Occupational safety student receives national scholarship

A national scholarship from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals’ Foundation came at just the right time for East Carolina University student Megan Mangiafico.

“Receiving the scholarship allowed me to take a deep breath and focus on what was most important this upcoming semester,” said Mangiafico. “While in school, I also work full time and I have a part-time job. Money is tight for most people, so the scholarship allowed me to concentrate on my studies and work without fretting about tuition or other bills.”

Mangiafico is seeking a Master of Science in Occupational Safety (MSOS) degree in the Department of Technology Systems. She is a distance education student living in New Bern and works as a cancer exercise physiologist.

“I had studied exercise physiology during my undergrad, and I enjoyed the medical education, but I felt that it wasn’t what I wanted to pursue a career in,” Mangiafico said. “I then explored some options while in my undergrad and decided that a master’s degree in occupational health would be the best option for me.”

She found the MSOS program through ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology.

“I had recently moved to North Carolina and wanted to attend a well-accredited, in-state school,” she said. “I also knew that the program was successful.”

She has big plans once she gets her degree.

“I would like to stay with the medical aspect that I am currently working in,” she said. “I would love to work in a hospital or research facility as a safety professional to ensure that all employees and guests are safe. I am actually writing my graduate thesis on PPE (personal protective equipment) during COVID in a hospital setting.”

Mangiafico said she was working on an assignment in a coffee shop when she received an email notifying her that she had received the $5,000 scholarship.

“I immediately called my parents and then emailed my advisor, Michael Behm, to share the good news,” she said. “I am very grateful for ECU always presenting opportunities for their students such as scholarships, grants and job listings. I also would like to thank my advisor for his support throughout my education.”