MEM and UCM Celebrate Renovation of Safety Sciences Lab
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 28, 2010) – Roger Wilson, president and CEO of Missouri Employers Mutual, the state’s largest provider of workers compensation insurance, recently joined University of Central Missouri faculty and staff in a brief ceremony dedicating the renovated Herbert H. Jones Safety, Health and Environmental Lab in the UCM Department of Safety Sciences.
In 2008, MEM announced a gift of $80,000 to renovate the safety sciences laboratory, providing a state of the art facility where UCM’s safety students can gain valuable, hands-on experience. In addition, a second component of the gift provides annual calibration and maintenance of the equipment in the lab. The third component established the MEM Scholarship, awarded annually to a safety sciences student.
The renovated lab was doubled in size to two rooms. Students now have new ergonomic lab stools and are able to work more comfortably at the new lab benches, which provide ample space, increased access to electrical power for equipment and lighting that meets recommended standards. The expanded lab can accommodate more students, and it is being utilized for a variety of departmental courses beyond the safety and health laboratory course.
Wilson said the relationship between UCM and MEM has proved valuable for Missouri workplaces, providing a pool of highly trained safety professionals for industry. He added that the collaboration has resulted in a variety of programs that benefit not only UCM students, but the safety of workers in industries across the state and nation.
“At MEM, we believe in providing the best tools available to Missouri’s workers,” he said. “We’re proud to play even a small part in this project will help UCM prepare the best in safety professionals.” Leigh Ann Blunt, chair of the Department of Safety Sciences, was joined by George Wilson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Richard Sluder, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, in marking the significance of the cooperative venture between MEM and UCM.
Blunt noted that the relationship between UCM and MEM began three years ago under the direction of Larry Womble, who was chair of the Department of Safety Sciences at the time.
“The results have greatly improved the opportunities for our students and faculty,” she said. “The lab has significantly more usable, functional space, greatly enhancing the learning environment.”
Provost Wilson said the MEM’s support of UCM’s safety sciences programs “reflects your confidence in us. We have great students and faculty, and MEM has joined UCM in a shared commitment to a positive change in the lives of Missouri workers.”