For some people, having one college degree is enough. For Windsor Severance Fire Marshal Sandra Friedrichsen, working toward her third is still just part of the process — a process made easier thanks to a grant she recently earned from a national women’s education group.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded a 2013-2014 Career Development Grant to Friedrichsen to the tune of about $10,000 to help her pursue her master’s degree in fire and emergency management at Oklahoma State University. Career Development Grants help women advance in their careers, according to a news release from the organization. AAUW originally designed these awards to offer funding to AAUW members who were seeking to renew or resume academic work for career or employment advancement. The grants now assist women who are preparing to advance or change careers or to re-enter the workforce.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I believe that working in Windsor-Severance area was where I was meant to be all along,” she said, highlighting her almost 20 years of emergency services experiences that have taken her across the country.“By receiving this grant to help me towards my master’s degree, I will be able to elevate the level of service that I can bring to this great community.”
Friedrichsen already has a bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety technology, as well as in fire service and training management. Her interest in fire science and safety goes all the way back to when she was 14 years old — or earlier — when she would scout out hazards with her father, she said.
“She demonstrates a passion for lifelong learning, and that’s all too rare in our industry,” Fire Chief Herb Brady said. “We strive for diversity in personnel and thinking, so it’s refreshing to have professionals like Sandi who will step out of the comfort zone to learn and best practices back into our organization.”
For the 2013-2014 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to 245 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants, the release said. AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded nearly $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to more than 12,000 women from more than 130 countries since 1888. To find out more about AAUW’s current awardees, visit the online directory and read the news releases at www.aauw.org.
“Since Sandi’s first day here, our prevention and life safety programs have been streamlined, modernized, and been freshened up,” Brady added. “This is the result of hard work and looking outside of the organization.”