See our 2019-2020 NITC Scholars:
Oregon Institute of Technology
Kayla deHoop recently completed her bachelors degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon Tech and is currently a graduate student working on a NITC funded project. Her graduate project will focus on the safety impacts of raising the speed limit on rural two-lane highways in Eastern Oregon. During her time at OIT, she has been actively involved in many of the engineering student clubs on campus including the American Society of Civil Engineers-Associated General Contractors (ASCE-AGC), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Tau Beta Pi. Kayla has also had the opportunity to hold several internships in the transportation field including working with ODOT and WSDOT as a field intern on highway reconstruction and paving jobs and Kiewit Infrastructure Engineering as a roadway design intern. See a sample of Kayla’s work here
Natasha Karan is a civil engineering graduate student. She received her B.S. in civil engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology in 2020. During her time at OIT, she has been involved in student clubs such as ASCE, ITE, and Tau Beta Pi. Currently, she is pursuing her M.S. at Oregon Institute of Technology on the post-evaluation of implementing protected bicycle lanes that is being funded through NITC. Natasha is interested in learning about the effects caused by the implementation of protected bicycle lanes on a community.
Karah recently graduated from Oregon Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. During her time at Oregon Tech, Karah was actively involved in student clubs on campus including Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), American Society of Engineers (ASCE), and the Oregon Tech Women’s Soccer Team. She is now working in Lakeview, Oregon at Anderson Engineering & Surveying, Inc., where she is designing a variety of projects.
Bailey Pimentel recently graduated with a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology. During her time at Oregon Tech she played women’s soccer and participated in various clubs including ASCE and ITE. Bailey hopes to join the navy as an
officer to work in sustainable or environmental engineering and natural disaster relief.
Portland State University
Gabby Abou-Zeid is a civil engineering graduate student, 2019 Eisenhower Fellow and recipient of the 2019 IBPI Rex Burkholder and Lydia Rich Scholarship. She is pursuing her M.S. at Portland State University and working with Dr. Kelly Clifton's SUPER (Sustainable Urban Planning & Engineering Research) Lab. She received her BS in sustainable built environments from the University of Arizona in 2019, and plans on pursuing a PhD in a transportation-related field after her master's program. Prior to coming to PSU, she conducted research with Dr. Clifton through the Transportation Undergraduate Reearch Fellow (TURF) program. See a sample of Gabby's work here
Frank Boateng Appiah
Frank Boateng Appiah is a graduate student and research assistant in Civil Engineering at Portland State University working with Chris Monsere and Dr Sirisha Kothuri on the best practices for the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacon with or without Median Refuge. I graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with Bsc. Civil Engineering in 2013. I am interested in how transportation improves life by increasing productivity, efficiency and other quality of life. Outside of studies I like watching football, playing Fifa games and listening to messages by renowned men of God. Read a 2020 interview in the NITC Student Spotlight series on Frank.
My MURP degree will be complete this spring and my focus has been transportation. I have an interest in passenger rail issues and policy I previously worked for Amtrak a After returning to school, I’ve had internship opportunities working in the rail operations department at TriMet and currently work at the Port of Portland as the planning and development intern. My undergraduate degree in political science was earned at the University of Oregon and I have a graduate certificate in transportation from Portland State University. My goal is to find innovative ways to change policies get private interests to work with public agencies to provide and improve intercity transportation access to more communities. With current funding and transportation policy, public and private interests often work at cross purposes and I seek to make changes with financial and legislative policy that will change this trajectory.
Darshan Rajesh Chauhan
Darshan is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University pursuing his Ph.D. He is currently working with Prof. Avinash Unnikrishnan on tackling uncertainty in network modeling, a project funded through NSF. He is fascinated by how the field of transportation is an amalgam of various disciplines and is interested to contribute to the area where optimization, sustainability, and civil engineering intersect. He has served as the Treasurer of STEP, PSU’s ITE student chapter, and often volunteers his time for various activities organized by TREC at PSU. Before coming to Portland State University, he completed his B.E. in Civil Engineering at BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus, India. He loves cooking and spends his free time swimming, cycling, hiking, and exploring local food and music culture. See a sample of Darshan's work here
Minji Cho is a Ph.D. student in Urban Studies from the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Minji’s research topic is planning, community development, cultural diversity, and social justice. Especially, she is interested in the difference in the degree of participation in the planning process depending on cultural differences, and how it makes differential planning outcomes and social injustice. As a graduate research assistant, she is participating in several research projects related to transportation and economic development, especially, focusing on the effects of active transportation projects on business activities nearby commercial areas with Dr. Jennifer Dill and Dr. Jenny Liu. Minji got a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Engineering from Yonsei University in South Korea. See a sample of Minji's work here
Matthew was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Community Development from Portland State University, he worked at nonprofits and within local government building community assets that increase biking and walking. Some of his favorite projects are designing and managing a program that connected homeless veterans and foster youth with bicycles to commute to employment opportunities; and working with a place-based group to leverage a series of murals painted by neighborhood youth, into a needed sidewalk segment to safely walk to school. As a second year graduate student in Urban & Regional Planning, Matthew is working with John MacArther and Dr. Aaron Golub to research the impact automated fare payments may have on vulnerable community members as transit agencies modernize their fare payment systems. His post-graduation goals are designing mobility solutions responsive to the various needs across all community members.
