Business & Society

Keeping Workers Safe: USU Industrial Hygiene Scholars Shine at National Conference

Four Aggies are awarded scholarships in American Industrial Hygiene Association's competitive national selection process.

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

USU industrial hygiene scholars Jacob Byington, Spencer Fairbanks, Abigail Pickett and Denali Sanders are 2023 recipients of competitive academic scholarships offered through the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Four Utah State University scholars are recipients of national academic scholarships awarded by the American Industrial Hygiene Association in a competitive selection process. Current Aggies Jacob Byington, Spencer Fairbanks and Abigail Pickett, along with recent USU graduate Denali Sanders ’22, were recognized at the 2023 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition from May 22-24 in Phoenix.

“USU students received four out of about 50 scholarships, which is an especially notable achievement when you realize scholars from our unique undergraduate program are competing almost entirely with students from graduate programs,” says Carl Farley, senior lecturer in USU’s Department of Biology, who directs the department’s public health programs, including the industrial hygiene degree program.

Byington and Pickett are among nine recipients of 2023 American Industrial Hygiene Foundation General Scholarships.

Byington is currently serving as an industrial hygiene intern with SSR Mining, Inc., an international mining corporation, in Battle Mountain, Nevada. He serves as a combat medic specialist with the Utah Army National Guard.

A native of Lehi, Utah, Pickett has pursued four internships during her USU career in varied fields, including construction and biosafety. She completed her most recent internship with Wisconsin-based Sentry Insurance Company.

Fairbanks is the 2023 recipient of the Kyle B. Dotson Endowed Scholarship. The Tooele, Utah native completed an internship with WCF Insurance, a Utah-based worker’s compensation insurance company serving clients in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and California. He is currently serving as an intern with Sturm, Ruger and Company, at the firearms manufacturer’s facility in Prescott, Arizona.

Sanders, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health with an industrial hygiene emphasis from USU in 2022, was awarded the 2023 Debbie Dietrich Women in Industrial Hygiene Scholarship. She is pursuing a master’s degree in occupational ergonomics and safety at Colorado State University. During her USU career, Sanders completed internships with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and with SAIF Corporation, a state-chartered worker’s compensation insurance company in Salem, Oregon.

USU has one of only four Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited undergraduate programs in industrial hygiene in the nation.

“Industrial hygienists are scientists and engineers trained to protect the health and safety of people in the workplace and the greater community,” Farley says. “Graduates of USU’s industrial hygiene program are in high demand to support safe and healthy workplaces in such fields as health care, medical manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, oil and gas industries, mining, automation, semiconductor manufacturing, electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, and government.”

Denali Sanders, standing, second from left, and Spencer Fairbanks, kneeling, second from left, were among four Aggies awarded 2023 competitive AIHA scholarships. The scholars attended the association's awards ceremony held May 22-24 in Phoenix.


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Carl Farley
Senior Lecturer and Advisor for Public Health Programs
Department of Biology


Awards 658stories

Comments and questions regarding this article may be directed to the contact person listed on this page.

Next Story in Business & Society

See Also