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Recognized safety management industry leader to head Thiel College’s new program


Recognized safety management industry leader to head Thiel College’s new program

GREENVILLE, Pa.—David Shafer started Aug. 1 as the program coordinator for the new environmental safety management major at Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania.

He has been active in the field of environmental safety for nearly 40 years as a consultant, government contractor, college educator and employer. As a certified environmental, safety and health trainer, he has led safety training sessions and programs across the United States. Shafer has an extensive background in developing training courses, especially for the Environmental Protection Agency Hazardous Materials Incident Response Operations and Personnel Protection and Safety training courses. He has provided over 1,600 days of training for more than 650 individual courses for the EPA and numerous states.

Most recently, he created The Safety Working Project that provides businesses with simple guidance for developing and maintaining safety programs. He is the author of the book “Safely Working from the Ground Up,” a practical guide for employers who are in the early stages of implementing workplace safety based on the concepts that he created through The Safety Working Project.

“I look forward to the opportunity to lead this new program at Thiel College. The potential growth for this industry will mean our graduates will be ready for high-paying jobs in the region and around the country,” Shafer said.

He has served as a faculty member at Slippery Rock University for the Department of Safety Management since 2016. Additionally, he was an instructor at Rutgers University for 19 years where he designed, developed, and presented Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response program courses for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey county health officials. He served as an adjunct instructor at the Pennsylvania College of Technology for nine years and taught several courses in the Department of Environmental Science at Allegheny College. He received his Master of Science in environmental science from Drexel University and his Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder.  Shafer holds the following professional certifications: Certified Safety Professional, Certified Safety and Health Manager, Safety Management Specialist, Certified Environmental Safety and Health Trainer and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.   

Thiel College is one of a few institutions in northwest Pennsylvania to offer students a four-year bachelor’s degree for environmental safety management. Shafer will be joining the College’s Department of Environmental Science. The new major will open opportunities in a variety of fields and locations such as hospitals, oil and gas activities, construction projects, educational facilities and manufacturing plants. New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania are all in the top five for employment opportunities for occupational health and safety specialists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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