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ASSE Member and WISE Honoree Featured in Television Advertisement for Her Alma Mater

Posted in , on Mon, Jan 23, 2012


DES PLAINES, IL (January 23, 2012) American
Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) member Elaine Cullen, PhD. of Chattaroy, WA currently
appears  in a television advertisement
for her alma mater, Spokane, WA’s Gonzaga University. The advertisement, which
premiered this past New Years’ Eve, is part of a series entitles “We’re Zags,”
features notable Gonzaga graduates, including Cullen who is in her role as a
safety, health and environmental professional(SH&E), as she speaks of the
importance of workplace safety.

In addition to the ads, a full video of
Cullen, along with her professional profile can be viewed on Gonzaga
University’s website at

ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering (WISE)
common interest group recently honored Cullen among 100 women from around the
world for making a difference in SH&E for her lifelong dedication to
protecting people, property and the environment, as part of their ‘100 Women
Making a Difference in Safety’ project.

Cullen has more than 40 years of experience
in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field and is currently the
owner and President of Prima Consulting Services in Chattaroy, WA. In this
role, she provides training and development services for high-risk industries,
encouraging best practices for effective safety and health programs. Cullen has
experience in the mining, oil and gas and commercial fishing industries. Cullen
also works as a federal occupational consultation for the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and for the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). She has a B.A. in English literature and
psychology, and N.D. in engineering and computer science, an M.B.A. in business
management and a PhD in leadership studies, all from Gonzaga University in
Spokane, WA.

In her first safety and health job, Cullen
worked with the Bureau of Mines in Spokane, WA, writing computer code for a
project in underground coal and analyzing accident and injury statistics for
the mining industry. This project sparked her interest in mining and she
continued to pursue working in safety and health in the mines themselves,
though the industry was male dominated and it was illegal for women to work
underground. Eventually, Cullen received funding for her research and
documentary work by NIOSH and she developed new training materials, working
with mine crews to capture the reality of their jobs.

Cullen’s work has received much notoriety,
including a Telly Award she received for her documentary exploring the 1972
Sunshine Mine fire, where 91 miners lost their lives in one of the worst mining
disasters of the 20th Century. This documentary was featured on PBS.

Cullen is an active member of ASSE’s Inland
Northwest chapter and works diligently to raise awareness about the importance
of occupational safety and health. When asked about being honored as one of 100
women making a difference in safety, Cullen stated, “I am immensely honored to
be included among the 100 women selected by WISE. We’ve made great progress in
worker health and safety in the past 100 years, but our work isn’t finished. It
is comforting to know there are so many smart and dedicated professionals
working to make workplace safety a reality for all.”

The ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in
Safety’ project honors women who have dedicated their careers to promoting innovation
in safety, health and environmental issues. The valuable contributions of women
to the SH&E profession have been recognized through this project and later
this year WISE will consolidate the profiles of all 100 honorees into a single
publication, titled 100 Women, Making a Difference in the Safety, Health and
Environmental Profession
as part of ASSE’s (1911-2011) 100th

WISE was established to foster the
advancement of women in the SH&E profession. For more information about
WISE and upcoming events, please visit

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its
centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety
society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.
Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional
members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health,
transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor,
healthcare and education. For more information, please go to and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go

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