A professor of safety management at West Virginia University has been named William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Gary Winn, Ph.D., CHST, who teaches in the school’s Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, heads up the safety management master’s degree program and occupational safety and health doctorate.

The award is named after Dr. William E. Tarrants, a pioneer in safety education who was an ASSE Fellow and president (1977-78).

A popular professor

Winn has 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.

“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.

Helps students obtain scholarships

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.

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.