National organization recognizes NIU for laboratory safety

The national Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) will present NIU with two awards related to laboratory safety in July.

CSHEMA supports and educates campus-based environmental, health and safety professionals to empower and improve the profession in campus environments.

At its annual conference next month, CSHEMA will recognize NIU’s Jerry Blazey with the Campus Leaders Who Care Award. The award is presented to senior administrators for outstanding involvement and support of environmental stewardship and health and safety at their institutions.

Blazey, who serves as NIU’s vice president of the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships, has been instrumental in strengthening the university’s laboratory safety culture.

Additionally, the NIU Laboratory Safety team will receive the Innovation Award for the creation of a new laboratory safety course. Team members include Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Gary Baker, Laboratory Safety Manager Michele Crase, Laboratory Safety Officer James Gable and Laboratory Manager Andy Small.

“The awards should be considered ‘team awards’ for the entire campus,” Blazey said. “Research and Innovation Partnerships works closely with the colleges and NIU Environmental Health and Safety to establish a culture of safety that enhances the well-being of everyone on our campus and prepares our students for work in the real world.”

The new for-credit course will debut this fall and teach students about the importance of safety while also delivering a hands-on experience with industry professionals.

“We take laboratory safety seriously at NIU,” added Shannon Stoker, acting director of NIU’s Office of Research Compliance, Integrity & Safety. “We’re very proud of these awards.”

The CSHEMA annual conference will be held Thursday-Monday, July 13-17, in Tucson, AZ.

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