OSU Junior Named 2016 Recipient
Gregory Held, a junior majoring in Fire Protection & Safety Technology at Oklahoma State University (OSU), has received the $4,000 2016 Thomas S. Waller Memorial Scholarship from the Center for Life Safety Education (CLSE). Held has worked full-time in the fire protection field, learning the ins and outs of installation and design. He even attended AFSA’s Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School in 2013! Held is currently maintaining a 4.0 major GPA and a 3.6 cumulative GPA.
“I became interested in the fire protection industry after a friend of mine who worked in the industry told me of his job,” comments Held. “I was working various ‘jobs’ and was looking to begin a career. I began in the installation aspect of the industry, focusing on new construction. After about a year in that area, I switched to the service side. I enjoyed seeing and learning about different systems and their applications.
Held continues: “I continued to change locations and companies to gain different insights and knowledge of the sprinkler industry. After injuring myself, I decided to seek out a pathway to continue in the industry without the physical aspect. I decided to enroll in the AFSA design school and to try to obtain a job in design. I had a difficult time obtaining a job in design due to my lack of secondary education, which led me to seek out a fire protection engineering degree.
“Winning the Thomas S. Waller Scholarship means a great deal to me,” comments Held. “It will not only have a financial impact for my education, but it will have a lasting impact on my future career in the fire protection industry. Upon completing my degree, I hope to obtain a job with the U.S. National Park Service. I would like to help to protect our national treasures.”
The scholarship was established in 2005 to honor the man who devoted more than 40 years to the fire protection industry. The scholarship is presented to juniors or seniors enrolled in the Fire Protection & Safety Technology (FPST) program in the College of Engineering, Architecture & Technology at OSU, which is the oldest fire and safety-related program in North America and is the nation’s only ABET-accredited FPST program.
“Greg has an excellent academic record and an intense interest in fire protection engineering,” comments Dr. Sam Wang, associate professor of fire protection and safety at OSU. “I found him to be responsible and more interested in what he can learn rather than looking for a way to do the minimum requirement.”
The scholarship is funded through donations by individuals and companies. As CLSE is a 501(c)(3) educational affiliate of AFSA, all contributions made to this scholarship fund are tax-deductible. To find out more about the scholarship program, make a one-time donation, or become a regular donor, visit clse.org/scholarships.htm.