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RMCOEH trainee recognized for advocacy in OIP

RMCOEH master’s student Claudia Romero-Silva is driven by a singular ambition: to create workplaces where women can thrive without sacrificing their personal lives.

Originally from Mexico, Romero-Silva relocated to the United States three years ago, facing financial challenges along the way. Despite these obstacles, she remained focused in her pursuit of making a difference for female workers.

At the Rocky Mountain Center, Romero-Silva is part of the Occupational Injury Prevention program, viewing the discipline as a platform for advocating for women's rights in the workforce. Recently, her talent and dedication to this pursuit were recognized through three scholarships: the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Career Advancement Grant, the ASSP Foundation Utah Chapter Scholarship, and the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation Scholarship, totaling $2,500. These awards not only provide financial support but also validate Romero-Silva’s aspirations.

“I remember coming up to my mentor, Occupational Injury Prevention Program Director Dr. Matt Thiese, very embarrassed to talk with him about my financial difficulties, F1 student visa constraints, and family situation,” Romero-Silva said. “He did not laugh at me or even seem surprised at all. He kindly asked if I had looked into scholarships and I had no idea what he was talking about! He pointed me in the right direction, I followed his advice, and it all worked out for the best.”

For Romero-Silva, the scholarships signify more than personal triumphs. They represent progress toward a broader mission, affirming her belief that she's in the right place to make a difference in contributing to safer, more equitable workplaces.

“These scholarships are the fuel that I need to keep on going, tangible evidence that I need to hold on to when things get hard," she said.

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