Apy Das is currently a graduate (MS) student in Civil Engineering program at Portland State University and mother of a lovely daughter. She got a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh. She really enjoys being involved in Transportation Engineering related research works including Transportation Safety and Multimodal Transportation Systems. Apart from work, she loves reading books, watching movies, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Travis Glick is a PhD student, graduate teaching and research assistant in civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University. His doctoral work tackles a new class of problem that accounts for multiple routes and multiple service connections. His ongoing research examines dwell times , bus-bike conflicts , and transit modeling . Outside of school, he enjoy piano, cooking, and reading science-fiction. Learn more about Travis's research by watching his presentation  of TRB research from 2018.
Rob Hemphill is a student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning, interested in the intersection of transportation, housing, and land use to create complete and equitable neighborhoods. His academic work includes researching anti-displacement strategies for businesses impacted by the SW Corridor Light Rail, assessing the sustainable transportation policy options in the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, and addressing e-scooter parking compliance issues with NITC scholar Phil Longenecker. Prior to attending PSU, Rob worked in the energy efficiency sector, the nonprofit sector, and political campaigns. Outside of school, Rob has been an activist with No More Freeways and Portland For Everyone. He has volunteered for Oregon Walks and The Street Trust. He lives car free and sometimes tries to see how many mobility options he can use in a day, often on the way to and from Portland Thorns games. See a sample of Rob's work here
Katherine Keeling is a civil engineering master’s student, an Eisenhower fellow, and a graduate research assistant for the Transportation, Technology, and People (TTP) lab, led by Dr. Miguel Figliozzi. Her current research examines the shifts, challenges, and adaptations in urban freight delivery and its implications for curbside management. Her past research examines bus and bicycle conflicts and associated delay. Katherine is VP of Communication for Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), PSU’s student ITE chapter. She won 1st place in the 2018 Technical Paper competition at the Region 8 ASCE Student Conference. Outside of her studies, she has a small floral business, bicycles in high-heeled shoes, and is always ready for karaoke.
I am a second-year Ph.D. student in Urban Studies with a specialization in transportation and gerontology. I received a Master's degree in Transportation Studies and studied in Urban Planning for Bachelor from South Korea. As the accelerating aging and the emerging of aging problems in the world, research of older adults is definitely needed in the transportation area, and this issue would continue in the future. Through the Ph.D. program, I would conduct my research focusing on how to guarantee mobility and accessibility to older adults. In addition to its role as a transportation mode, transportation is closely linked to overall urban environments, including the economy, society, environment, and welfare. For this reason, I believe that my research can secure mobility and accessibility and improve the lives of older adults. Furthermore, I hope to contribute to a better living environment for everyone. See a sample of Minju's work here.
I am a second-year Doctoral student in urban studies at Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning working with Dr. Jennifer Dill, and Dr. Hau Hagedorn of TREC. Currently, I am analyzing Bike Portal Data and visualizing it. In the past, I have studied walkability and safe pedestrian space while studying for my Master’s of Science degree in Urban Planning and Engineering at Yonsei University, South Korea. Based on this topic, I have won two awards for the best paper at the Urban Design Institute of Korea conference. I have also participated in a competition associated with crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) where I presented policies promoting safer university campuses. Based on my academic research achievements, my career goal is planning and designing for pedestrian-oriented cities as a researcher at an agency or national institute. See a sample of Kyuri's work here.
Elijah Kling is a passionate third year student in Portland State University’s civil engineering program. He transferred from Portland Community College after the summer of 2019 and is flourishing in the university’s fun and challenging new environment. Elijah is also starting as an undergrad research assistant for Avinash Unnikrishnan of the MCECS department of civil and environmental engineering. He plans to finish his BSCE spring of 2021 with honors.
Ann Le is in her first year of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University. She recently worked as an assistant city planner for City of Costa Mesa and is thrilled to be taking classes at PSU to become a better planner. Ann is particularly interested in learning how to incorporate equity in transportation planning and how to mitigate potential negative impacts that often come with expansion of public transit systems.
