Local Hero

Mike Murphy, art technician, pulls out the sliding
door on the large "car" kiln, one of eleven new
kilns purchased to replace forty year-old kilns
for the ceramics lab.
Mike Murphy, art technician and lecturer for Art and Art History, accepted the Governor's Employee Safety Award at an August ceremony in Sacramento for his part in determining the safety of dust levels in the glaze chemical measuring room of the ceramics lab.

Murphy received the CSU, Chico Safety Award for the same work last spring at the staff recognition luncheon. Information on the local award was forwarded to the governor's office for a state level competition.
Murphy spent three hours in this glaze room,
attached to sensor and monitors, determining
air levels of hazardous dust. (photos KM)

Murphy worked with CSU, Chico's Facilities Management, the university's Health and Safety board, and an industrial hygienist in determining if a venting system was needed in the dust room where powdered glazes are mixed. For three hours, Murphy was hooked up with probes and sensors while he measured the powders. He discovered the levels of dust were safe.

The $120,000 from Facilities Management that might have gone to the ventilation system was now released to a much-needed kiln replacement project. Murphy was given the task of picking the sizes and types of new kilns to replace the forty-year old existing kilns. The eleven more efficient new kilns range in size from a large `car' kiln, which accommodates very large pieces, to a variety of smaller kilns.

Murphy is an alum of Chico State. He obtained his Master's of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate School. In 1994, he returned to Chico State as a lecturer for beginning ceramics and design and as the art instructional support technician.

Murphy enjoys teaching and doing his own art work. He likes to be around students and other artists who are "hungry for information." Murphy had a ceramic sculpture featured in the Faculty Show, at the University Art Gallery earlier this month.


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