Safety Stars Shine: UW-W Safety Students Earn Prestigious Scholarship

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the BCSP Foundation proudly announce the annual awarding of scholarships to deserving students enrolled in collegiate programs aligned with the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) designation. These scholarships, known as Qualified Academic Program (QAP) Scholarships, support students pursuing degrees in the Safety, Health, and Environmental fields at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate levels. QAPs undergo rigorous evaluation by BCSP, ensuring alignment with the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) examination blueprint. Graduates of QAPs are eligible to pursue the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) credential, a vital step towards obtaining the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification. Notably, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health program holds dual accreditation from both QAP and ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), underscoring its commitment to excellence in safety education.

This year, two students from UW-Whitewater have won the BCSP QAP Scholarship! Christopher Gomez and James Groehler were 2 out of 40 students nationwide selected for this honor. Safety professor Alvaro Taveira (Ph.D., CSP, CPE) was delighted to hear this news and optimistic for their future. He said, “I am very proud of Chris and James for winning this prestigious scholarship. I have enjoyed working with them in class and know their work ethic and passion for the profession. These jobs are in high demand, and our program has an excellent placement rate, so I see a bright future ahead.” 

            The UW-Whitewater Occupational Environmental Safety and Health Department is housed in the College of Business and Economics (CoBE). Based on data from 2021, graduates from this program have a 97% job placement rate within six months post-graduation and a median starting salary of $70,000. 

            Christopher Gomez is extremely grateful for his education at UW-Whitewater and the opportunities CoBE and OESH have granted him. “One of my favorite resources is career services. I am learning to be a good interviewer, how to “sell myself,” and how to write a stellar resume. This has helped me become more confident in my professional abilities. The quality of my education in this program is unmatched. I particularly enjoy going into the field and being out in the safety world, experiencing things and learning hands-on.” 

Professor Taveira has been part of the UW-Whitewater OESH faculty for almost 25 years. During this time, he has seen many program graduates enjoy bright careers. He attributes much of this success to the internship opportunities available to the safety students. “CoBE allows students to find internships during their time, even multiple for some, to give the students real-world experience and to help them narrow down the industry they like the most before committing to a full-time position.” 

This holds true for scholarship winner James Groehler. He said, “My post-graduate plan is to continue working as a Site Safety Manager for Blattner Energy. Getting to travel across the United States and manage safety for our renewable energy construction projects has been a goal of mine since my first internship in renewable energy in the summer of my sophomore year.”

Congratulations to Christopher and James on the BCSP QAP Scholarship! We can’t wait to see you continue to shine in your future endeavors!

Read more about the scholarship and recipients here. 

More about the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics (CoBE):

Wisconsin’s largest business college, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics, is home to the #1 ranked online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program in the State of single schools and is the only college in Wisconsin that offers an AACSB-accredited Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) degree program. The Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health offers a  Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety (both face-to-face and online), a Master of Science in Environmental Safety and Health (100% online), and an MBA with an emphasis in environmental safety and health. These programs are also ABET-accredited and recognized as Qualified Academic Programs by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). CoBE is in the top 2% of the world’s business schools, earning both AACSB and AACSB Accounting Accreditation. For more information on the College of Business and Economics, visit or email

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