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Lauren MacDowell and Brice Dang Nsongue

MacDowell and Dang Nsongue Photograph

Two WVU graduate students from the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department in the Statler College were awarded scholarships from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). BCSP, the leader in high quality credentialing for safety, health, and environmental practitioners, awarded Brice Dang Nsongue and Lauren MacDowell the 2017 Graduate Safety Practitioner Scholarship.

“Receiving this scholarship means a lot mentally and financially.... Sometimes all we need is a reminder that what we do matters—it fuels my drive,” said Dang Nsongue. “This scholarship was a reminder that my hard work is not going unnoticed and that I have an academic and professional support system within the [BCSP]....The scholarship funds will help me afford the best preparation for my professional certifications exams. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Dang Nsongue is a Safety Management graduate student from Douala, Cameroon. He completed his undergraduate studies at WVU from 2009 to 2015, and earned his bachelor degrees in both Geology and Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering.

“I moved to the US in my early teens from Cameroon. I could not speak English, and despite being in the French system equivalent of 11th grade, I pretty much had to redo high school,” said Dang Nsongue. “The language barrier and acculturation were difficult. My early undergraduate years were quite tough, as I would typically spend significantly much more time trying to comprehend reading materials that other students would breeze through. Despite still struggling a bit with it, I never took it as an excuse and kept pushing through.”

The other recipient of this scholarship, Lauren MacDowell, is an Industrial Hygiene graduate student from Satellite Beach, FL. She completed her undergraduate studies in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina. 

“This scholarship means so much,” said MacDowell. “It took away a lot of my financial fears and doubts. I wasn't sure how I was going to make this semester work financially. When I got this scholarship, I literally fell to the floor and praised the Lord. I was so thankful.”

Both students are preparing themselves for their journey to obtaining Certified Safety Professional (CSP) status. They will each need a minimum of four years of experience in the field before being able to sit for the CSP exam. They will also need a BCSP approved credential for this step in the process.

“This scholarship gives me the designation of Graduate Safety Professional which is one of the credentials, so I have that part taken care of,” said MacDowell. “I will need to work for two more years and then I will begin studying for the exam.”

To learn more about these graduate students and their scholarship award, click here.