Everyone has a general concern for the safety of their friends and family; in fact, one of the ways that people show their love and concern for fellow human beings is to say things like “Did you arrive safely?” or even, simply, “Be safe.” Then there are those like Bob Moore, ’05 who make a career out of assuring the safety of others, and do so well enough to earn accolades and awards.
It’s safe to say (pun intended) that Moore wasn’t always interested in safety as a career idea. His initial visit to UF was, in fact, a football recruiting opportunity, and, he admittedly was only partially sure of the direction in which he wanted to go academically. He was influenced, however, by some UF faculty. “I was interested in something related to the College of Sciences,” he said. “And during that visit as a senior in high school I was able to meet with the ESOH (Now EHSS – Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability) professors and decided to pursue that major.
Moore said that, upon arriving on campus as an official Oiler student, he soon realized that the environmental program and what it teaches is truly a calling that he wasn’t previously aware he had a passion for. He was also quickly convinced that the people he’d be studying and playing football with, learning from, and generally spending time around were quite possibly going to be more important than anything else. “One of the primary ways UF prepared me for my current life was through forming relationships,” he explained. “This includes relationships with fellow students, coaches, and faculty. I met some of my best friends during my time at UF, both in the classroom and on the field.”
Of the relationships he formed at UF, undoubtedly the most important one is the one he found with the woman who eventually became his wife. Moore and his wife Audra are “Findlay Faithfuls” who met during their sophomore year at UF, but the family connection doesn’t end, or even begin there. It began with Moore’s father, Joe, who, according to his then-Findlay College baseball teammates, was a “talented second baseman for the UF baseball team who humbly and quietly went about his business.” Joe was inducted to the University of Findlay Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, and, his son said, definitely influenced his decision to attend UF. Bob said that “since childhood [Dad] would share stories about his time at UF, both as a student and athlete. Some of these anecdotes were related to overcoming challenges on the field and the classroom, but the common theme throughout was the relationships he formed in Findlay.”
As consequential as they are, relationships compose only a fraction of the ways in which UF provides students with the opportunities to lead meaningful lives and create productive careers. Moore, currently the Environment Health Safety Lead at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), explained that his job is complex. Within the profession, there are multiple facets that must be accounted for on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. “Getting used to balancing the demands of the classroom and athletic obligations definitely gave me a head start to managing time constraints on a professional basis,” he explained. “Perhaps the best way that UF prepared me for my professional career was instilling the values of prioritization. There are times on the job now where work load needs to be managed and decisions have to be made on an hour by hour basis.”
For his efforts on the job, Moore was recently awarded the National Safety Council Rising Star of Safety award, given to the next generation of Safety Leaders under the age of 40. Candidates are nominated by the employees’ organizations, and winners are selected by the National Safety Council. Moore said that much of the credit for his being effective enough in his career to earn this honor is due to his Oiler Experience. “At UF I had the opportunity to work with faculty who are leaders in the Occupational Health and Safety Field. Additionally, as a student-athlete, I was fortunate to have coaches who provided me with lifelong lessons, and to this day are still involved in my life.”
Moore suggested that, even though it’s difficult to see into the future, particularly as a young student who hasn’t had a whole lot of experience out in the “real world,” it will help UF students to step back every now and again and try to see the big picture. “Your time at UF is not a means to an end,” he offered. “The degree is important, but what matters is the journey in terms of the people you meet along the way, and who you become as a result of your time in the classroom.” He added that he regularly revisits an expression that he learned from UF football: Win the Day. “If you conduct yourself with this attitude in mind, success will not be far behind.”