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Ryan Sanders graduated from Northwest in December with a bachelor’s degree in emergency and disaster management and now is employed as a senior safety environmental specialist at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Submitted photo)

Ryan Sanders graduated from Northwest in December with a bachelor’s degree in emergency and disaster management and now is employed as a senior safety environmental specialist at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Submitted photo)

April 28, 2022

Alumnus incorporating Northwest experiences as safety specialist at amusement park

By Patrick Glenn, communication assistant


Northwest Missouri State University alumnus Ryan Sanders is helping to ensure the safety of others as a senior safety environmental specialist at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment’s Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Sanders, who graduated from Northwest in December with a bachelor’s degree in emergency and disaster management, conducts accident investigations and helps the park maintain Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance through audits and inspections.

Just a few months into his career, Sanders says he appreciates the opportunities he had at Northwest and credits the faculty who assisted him.

“So many professors had a big influence on me and how I do my job now – just on how I do my job and how I go about it,” Sanders said. “Everybody takes so much pride in what they do.”

Following his friends’ recommendations, Sanders enrolled in Northwest’s emergency and disaster management program after sifting through the University’s academic offerings. Further discussions about his passion for helping others with Professor of Geography Dr. Mark Corson and Instructor of Emergency and Disaster Management John Carr solidified Sanders’ decision.

Sanders gained knowledge and experience by participating in disaster exercises, such as Missouri Hope. The annual simulation is organized at Northwest by the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education (CHSE) and sponsored by the emergency and disaster management program with the assistance of multiple agencies, including Maryville Public Safety, Nodaway County Emergency Management, LifeFlight and the Missouri National Guard. The training exercise teaches students how to respond to mass casualty situations, high-angle rescues and water rescue scenarios.

Sanders also completed internships in 2020 as a safety intern with Cedar Fair Entertainment Company’s Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, and as a senior safety intern at the park during the summer of 2021. Continuing his time with Cedar Fair, he became a safety technician at Worlds of Fun during the 2021 fall season.

“I got to work closely with people who really knew their craft,” Sanders said. “I got to work with safety professionals, a lot of medics and EMTs and a lot of people from all different disciplines. When you run an amusement park, it’s basically like running a city. You have tons of different employees doing all kinds of different things, especially at Cedar Point.”

As he settles into his career, Sanders hopes to continue his education by earning a master’s degree through SeaWorld’s tuition reimbursement program.

“I absolutely love what I do,” Sanders said. “I’ve found the industry I want to be in. Now, it’s just about moving my way up.”



Contact

Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215
660.562.1704
mhorn@rlsgen.com