Commonwealth.

Although these scholarships are funded by safety-related industries, they aren’t strictly for occupational safety and health majors.

So what could students do with this extra cash?

Patrick Edmonds, senior from Hardinsburg, Ky., said extra scholarship money could help students cover the basic expenses of a college education, such as books or a meal plan.

“It would have been helpful to find out about scholarships like these as a freshman or sophomore,” Edmonds said. “If you take the time and apply, it would probably be in your favor.”

Students interested in a number of programs are encouraged to apply for these scholarships because multiple different majors could relate to health and safety.

Scholarships are awarded to students in occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene or related fields, according to the KSHN website. Related fields include occupational medicine, industrial engineering, degrees in science and more.

These scholarships, known as Scholastic Achievement For Education or SAFE awards, are funded by donations from various industries in the safety field.  The awards are designed to help students continue their education and earn degrees that will benefit safety-related industries.

Many related fields are considered because of the strong presence of safety in various industries. Traci Byrd, professor of science engineering and technology, said SAFE awards help students earn a degree that prepares them to work in almost any industry.

“There is no place not touched by safety,” Byrd said. 

Students in Murray State’s OSH department have found work with insurance companies, Delta Airlines, Marathon and more. Last summer, 120 students were placed at internships with various companies across the nation.

“Working in the safety profession allows students the opportunity to wear many hats and work in many different settings,” Byrd said.

Some students would not have the chance to work in such a diverse field without the aid of scholarships and grants. Byrd said that some students are hesitant to apply, but many could benefit from the SAFE awards.

The applications for SAFE scholarships are due Feb. 28. Recipients will be announced April 30 and recognized formally at the Governor’s Safety and Health Conference and Exposition in Louisville.

Story by Lucy Easley, Contributing writer