Michael Pate has been named Nationwide Insurance Associate Professor of Agricultural Safety and Health in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences
Pate will oversee research, extension and academic programs in safety and health related to the agricultural and the biorenewable industries, and will conduct research in collaboration with Penn State's College of Engineering and the Larson Transportation Institute.
In addition, he will focus on developing best-practice safety programs that are culturally, linguistically and educationally appropriate for workers and employers. He is specifically interested in examining the interaction between metacognitive strategies and cognitive information processing theory and safety-related behaviors of employees.
"Dr. Pate brings a great deal of teaching, research and leadership experience to our department and Penn State Extension," said Paul Heinemann, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. "In fact, he's collaborated with our team before through grant partnerships and national activities, so he already knows our faculty and is a perfect fit."
Pate received bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education from the University of Arkansas. He taught in public schools in Arkansas before attending Iowa State University, where he earned a doctoral degree in agricultural education. He then led the agricultural systems technology program at Utah State University for several years.
Pate has authored or co-authored 21 peer-reviewed journal articles, co-authored a textbook in agricultural mechanics and technology systems, and, as a primary investigator or co-investigator, secured more than $1 million in research grant funding.
Nationwide Insurance established the professorship in 2014 with a $1 million gift, the first endowed professorship of its kind in the college. Endowment funds provide the professorship holder with resources to expand research, teaching or outreach efforts, and best safety practices.