Finding a full scholarship to college is extremely difficult, especially at the graduate level. One of the best kept secrets at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health includes full scholarships with monthly stipends, available every year to students in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Students with these scholarships get training from award-winning faculty along with connections to competitive employers in the field.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Training Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides accepted students full-tuition support, a monthly stipend, and funds for travel to conferences and trainings. Applicants must meet admission standards as outlined in the School of Public Health Graduate Catalog, have a 3.0 GPA or above, and be enrolled in the Occupational Safety and Health degree program.
Students can apply for the NIOSH grant in the spring semester and are notified of selection in the summer. Students selected for the program are required to meet regularly with an occupational faculty mentor and be an active member of the American Society of Safety Professionals, a worldwide organization of safety and health professionals. Research is also encouraged, and students are expected to attend a variety of seminars and conferences.
“This scholarship is available to first- and second-year graduate students who exhibit a healthy interest in occupational health,” said Adam Pickens, PhD, instructional associate professor at the School of Public Health. “This program is unique because the Occupational Safety and Health program is one of the few that provides full-tuition assistance to graduate students while giving them an excellent education focused on occupational safety and a chance to network with some of the best companies across the nation.”
During an internship, Anna Longbottom participated in an accident investigation of a fatality that greatly impacted her. “The knowledge of the impact of serious injuries, illnesses and fatalities never goes away. I believe that zero is possible, and this drives me to want to establish a workplace that is both safe and healthy, for the well-being of others is indispensable. As a NIOSH Trainee, I hope to strengthen, stay up to date, and further gain knowledge and skills in topics relating to occupational health and safety.”
Process Safety Engineer Felix Azenwi Fru’s interest in human factors led him to the research of S. Camille Peres, PhD.
“I volunteered in her Research on the Interaction between Humans and Machines (RIHM) project, and afterwards, decided to pursue my doctorate at Texas A&M,” Fru said. “Dr. Peres dedicates time to ensure I become a successful Aggie by guiding me in my human factors research.”
The faculty are what led Kaelyn Renfro to the program. “I knew my future learning would be in amazing hands because of the professionals behind the success of the program. This year, as a NIOSH Trainee, I’ll get to work alongside Dr. Adam Pickens throughout my research opportunities and learn from his lived experiences.”
Grant Bergeron worked in the ergonomic field for a few years before deciding to continue his education at Texas A&M. “I hope to further my development within ergonomics and become more comfortable in the other disciplines of occupational safety and health. I am excited to work with Dr. David Douphrate on his research on the ergonomic risk factors associated with dairy farmers.”
While completing the Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Texas A&M, Hannah Payne was introduced to occupational safety and health, which was a field that really resonated with her. “Safety is a constantly changing and challenging environment. Being able to solve new problems every day is one of my favorite parts of this field.”
For more information about the NIOSH traineeship, contact Adam Pickens.