Morgan Bliss, a widely respected professor in the occupational safety and health field and member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) for 11 years, is ASSP’s 2021 William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator.
Bliss, Ed.D., CSP, CIH, who uses the pronouns they and them, is an assistant professor and graduate coordinator in the Safety and Health Management Program in the Department of Engineering Technologies, Safety and Construction (ETSC) at Central Washington University (CWU). On the faculty since 2016 and a resident of Ellensburg, WA, Bliss develops curriculum and laboratory exercises, advises students, supervises internships, conducts applied research and provides career counseling and mentoring.
Prior to joining academia, Bliss worked as an occupational and environmental health and safety consultant for 10 years with a specialty in healthcare safety and emergency management.
“Dr. Bliss has earned considerable accolades in the classroom while also driving critical progress in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Tim Page-Bottorff, CSP, CIT, a professional colleague and graduate student. “Morgan is a strong people-person as a non-binary advocate for LGBTQ rights, serving as a steward for all aspects of life. They excel not only as a safety educator, but as a counselor to people.”
Bliss developed CWU’s Master of Science in Safety and Health Management degree program, creating and marketing 11 courses for the fully online graduate degree. Bliss twice was recognized by the university’s Multimodal Learning Center as the academic year’s Faculty Fellow based on exceptional skills in online teaching and instructional design. They have been the faculty advisor for more than 50 internships, helping students apply classroom learning on the job.
Bliss has written several articles on occupational safety and health topics that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented dozens of sessions at safety and health conferences. Bliss’s talent of working effectively with students and advancing learning stands out to colleagues and students alike.
“Morgan exemplifies the best of what a scholar educator should be, making significant contributions to student success both inside and outside the classroom,” said Sathy Rajendran Ph.D., CSP, ARM, LEED-AP, chair of CWU’s Department of ETSC. “Morgan’s instruction and assessments are exceptional, as evidenced by student evaluations that consistently indicate a high level of satisfaction with their teaching.”
Bliss has helped advance ASSP and its membership in many ways, including serving as the current professional development and social media chairs for the Industrial Hygiene Practice Specialty, a two-year term as administrator of the Training and Communications Practice Specialty, and member of the Council on Practices and Standards. They also served for two years as the faculty advisor to ASSP’s CWU Student Section. Bliss is a member of ASSP’s Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group.
Each year, ASSP honors a member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in occupational safety and health education. These top instructors help students reach their full potential and become results-producing safety professionals. ASSP’s Outstanding Safety Educator Award, sponsored by ProcessMAP, is named after Dr. William E. Tarrants, a pioneer in safety education who was an ASSP Fellow and president (1977-78).