Keene State Safety Group Hosts Conference to Provide Networking and Education
The Keene State College student chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) hosted more than 25 guest speakers from the safety industry and 240 attendees at the second annual Professional Development Conference at the College on March 4.
According to Mason Robbins, the president of the student chapter of ASSE on campus, approximately 70 safety professionals and 170 Keene State students who are studying in the safety and occupational health applied sciences program attended the conference to learn from keynote speaker Ricky Sanders of Liberty Mutual Insurance and 26 presenters speak on a number of topics.
“Each guest speaker talked from real-life experience so we learned new examples and how they are being handled in the real world,” said Robbins.
Conference chair and member of the student ASSE chapter, Brady Keene, said that the conference is a way to get even more experience outside the classroom for the students who attended.
“It’s a way for the students to feel out the real world. They’re used to applying everything in the classroom and they want to talk to people and see what it’s like when they graduate,” said Keene. “You don’t really get that experience unless you have an internship. It’s a way to get to know other professionals and set up new opportunities, like a job shadow.”
As a way to redouble their efforts in pairing Keene State students with safety professionals, the conference was planned to coincide with the Safety Job and Internship Fair sponsored by the safety and occupational health applied sciences program. This provided students who are already focused on professional aspirations in safety, with a chance to spend even more time networking with professionals in the safety industry.
“Between those two days there were many chances to pass out resumes and establish contacts with employers. I can think of at least two students who made a connection with someone through Hanscom Air Force Base and Travelers Insurance,” said Robbins.
Following a keynote address from Ricky Sanders, M.S., CSP, students and professionals had a choice of 26 discussions to attend on topics ranging from nuclear, construction and pharmaceutical industries, to more specialized topics like fleet and driver safety.
While members of the ASSE executive board handpicked many of the presenters, Jim Goss a senior safety consultant at Houston, TX, company HCSS, brought both sponsorship and a number of high-powered speakers to the conference.
“We asked Jim to provide some top-level speakers from around the country and he offered himself and Tony Millatello, who is the director of occupational safety and health for the United States Navy, as well as a number of other speakers,” said Keene.
In addition to being pleased to have the opportunity to network with industry professionals, the executive board of Keene State’s chapter of ASSE received overall positive feedback for their efforts.