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Winn named ASSE’s 2018 Outstanding Safety Educator

Apr 18, 2018

Gary WinnPARK RIDGE, Illinois — Gary Winn, Ph.D., CHST, a highly regarded educator within the occupational safety and health profession and member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) for 25 years, is ASSE’s 2018 William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator.

Winn is a professor of safety management in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at West Virginia University, having developed many courses in the safety program. His Managing Construction Safety class is so popular with civil engineering undergraduates that it has had a wait list since 1997. He is the leader of the school’s safety management master’s degree program and occupational safety and health doctorate.

“Dr. Winn demonstrates the principles he espouses, in advising students, engaging external stakeholders to enhance student career opportunities and in the excellence of his teaching,” said Kenneth R. Currie, Ph.D., P.E., department chairperson and professor at West Virginia University. “I’ve enjoyed his senior leadership in the development of our ABET assessment protocol, ensuring that our safety management program is always improving.”

Winn consistently publishes research, developing at least one peer-reviewed paper or conference proceedings per year, accumulating approximately 80 such papers. He also is the author of the 2016 textbook Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers.

Professors at West Virginia University are evaluated annually through student assessments on 18 factors. In his three decades on campus, Winn has never earned a cumulative rating of less than “excellent.” He has regularly supported students through tuition waivers and stipends, and is widely known for promoting student advancement by helping them obtain scholarships, internships and professional employment.

“Dr. Winn makes sure that students who want a career in construction are connected with construction companies, and the same for insurance, healthcare, transportation and manufacturing,” said Andrew Peters, a professional colleague. “His door is the well-known location for a dozen internship and placement ads at any given time.”

For more than a decade, Winn volunteered to teach off-campus courses in underserved areas of West Virginia. He created a sustained student travel fund for students to attend professional development conferences nationwide, including ASSE’s annual safety conference in June and its Future Safety Leaders Conference every November.

Winn will be honored during ASSE’s Safety 2018 Professional Development Conference & Exposition, held June 3-6 in San Antonio. The global event will feature more than 5,000 safety professionals from 40 countries learning about a wide range of best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in the occupational safety and health field.

Each year, ASSE honors an occupational safety and health professional who demonstrates outstanding achievement in safety education. These top instructors help students reach their full potential and become results-producing safety professionals. The award is named after Dr. William E. Tarrants, a pioneer in safety education who was an ASSE Fellow and president (1977-78).

About ASSE – Working together for a safer, stronger future

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Engineers has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of over 37,000 professionals covers every industry, developing safety and health management plans that prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. ASSE advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards development and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Media contact: Blaine Krage, 847.768.3416,


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