A West Virginia University campus police officer who responded quickly to a Freon leak last year and a chemistry professor who has spearheaded his departments safety efforts were honored today (May 3) at the Presidents Safety Reception.

Patrolman Kevin Hamon won the Presidential Heroism Award. Paul Jagodzinski, chairman of the Chemistry Department, won the prestigious University Safety Award.

Other award winners were Personal Rapid Transit worker Haven Otto”H.O.”Sions, for helping to foil a robbery; student Jennifer Rinker, who saved a co-worker from choking; students Amy Massey, Carrie Graziani and Billy Betz, for their safety efforts as members of student government; and student Jessica Shahady, who organized a womens safety forum.

WVU President David C. Hardesty announced the award winners. Fay Thompson, director of Environmental Health and Safety at the University of Minnesota, gave the keynote speech. The program, coordinated by WVUs Environmental Health&Safety, was held in the Erickson Alumni Center.

Hamon, the Presidential Heroism Award winner, was patrolling campus last October when he was dispatched to Stewart Hall on a report of possible smoke in the building. He and a Physical Plant worker searched the building and discovered a Freon leak. After evacuating the building, Hamon returned to check on the Physical Plant worker, who was feeling the effects of the Freon. Hamon, who lives in Kingwood, pulled the worker from the building to safety.

Dr. Jagodzinski received the University Safety Award for his many contributions to the enhancement of safety within a large scientific department and the University community. Since his appointment as department chairman in 1990, he has established a legacy of safety in an academic unit consisting of 100 faculty and staff and 7,000 students in two large buildings.

He has served as chairman of the departments Safety Committee, which has won seven straight WVU Building/Unit Safety Committee Awards under his leadership. He wrote the

Department of Chemistrys Chemical Hygiene Plan in 1991, has served on the WVU Health and Safety Council since 1996 and has chaired the Hazardous Materials Subcommittee since 1996. He resides in Morgantown.

Sions was presented the Good Samaritan Award for his actions while witnessing the robbery of a womans purse at Krogers. Sions, who was working a home football game when the crime occurred, immediately contacted campus police via his radio and followed the robbery suspect until police arrived to make an arrest. Sions lives in Morgantown.

Rinker, a student worker in the Financial Aid Office, received the Good Samaritan Award for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a co-worker choking on food. It was the first time that Rinker had performed the maneuver. Rinker is from Weston.

Massey, Graziani and Betz received the Safety Achievement Award of Excellence for their membership and participation in the 1999-2000 Student Administration Board of Governors. Their organization implemented POWER 2000 , a week-long program held in the Mountainlair to Provide Others With Educational Resources. Massey is from Hurricane; Graziani, from Fairmont; and Betz, from North Arlington, N.J.

Shahady, 1999-2000 Panhellenic president, won the Safety Achievement Award of Excellence for her role in organizing a forum that covered a wide range of safety issues for women. Shahady is from Bridgeport.

The reception also honored building/unit safety committees that have worked throughout the past year to improve safety within their building or department. Recognized this year were the following committees: Department of Chemistry, Department of Foreign Languages, Health Sciences Center, Health Sciences CenterCharleston Division, Knapp Hall Extension Services, Mountainlair, NRCCE , Physical Plant, Potomac State College, Public Safety and Transportation Services, Stewart Hall and Wise Library.

Ten years ago, former WVU President Neil Bucklew announced a University Safety Reception Program, developed by a University-Wide Safety Committee. It is a way to recognize groups and individuals for their commitment to promoting safety at the University and to honor those who perform actions above the call of duty.