In Demand and Ready for Work
The Safety and Occupational Health major prepares students for a variety of occupational safety and health program management positions in the private and public sector. Graduates have the capacity to pursue graduate study, participate in applied research, or transition directly into careers in loss control, risk management, organizational safety, and consulting.
Matt Norton, BS, 2012
What this program will offer you is job security, placement, connections to the outside workforce. The Keene State Safety Program offers diverse amounts of knowledge that encompasses all aspects of safety ... you can go anywhere with this degree.
- Matt Norton, Safety Studies major
Michael Kauffman, BS, 2003
Michael is a Facilities Safety Manager at Harvard University and he feels like he will always be connected with Keene State. “KSC was there for me every step of the way,” he said, “ from job fairs to internships to networking opportunities at local conferences. I got all the tools I needed to prepare for life after college. And the extensive network of alumni, businesses, and organizations like ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) and NSC (National Safety Council) will keep me connected to KSC.”
For Michael, success came on quickly. “One day you’re an intern; the next day, you’re hiring interns.”
Engaged and challenged by his classes, Michael said, “The faculty made all the difference – people passionate about safety, not just there to teach from a book, but from their extensive experience in their field. At the same time, knowing I was studying for a career that saved lives, prevented injuries, and protected the environment kept me very excited.”
Heather Luhrs, BS, 2013
Heather is the Northeast Regional Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Coordinator for International Paper. She calls it a “dream job” – regularly traveling from Maine to Pennsylvania, where she lives. Working with 22 factories where cardboard boxes are made, she helps them comply with company and OSHA standards. She also trains supervisors and team members on safety policies.
Although the Merrimack, New Hampshire native enjoyed her classes in Keene, Heather said, “my internship excited me the most and really got me more involved in my studies. Actually being out in the field and seeing what an EHS position may entail, allows you to start considering what industries you would or would not be interested in. After doing my internship at International Paper, I was able to understand the class material more and how it would apply to a potential career. It also got me used to idea of living pretty far away from my hometown, and I love it.
“I would absolutely recommend this major to anyone with an interest in the subject. The likelihood of getting a job right out of school with this degree is huge. There will always be a need for EHS professionals and the job opportunities are everywhere!”
William Moran, MS candidate 2014
William “Bill” Moran, is a second-year graduate student, working on his Masters degree in Safety and Occupational Health and Applied Science. He is already working in a leadership position as Director of Health and Safety for Northeast Lighting Recycling in East Windsor, Connecticut. Bill says the field chose him, by virtue of interests he pursued. A volunteer firefighter from a young age, Bill became a US Marine combat engineer and company medic, always trying to keep dangerous situations from causing harm.
When he arrived at Keene State as an undergraduate, following his military service, he was surprised at “ how intense and realistic the classroom scenarios were – like those I dealt with and continue to deal with on a daily basis. The written and hands-on projects along with the professors’ and students’ workplace experience were priceless.”
"I get excited about helping to make changes that will make a difference in the lives of everyday people who simply go to work to provide for their families. I enjoy being able give them the knowledge and skills through education and training to make sure they all go home to their loved ones at the end of the day the way they came in to work.”
Bill wants his graduate studies to give him a deeper understanding of the field. He sees training and educating employees and managers as a way of “paying it forward, and creating safer work environments.” And, although he recommends the field for “anyone who wants to make a real difference in peoples’ lives,” he sees most of the rewards through a sense of personal satisfaction. He has won awards for keeping employees safe, and they have thanked him, which is enough. After all, the hazards and injuries they avoid are enough proof of his effectiveness.