Hoffner, Thorp receive Campus Leader Who Cares Award​

Two Washington University in St. Louis administrators are being recognized with the Campus Leader Who Cares Award, presented annually by the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA).

Steven P. Hoffner, associate vice chancellor for operations, and H. Holden Thorp, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, are receiving the award for their commitment to and focus on environmental stewardship, health and safety issues at WUSTL and beyond.

This is the second time in four years that WUSTL senior administrators have been selected to receive the international award, which will be presented July 29 at CSHEMA’s 61st annual conference in Indian Wells, Calif.

CSHEMA is the leading environmental health and safety professional organization for colleges, universities and research institutions worldwide.

Hoffner and Thorp are both being recognized for their work to improve campus safety for Washington University employees, students and visitors.

In addition, Thorp, through his ongoing work with the National Academy of Sciences, is being recognized for promoting a culture of safety in academic labs nationwide.


Thorp is chair of a National Research Council committee tasked with establishing and promoting a culture of safety in academic laboratory research. The NRC is an arm of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences.

“We are honored to recognize Dr. Thorp and Mr. Hoffner for their commitment to and support of environmental health and safety both at and beyond Washington University,” said Patty Olinger, CSHEMA president.

“We hope that by recognizing their efforts, we can inspire others to champion important health and safety issues at their own institutions,” she said.

Jack Voorhees, CSHEMA’s executive director, said of Hoffner, “While his tenure at Washington University spans the better part of 17 years, his mark on campus in recent history is notable — from installing critical fire- and life-safety equipment in on-campus residence halls to ensuring that motorists, pedestrians and cyclists can co-exist safely on campus.

“With his knack for bringing together the right campus partners to tackle difficult and/or costly projects, Mr. Hoffner embodies the collaborative approach that is critical to furthering the environmental health and safety initiatives on a campus,” Voorhees said.

Voorhees added that Thorp’s “work on elevating safety culture has had a direct impact on the Washington University campus, where he has inspired important conversations about laboratory design’s impact on the constant use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“Additionally, he was pivotal in advancing the discussion with faculty about the importance of emergency notification systems being installed in classrooms.”

Previous WUSTL recipients of the Campus Leader Who Cares Award are Hank Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration, and Walter W. Davis, former assistant vice chancellor and assistant dean for facilities operations at the School of Medicine. They received the award in 2011.

‘Ongoing efforts’

Washington University is the only institution to have more than one leader receive this recognition and to have more than one receive the award in the same year.

“These awards reflect the ongoing efforts of many on campus who are committed to making environmental health and safety a priority at Washington University,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “We are fortunate to have Steve and Holden’s leadership and long-term dedication to these important issues.”

Also, in both 2011 and 2008, WUSTL received CSHEMA’s Complete Safety Program Award of Merit for excellence in the university’s institutional safety and compliance programs.

The award recognizes excellence in designing and implementing institutional safety programs while incorporating novel efforts in complying with standardized regulations.

In 2012, WUSTL received CSHEMA’s “Solutions at Work” Award for the university’s Emergency Mass Communications Dashboard project. The award recognizes developing programs that solve or improve specific safety problems at colleges and universities.

WUSTL also received the “Solutions at Work Award” in 2009 for its “Where to Go in Emergencies” campaign and emergency preparedness efforts.