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ASSE’s Western Carolina University Student Section Wins Outstanding Student Section of the Year Award

Posted in on Mon, May 9, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proud to announce that the Western Carolina Student Section has been awarded the Outstanding Student Section of the Year award, selected from 17 student section applicants.  The section will be honored with the award at the annual ASSE Professional Development Conference (PDC) in Chicago, IL, June 12 – June 15, 2011.

The Western Carolina Student Section of ASSE has 27 student section members and is advised by Dr. Tracy Zontek of Western Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, NC.  Out of the 65 total environmental health majors at the University, 42% are members of the ASSE student section.  Organized in 2009 under its parent Piedmont Chapter of ASSE, this student section has gone above and beyond to raise awareness about the importance of occupational safety and health, and its members have been active participants in section activities.

With future goals of establishing consistent community service opportunities, completing service learning projects each year, providing more professional development opportunities and increasing membership, the students of the WCU ASSE student section are moving full speed ahead.  In the short time the section has been active, members have participated in numerous section-sponsored research projects, have taught other students how to use items like colorimetric detector tubes to analyze air for potentially dangerous chemicals, and have gained recognition for their research and scholarship.

Student section advisor, Dr. Tracy Zontek, said, “The officers of this section have refined the organization, developed leadership and team building skills, and provided opportunities for others to assist.  They took on a tremendous amount of work this year and have many more new ideas to expand our organization. They have created a strong section that has generated excitement and enthusiasm.”

The Outstanding Student Section award is given annually to ASSE student sections that go above and beyond in efforts to raise awareness about occupational safety and health.  Judging for this award is based on seven key areas, including: professional development; applied activities, research and projects; community and professional enhancement; endorsements; application materials; membership; miscellaneous.  For more information about the Outstanding Student Section award, 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 33,000 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 to .  For more information about the Western Carolina University’s parent chapter and activities from the student section, please visit

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