Gabriel is a first year student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University. Having been born and raised in Phoenix, Gabriel is particularly interested in transportation and land use policies that foster compact cities to maintain the landscapes and arid ecologies of the American West. Gabriel graduated as the Dean’s Medalist of Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in 2019. During his undergraduate degree, he was a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, inventoried historic homes for the City of Tempe, and completed an undergraduate thesis exploring water sources on the border from the perspective of humanitarian aid work. He spent the past year working in rural development and historic preservation in Oregon with the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program. In his free time, Gabriel enjoys staring at maps, backpacking as far away from other people as possible, and toying around with poetry. In the future, he plans to work in the planning and development field before eventually returning to the desert to get his doctorate in Geography.
Philip Longenecker is a first year master's student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University. This coming term, he will continue the work on a project started by Jennifer Dill, John MacArthur and other students which analyzes the street-level composition of curbside uses as they relate to e-scooter parking compliance and ADA accessibility.
Max is a first year master's student in Urban & Regional Planning and Public Health. Coming from Milwaukee, WI, most of Max's previous work has been in the public health and social sectors with a focus on advocacy and community engagement. Max graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2014 with a BS in Kinesiology and a certificate in African Studies and shortly after began working as a Community Health Advisor with the Peace Corps in Madagascar from 2015 - 2017. At TREC, Max is working with Dr. Jennifer Dill and Metro/ODOT on the Region Mobility Policy Update by conducting background research on existing and new mobility measures and approaches to be recommended for implementation in the next Regional Transportation Plan update.
Jaime Orrego Oñate
Jaime is a Ph.D. student for the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Portland State University. He holds a master's degree in transportation engineering from Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile, where he grew up. He has worked as a traffic engineering and has advocated for transportation equity with a special interest in bicycles and pedestrians in different nonprofit organizations. His main research focus is the effect that the built environment has on walking behavior. But lately, he has been also working on cycling behavior and their response to bike infrastructure. When not thinking about transportation Jaime likes taking pictures, watching movies, socializing with friends, and experiencing Portland amenities.
Nick Puczkowskyj is an Urban Studies PhD student at PSU. He is currently working with Prof. Dill and John MacArthur to examine the impacts of e-scooter operations on VMTs in Portland, OR. His dissertation research seeks to challenge the binary approaches to transportation research by using feminist, queer, and travel behavior theory to address the noticeable research gap of transgender/genderqueer data and research in the transportation field. Nick hopes to use this research to expand and redefine inclusive transportation policy and practices. His other research interests include: mobility justice, active transportation, micromobility, and transit. Currently, he is the VP of Organizing for the Graduate Employees Union and President of STEP-ITE. Following graduation, Nick seeks to secure a position as a university faculty member. When not on campus you can find him hunting mushrooms in the forest, fishing the Sandy River, or kicking in Hong Kong during term breaks.
Kelly Rodgers is a PhD student in Urban Studies who studies the use and influence of health indicators in transportation. Kelly is the Executive Director of Streetsmart, a non-profit organization that helps civic leaders integrate health, climate, and equity into transportation. She is a member of the TRB Standing Committee on Transportation and Public Health (AME70), is Vice-Chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Health and Transportation Committee, and serves on the advisory committee of the American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health, and Equity. Kelly was on the steering committee for the development of the Planning for Health Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership (PHEAL) principles. Kelly has a graduate degree in landscape architecture from the University of British Colubmia and an undergraduate degree in urban and regional planning from Miami University.
I am currently a junior at Portland State University, studying civil engineering and specializing in transportation. I plan to graduate in Spring of 2021 and will be working on transportation research this year. I hope to utilize math, coding, and probability & statistics to explore transportation planning within the urban setting and to brainstorm solutions for various urban transportation problems, including those involving sustainability. I’m very passionate about developing new skills and learning, so one of my biggest career goals is to work with other engineers to innovate an environmentally-friendly, country-wide system of travel, besides air travel and
interstate highways. This new, more sustainable system, will aim to preserve the environment and simultaneously improve community life. When I’m not busy solving problems for assignments or studying, I love playing piano, singing in choir, and running.
Jaclyn is a second-year civil engineering master's student at Portland State University and a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellow. Jaclyn is working as a graduate research assistant for Dr. Miguel Figliozzi on a project for the Oregon DOT to study how prevalent travel modes and geometric or environmental variables may affect speed limit compliance on roads with a high percentage of active travelers. She is also investigating how the presence of bicycles on roads without bicycle lanes may affect passenger vehicle travel speed, the preliminary findings of which were selected for presentation at the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting. Jaclyn intends to pursue a role that will enable her to apply her passions for transportation safety, active travel, mitigation of climate impacts, and improving personal and public health. Outside of her studies, Jaclyn enjoys events with ITE-STEP and YPT, attending TREC's Friday Transportation Seminars, hiking, photography, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As a child, I was obsessed with vehicles of all sorts, and had a fascination with both cities and maps. It wasn’t until after I had already completed my undergraduate degree that I had my “aha moment,” and realized I could work in a field that would afford me the opportunity to explore all of those interests. Since discovering transportation planning, I’ve enjoyed doing work that advances transit use, active transportation, or generally promotes more equitable transportation outcomes and moves us away from modes with high greenhouse gas emissions.
