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USU Industrial Hygienist Named Utah 'Safety Professional of the Year'

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

Dave Wallance, Nathan Spencer at award presentation

Aggie alum Nathan Spencer '00, right, presents USU industrial hygienist Dave Wallace, left, with the 'Safety Professional of the Year’ award from the Utah chapter of the American Society of Engineers in an Oct. 11, 2012, ceremony in Salt Lake City.

industrial hygienist Dave Wallance in the classroom with students

Wallace demonstrates air pressure monitoring equipment to his students. Undergrads in USU's industrial hygiene program, one of only four ABET-accredited programs in the nation, fulfill professional internships prior to graduation.

Utah State University faculty member Dave Wallace is the recipient of an annual award recognizing outstanding contributions to the safety and industrial hygiene profession. A principal lecturer in the industrial hygiene undergraduate program of USU’s Department of Biology, Wallace was named Safety Professional of the Year by the Utah Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

The award was presented to Wallace at an Oct. 11, 2012, ceremony during the 29th annual Utah Conference on Safety and Industrial Hygiene in Salt Lake City.

“Dave was nominated by his peers and selected by chapter officers in recognition of the great impact he’s has on many of us through his teaching and professional roles,” says USU alum Nathan Spencer ‘00, president of Utah’s ASSE chapter. “He has been a mentor for students and others in the profession and is relied on regularly for his knowledge in the field.”

Spencer, senior safety, health and environmental manager to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Welfare Services, says he’s one of those students who benefited from Wallace’s guidance.

“It was an honor for me to present the award to Dave,” Spencer says. “He provided me with specific instructions and hands-on experiences that still help me today in my current position and I’ve continued to enjoy a friendship with him throughout my career.”

“The award was a welcome surprise and I’m humbled by the recognition,” says Wallace, who joined USU in 1999.

He says industrial hygiene is a component of workplace safety that deals specifically with protecting workers from health hazards.

“Healthy workers equal healthy business,” Wallace says. “Every workplace, no matter what kind of work is involved, has characteristics that can affect employee health.”

USU’s industrial hygiene program, part of the biology department’s public health program, is one of only four undergraduate programs in the nation accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.

“Our graduates are sought after by both public and private agencies,” Wallace says. “USU-educated industrial hygienists are employed with mineral extraction and manufacturing industries, insurance companies, consulting firms and with regulatory agencies such as OSHA.”

USU’s program provides an excellent training ground, he says, as students participate in a rigorous academic program as well as professional internships.

“Internships are a requirement of our program,” Wallace says. “These positions provide valuable experience and professional networking. Our students report they’re a lot of fun, too.”

Related links:

Contact: David Wallace, 435-797-7155,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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