19:00 PM

Adjunct professor recognized as leader in OSHE field

Written by: Cynthia Anaya
Dr. Patricia Reed is an adjunct professor at UHCL.

Dr. Patricia Reed, an adjunct professor at University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), stands as a testament to the impact that dedication and expertise can have in the occupational safety, health, and environment (OSHE) field. As we observe Black History Month, we acknowledge leaders like Reed as they make significant strides in their professions and communities.

“This time is taken to honor the Black/African-American individuals who have given so much of their time helping improve things in our country in terms of freedoms/civil liberties, patents/inventions, etc.,” Reed said about Black History Month. “This time is also sacred to me, as I remember my early days in elementary school when it was Black History Week, but this distinctive honor of recognizing those contributions have sustained many decades.”

Reed began working as an adjunct professor within UH-Clear Lake’s College of Science and Engineering in the spring semester of 2023. She teaches occupational safety and health classes for the OSH program, which offers students the option of a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. She also works as a health, safety, environment, and security (HSES) and facilities manager at Kraton in Houston, a chemical manufacturing company. Previously, she worked in the oil and gas industry as an environmental health and safety (EHS) manager.

She chose to enter OSHE field after receiving her master’s in civil and environmental engineering in 1996.

“I wanted to enter the field to help protect workers on the job,” she said.

The OSHE field is one that Reed has been passionate about for decades, which is evident in her years of involvement in the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). She has held many volunteer roles of increasing responsibility within ASSP. Currently, she volunteers as the region III south area director.

“I have been a volunteer for ASSP and held many elected and appointed positions in my chapter and at the society level for almost 20 years,” she said. “I was also my chapters’ first African-American female president.”

She serves on the Professional Development Planning Committee (PDC) as well and is involved in common interest groups within ASSP. These include the Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group (WISE) and the Blacks in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group (BISE).

“Serving in ASSP BISE is important to me because I believe in giving back to the next generation of those students and professionals in the OSHE industry,” said Reed.

Dr. Robert Phalen, a professor in the OSH program at UHCL, commented on the impact that she’s had on her students.

“Dr. Reed brings years of valuable experience to the courses she teaches, but most importantly, she is an inspiration to our students and young professionals in the field,” he said. “I admire her dedication to the profession and desire to help others reach that same level of success.”

As an adjunct professor, Dr. Reed has had the opportunity to help dozens of students enter this industry as she did. However, she recognizes the challenges that may surface along the way, so she offers a word of advice and encouragement for students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

“Stay committed. Seek out help if needed, and don’t lose focus,” she said.

To learn more UHCL’s OSH program, including the national recognitions and specialization options available for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Program webpage.