Showcase Interview

Brian Finder's teaching strategy for proactive risk control.

Brian Finder

Faculty Profile
Email Address

Teaching Strategy Video(s)
Promoting Learning: Using Student Examples for Real Life Application
Promoting Learning: Involving Student Ideas in Lecture

Brian Finder teaches Principles of Occupational Safety/Loss Control, Human Factors Engineering/Ergonomics, Fleet Risk Control, Field Problem in Risk Control, and a series of five courses that prepare individuals to teach traffic safety education. Of all these courses, Principles of Occupational Safety/Loss Control is undoubtedly his favorite.


Brian helps students to “get it” in the Principles of Occupational Safety course by requiring them to identify hobbies that they partake in and the numerous risks that are present during such activities. After students assess the presence and magnitude of these risks, they identify realistic strategies to manage the risks, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the potential for human and/or property loss. Finder is confident that this strategy impacts students so that they “get” the concept of proactive risk control from a long-term change standpoint.

Finder believes that instructors should never be afraid to express their feelings and display emotions that are typically suppressed in classroom settings. One of his favorite strategies is to read a brief story about Karen Wetterhahn, a world class researcher from Dartmouth College who died a slow and agonizing death as a result of an inadvertent exposure to dimethylmercury. As Finder reads the story, he must occasionally pause to regain his composure. It is not uncommon for a teardrop to have traveled all the way down to his lower jaw by the time that the story is completed. In order to hit the other end of the emotion spectrum, Brian also incorporates illusionary tricks into his lectures which align with the concept that he is trying to convey. Alumni report that these types of teaching approaches have helped them to develop an appreciation for the risk control/safety role that they ultimately fulfill in business/industry.