Safety student scales new heights at NASA internship

With a father who works for a railroad where safety is such an important aspect of his job, Amanda Billingsley began questioning how workplaces developed into safe or hazardous spaces.

Inspired to learn more about safety, she joined the two-year COM Safety and Health Technology Program.

Now, months from graduation, Billingsley, of Dickinson, has landed a paid internship at NASA. Hired by PAE, the contractor for maintaining NASA facilities, she evaluates one of the biggest risks on the job.

“I get to assess NASA buildings and evaluate fall hazards,” said Billingsley. “I’ve learned a lot.”

She feels prepared by classes on discovering, analyzing and mitigating risks.

 Billingsley is working full-time and continuing classes at night.

“You really have to be able to manage your time when you are employed full time, have children, and go to school at night.  Each night I juggle helping my children with their homework and getting mine done too,” said Billingsley. “When you have determination and want to better yourself, you make time for it.” 

“Amanda is an excellent student, and when you combine hard work and dedication, then good things will follow like this internship at NASA,” said Jeff Oakley, Occupational Safety and Health Technology program coordinator.

The Occupational Safety and Health Technology Program prepares students for a successful career of preventing incidents and saving lives. Students develop a strong background in safety, health and environmental topics as well as math, science and technical writing. 

The certificate program is ideal for those who want to enter the field quickly or those who already have a bachelor's degree and want to change careers. The two-year Associate of Applied Science builds on the certificate and can transfer to universities. It complies with the requirements of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

For more information, visit www.com.edu/osht

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