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SRU safety management students test face masks

SLIPPERY ROCK — A group of Slippery Rock University students put face masks to the test as part of a safety management research project.

“We looked at some of the respiratory procedures for COVID to see which masks are most effective while also testing them for comfort level,” said Alina Schlichtkrull, a senior safety management major from Wexford.

N95 respirators are masks that meet the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health N95 classification of air filtration, which means they filter at least 95% of airborne particles.

Schlichtkrull is president of the American Society of Safety Professionals chapter at SRU, and as part of the student organization’s bid to become an ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award winner, and earning a $5,000 stipend, they needed a research project.

Kaycee Vanchure, a senior safety management major from DuBois and ASSP chapter treasurer, suggested testing masks given their prevalence during the pandemic.

Five students presented the research at the ASSP Western Pennsylvania Chapter’s Professional Development Conference, which was attended virtually by approximately 50 safety industry professionals and college students from around the region.

Students who presented included Schlichtkrull, and fellow ASSP members and safety management majors Leah Bracken, a junior from Ebensburg; Evan Hilk, a junior from Irwin; Brad Kane, a junior from Ellwood City; and Sam Miloser, a sophomore from New Castle. Alyssa Royer, a senior from Pittsburgh, also participated in the study but she was not a presenter.

The fit testing process consisted of each researcher choosing a mask and testing it using a PortaCount, a type of ambient particle counting device used to provide a quantitative assessment of face seal leakage that is commonly used by industrial hygiene professionals.

“We lit a candle to act as our airborne particulate so we were sure our test would be an accurate presentation of our masks protecting us from any particulates in the air,” Schlichtkrull said. “The PortaCount device then prompted the student to do a series of actions, such as breathing deeply, bending over and turning from side to side, to test the mask’s seal. The PortaCount calculated the fit factor of each mask and the N95 was determined to be most effective.”

The research will be part of the ASSP SRU chapter’s application for the ASSP Outstanding Student Section Award, which will be announced later this summer.

ACM has $30K in summer scholarships for students

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) is awarding approximately $30,000 in summer scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis to new and current students whose lives have been impacted or disrupted by the pandemic.

Awards are made based on the demonstration of need related to the COVID-19 crisis in some way — a lack of technology, internet connectivity, or course materials; loss of employment, healthcare or childcare; personal or family financial hardships, food insecurity; housing disruption; and/or caring for a sick family member. Scholarships are not based on one’s grade point average (GPA) or current income.

Students taking summer full term, A term and B term courses at the college may apply for this funding online at https://bit.ly/3vH3KtA.

Students must complete their 2021-22 FAFSA (Free Application for Free Student Aid) to qualify for the summer scholarship program. Decisions on award amounts will be made as quickly as possible. Students are under no obligation to repay their awarded scholarships which are funded through the federal Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF) II program.

For more information, contact the financial aid office at 301-784-5213 or studentfinancialaid@allegany.edu.

Student inducted into

Phi Alpha Epsilon

ANNVILLE — Jared Karas of Port Matilda was inducted into Phi Alpha Epsilon, the college’s honor society celebrating academic achievement and volunteer service.

Karas, a graduate of State College Area High School, is pursuing a bachelor of science in communication sciences and disorders.

To be eligible for this award, students must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.6, complete at least 24 credits of Constellation LVC coursework and achieve the “bronze” level of service hours at the conclusion of the fall semester prior to graduation.

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