To say CSU occupational safety and health graduate and student Julie Carter is passionate might be an understatement.
The corporate environmental health and safety director with The Mundy Companies exudes a sincere love and drive for her work. With 25 years of experience in OSH, she works in a complex world of rules, guidelines and procedures which can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Her passion is one reason she was recently chosen as the CSU DETC Outstanding Graduate of 2013. This week, she and CSU graduate Ken Lang will be honored at the DETC Conference in San Francisco.
As she teaches (and sometimes preaches) the gospel of safety, her reasoning remains simple and direct.
“I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” said Carter, who is also the chair of the Construction Division of the National Safety Council. She added that she gets satisfaction from her EHS manager job by “knowing I am making a difference educating people on working safely and preventing injuries and death.”
Her passion was evident in her work with the IHNC surge barrier project in New Orleans in 2011 when she worked as the safety manager. Her work with the barrier, which was built to protect the city from hurricanes, was praised by then-supervisor New Orleans District Safety Office senior safety specialist Sherry Scott.
“She was onsite daily covering 36 cranes on barges to ensure that they were in compliance with not only company policy, but with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Scott said. “She adapted to the Corps of Engineers with the high expectations that was required with such a high-dollar large project as the IHNC Surge Barrier. She took safety beyond what is expected and made it personal.”
“Julie goes outside of the box to perform analysis of not only daily job activities but the ones that present a challenge for most safety professionals. She has gained the trust from the common laborer to the superintendent. They have complete confidence in her knowing that she is going to move mountains when it comes to safety for everyone on the team and project,” Scott added.
Carter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, said OSH really chose her.
“I was in the field, as project manager/superintendent, and the opportunity was given to become a safety manager. At that time, I decided to pursue both my degree and certifications to become the best safety manager I could be,” the Metairie, La., resident explained.
On the recommendation of a CSU student and learning that the Board of Certified Safety Professionals accepts CSU programs, Carter decided to pursue an OSH degree with the online university.
While attending CSU, Carter said she was pleased with the courses “and the personal attention and interaction with the professors. They are truly involved and willing to help, not just ‘monitors.’”
Working and going to school was challenging, but Carter pushed to achieve her bachelor’s degree in OSH in summer 2010. She also proudly beams when remembering her graduation “walking across the stage and having my dad watch me receive my degree at the graduation ceremony, especially as summa cum laude.”
Carter said her CSU degree has allowed her to advance further and gain senior leadership positions. She added that the degree gives her a measure of “educational safety” because some large contractors and facilities now require that the safety managers have a minimum of a four-year degree and certifications.
“I always recommend CSU to people and have all of my site safety personnel enrolled. The curriculum is solid and relevant,” Carter said. “In choosing any online education, it is important to do the research into the school. There are several out there who aren’t as diligent in ensuring your educational needs are really being met.”
Carter’s love for CSU continued as she re-enrolled and completed a master’s degree in OSH earlier this year.
“CSU met or exceeded my expectations through the bachelor’s degree program. The flexibility of distance learning fit my busy schedule, and the coursework stimulated my thinking,” she said.