West Virginia University College of Human Resources and Education developmental advising specialist Lauren Stein won an award for her role in a research effort for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Stein, in collaboration with Pengfei Gao and Beth Tomasovic of NIOSH, provided statistical analysis for a research project that focused on protective clothing and was published in the Journal for Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. The team received an honorable mention for the 2012 NIOSH Alice Hamilton Award.
Alice Hamilton Awards recognize the scientific excellence of technical and instructional materials by NIOSH scientists and engineers.
“Alice Hamilton was a pioneer in occupational health and safety, and the award shows how research continues her spirit in this field,” Stein said.
The research explains how protective clothing can be decontaminated from hazardous chemicals to effectively reduce occupational skin diseases and disorders during a reuse scenario.
“The research can be a true benefit to a variety of industrial companies,” Stein said. “We wanted to ensure what we research would help people. Our whole goal is to improve worker health and work conditions.”
In other research, Stein contributed statistical findings to the development of new respirators by updating facial sizes, which was published in the Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection.
“Respirators used in the work force were designed using men from the military as models. At the time, this population was lacking in ethnic, size, and gender diversity. After collecting anthropometric data, we were able to suggest measurements that are more representative of the modern work force,” Stein said. “This research is important because respirators do not work to their full potential if they do not fit the employee well.”
Stein serves the College of Human Resources and Education as an academic adviser, where she aids students in preparing for future careers and the crucial decisions that accompany those plans.
“As an adviser, I use the best of my skills and interests: statistics and education. Advising brings everything together,” she said. “I also have a good perspective of changing minds and majors, which helps with my understanding of diverse students.”
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