College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Science (CFAES) Health and Safety Coordinator Kent McGuire’s compassionate, hands-on approach promotes the safety of every CFAES student, faculty and staff member.
Throughout his ten years at the university, Kent has developed personal relationships with department heads and CFAES leaders and is committed to the safety of his coworkers.
“My passion comes from the fact that I love working for the people in CFAES, and I want to make sure they can teach and work safely and ensure they can go home at the end of the day,” Kent said.
Initially, Kent noticed an opportunity at Ohio State to reinvent the current safety program and used his previous expertise to create a new program suited to meet the needs of CFAES that also works in conjunction with the OSU Environmental Health and Safety programs.
Kent provides online, lab, and farm equipment training and safety inspections, as well as general oversight for the CFAES safety program for 11 departments across the Columbus, Wooster and Extension campuses.
“We’ve developed a program that is specific to our college, easy to access and has become a model for other agricultural academic campuses as they develop their own safety programs,” Kent said.
Kent is driven by the human element when he does his job. He emphasizes his role as the point person for all safety issues. Anyone who works in the college can feel confident and comfortable doing their job knowing Kent is looking out for their safety.
“I really enjoy getting to work one-on-one with employees in different departments and on different sites,” Kent said. “I would say that’s the best part of my job.”
The people in CFAES create a supportive culture that enables Kent to be innovative in the way safety is executed within the college.
“The community of this college is based on the fact that everyone has a passion for what they’re doing,” Kent said. “Because of that passion, safety aspects are usually easy to implement. They take pride in the college and in their work for the college.”
Kent discussing safety procedures with new equipment at the Ag Engineering Building.
Kent managing safety at Farm Science Review at the OSU Molly Caren Agricultural Center.
Beyond CFAES, Kent believes Ohio State fosters cohesiveness and closeness as a large university. Though Kent’s job reaches across the state, he uses the closeness he has felt at the large Columbus campus to create a system of coordination and support across multiple departments.
“I love that as big as Ohio State is, it can still be a close-knit community,” Kent said. “You can develop friendships and relationships, and everyone is taking pride in what they’re doing and doing it well.”
His passion for CFAES and Ohio State drives Kent’s dedication to extending safety beyond Columbus. His current long-term goal is to improve the connection he has with all three CFAES campuses; Columbus, Wooster and Statewide Extension.
“My ultimate goal is to continually build and expand this safety program,” Kent said. “I want to work with people around me and develop close relationships with other groups so, together, we can create a safer college and university.”
For his commitment to and impact at the university, Kent was recognized with a 2019 Distinguished Staff Award.