Jaclyn Graves is McDaniel College's new director of risk management.
Jaclyn Graves is McDaniel College's new director of risk management. (McDaniel College)

Jaclyn Graves has joined McDaniel College as the director of risk management/environmental health and safety.

This is a new position at McDaniel in which Graves, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, will oversee compliance of all federal, state and local environmental and safety regulations, according to a news release from the college. It is a highly visible position, reporting to the president, and works collaboratively with all divisions and departments at the college.

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The Times caught up with Graves to discuss her new role.

Q: You have more than five years of experience. How and why did you get started in this field?

A: I actually fell into this career. As a student at George Washington University, I switched my undergraduate major to general engineering and decided to continue my studies there to pursue a master's degree. It also happened to be just after Hurricane Katrina and the field of emergency management was on display. I became interested in the field and started to look for an internship. I was able to secure a position at the GW Medical Center Office of Safety, BioSecurity and Emergency Management. There, I learned about emergency preparedness and response, as well as chemical safety, biosafety and hazardous waste procedures. After graduating with my bachelor's degree, I stayed on as a full-time employee while completing my master's degree in engineering management with a focus in crisis, emergency, and risk management.

Q: What drew you to this position?

A: This position at McDaniel has been a goal of mine. I have been interested in starting my own Environmental Health and Safety department since I began in this field. When I saw the job listing, I knew this would be my chance to help make a positive change at a college.

Q: How did your past experiences prepare you for this role?

A: I have worked at and with a number of different colleges and universities. My work as a consultant has specifically provided me with a unique perspective of institutions because I have had the opportunity to work with many different schools of all sizes and types. I believe this has set me up for success in my current role.

Q: Is there anything about the job or the field that you think people don't appreciate, or don't know about, though maybe they should?

A: Those in my profession are not always well liked because it is my job to find and sometimes point out mistakes. Although it can be a challenge to tell someone that they need to change the way that they have always done something, I hope that by working closely with them to come up with alternatives that they will understand the importance. I also hope that they will incorporate these recommendations into their daily lives — not just on campus, but also in their own homes.

Q: Once you settle in this new position, are there any projects you would like to undertake, or are there any ongoing projects or challenges you look forward to working on?

A: I am currently conducting an audit of the campus. I am excited to assist in improving the safety of the McDaniel community.

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