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WVU faculty member writes book for early career safety professionals

Portrait of Gary Winn

Gary Winn.


West Virginia University’s Gary Winn, professor of safety management in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems and Engineering, recently wrote a book for early career professionals interested in becoming leaders in occupational health and safety or engineering.

“Practical Leadership Skills for Safety Professionals and Project Engineers” parallels the steps that millennial students or recent graduates need to take to move quickly from the classroom on through to their early managerial years.

“The book, which was four-plus years in the making, addresses a well-recognized need to jump-start the careers of safety professionals and project engineers who don’t yet think of themselves as future leaders and who have precious little experience in work-life, office protocol,” said Winn.

“Between 2010 and 2015, my data suggests that less than half of our graduates had any full-time work experience,” Winn continued. “While universities do a great job preparing students with hard skills, industry representatives repeatedly tell us that their new hires lack career-boosting soft skills, such as technical communications, a grasp of diversity and gender issues and even basic office protocol.”

The book reviews contemporary research on values-based leader development using military and industry research as a guide and addresses most ABET-accredited engineering and safety programs with similar curricula. It also considers special cases that include toxic leadership; environmental stressors; increasing resilience; international nuance; the cost-benefit of experiential training; and a model for “depleted” leader development environments where upper management doesn’t seem to care.

The book, Winn’s first, was published by CRC Press.



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