Two students in NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology have earned scholarships by proving that safety matters.
Scholarships from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) went to Brian Peterson, an undergraduate student in the Department of Technology’s industrial management and technology emphasis, with an area of study in environmental health and safety, and Martha Misch, a graduate student in industrial management.
“Brian and Martha are outstanding students and highly deserving of these prestigious ASSE student awards,” said Cliff Mirman, professor and department chair. “The members of ASSE know that students graduating from NIU in the environmental health and safety area are well educated and will be able to handle the challenges thrown at them when they enter industry.”
The ASSE awards scholarships and grants to students and professionals for new research opportunities, educational advancement and leadership development to advance the safety, health and environmental professions.
Both active members of NIU’s Student ASSE Society – Misch currently serves as secretary on the executive board – Peterson and Misch received scholarships for their contributions to research initiatives that benefit the global community.
Peterson earned the Applications International Corporation Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 and the Greater Chicago Chapter Scholarship for $1,000. Misch received the Northeastern Illinois Chapter Scholarship worth $2,000.
“As students studying technology under the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, we are to reference and use technology … in a very analytical way that does stem from an engineering perspective,” Peterson said. “An engineering student studies the cracks, uses, inputs and outputs of numbers to come up with a solution. A technology student uses the same type of process, but we are also incorporating the study of people or situations into the equation.”
“I started participating in ASSE about a year ago,” Misch said, “and when the time came I took the position as secretary because I understand the importance of involvement and embracing opportunities that are available to me.”
Prior to her current studies, Misch received an undergraduate degree in communication from NIU. Misch recognizes her background in liberal arts and sciences for enhancing everything about her master’s program.
“My studies within environmental health and safety allow me to take a different approach to how I view the world versus my studies as an undergraduate communication major,” said Misch, who credits her background in communications for her current success.
Susan Oppenborn, undergraduate program adviser for NIU’s Department of Communication, notes a wide variety of skills that a communication degree provides students.
“Students learn to analyze communication behaviors in order to create successful relationships with clients, co-workers, and family members, to diffuse and resolve conflict situations, and to understand how to utilize language to influence behavior while acting legally and ethically,” Oppenborn said.
“Students in our program are taught how to communicate productively and positively in all settings,” she added. “Our students are well-prepared when they leave NIU to pursue any number of career paths limited only be the students’ desires and imagination.”
Peterson and Misch stress the importance of embracing opportunities and being actively involved in order to achieve success similar to their own.
“Just because you are a part of an organization, job or field of education does not guarantee you anything. It only grants you the opportunity for something great to happen,” Misch said. “If you don’t actively participate in your own life, nothing is going to happen for you.”