Laura Shumway is in her first year of the PSU's Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program. She is focused on the intersection of transportation and land use, and how these can impact sense of place. Laura came to Portland hoping to learn about sustainable transportation and walkability to bring these back home to her car-oriented home of Southern California.
Rohan is currently pursuing his Master's program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University with an emphasis on Transportation. He is also a Graduate Research Assistant in the CEE department, and as a GRA he is working on Arterial Travel Time Reliability project for Washington County, Oregon with Dr. Avinash Unnikrishnan. Rohan's current research encompasses arterial travel time analysis, factors affecting its reliability, and modeling travel time distribution. Before moving to Portland, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from BITS Pilani, India. As an undergrad, he engaged himself with diverse research including expansive soil stabilization using alkali-activated binders, using reclaimed asphalt pavement using CRMB, and understanding fluid-structure interactions with finite elements. Rohan wants to explore the field of transportation engineering further and work in the area at the intersection of Transportation and Data Analysis. In his free time, Rohan enjoys spending time with family, hanging out with friends, traveling to new places, swimming, biking, and watching movies.
Nora Stoelting is pursuing a dual degree in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE). She is excited about the ways that teaching and learning can happen outside of the classroom and be transformative, experiential, and connective. She enjoys finding connections through people and places, and the ways that her two degrees overlap to create a cohesive graduate school experience that is practical, future-oriented, sustainability focused, and relational. Nora is currently working as the Graduate Education Assistant at TREC, and is excited about the opportunities to develop tactical urbanism projects and plan an epic transportation summer camp. Aside from work and school, Nora enjoys running on trails, sharing meals with friends, daydreaming about future trips, and laying in parks soaking up the sunshine.
I am a PhD student in Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning in Portland State University. My research now primarily focuses on transportation equity research and gentrification impacts on accessibility among marginalized populations and communities. I am dedicated to investigating how accessibility is associated with neighborhood change in low-income areas in order to provide policy implications for transportation planning and land use planning. My research also looks forward to identifying mechanisms of preventing or mitigating the adverse impacts (derived from transportation investment) on communities, especially for minorities and low- income neighborhoods. Also, I want to look into the relationship between physical environment and social interactions. My career goal is to integrate transportation research into practice and policy implementation to ensure marginalized populations have equitable access to their opportunities and daily activities.
Lynn Tran is an undergraduate student pursuing a Civil Engineering degree at Portland State University. With the hopes of graduating soon, Lynn is excited to work in the transportation field. Growing up with distrust in the roads and transportation, she quickly realized the importance of having multiple options of safe transportation. She is dedicated to improving traffic safety and active transportation. During her free time, Lynn enjoys hiking with her family and reading mystery novels. See a sample of Lynn's work here.
University of Arizona
Christina Baum recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. Throughout her studies, Christina explored the intersection of public health and urban planning, concentrating on the ways in which well-designed transportation systems can have a profound influence on physical, mental, and social well-being. She also took an interest in environmental justice issues generated by inequitable transportation infrastructure. Christina enjoyed working with Pima County Development Services to evaluate Tucson’s long-distance, multi-use path, and to explore how the county could make it more accessible, safe, and desirable for Tucson residents. She now works as a Project Manager for the Environmental Protection Agency coordinating the remediation of Superfund sites, and is excited to begin working on redevelopment plans. Outside of work and school, Christina loves backpacking, climbing, running, camping, and biking.
Ramzy Tabet Bejjani
Ramzy Tabet Bejjani is a master’s student of Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona and holds a B.A. in Global Liberal Studies from New York University. He is passionate about integrating community engagement and iterative design to create inclusive, complete streetscapes. Ramzy is also a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at Living Streets Alliance, a Tucson nonprofit that advocates for vibrant, equitable streets. At LSA Ramzy develops outreach graphics, provides free bike repair at local schools, and helps coordinate pop-up engagement events. Ramzy served with the US Peace Corps where he taught English and co-facilitated permaculture trainings. Outside of work, you will find Ramzy exploring Arizona by bike and spilling coffee on whatever he is currently reading.
Wyatt Berger is a graduate student in the Urban Planning program at the University of Arizona's College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. He received a BS in Sustainable Built Environments at the University of Arizona with an emphasis in heritage conservation. Within the realm of transportation planning, Wyatt is most passionate about rethinking ways to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within a hot and arid environment such as the Sonoran Desert. He is currently a remote intern with the Cultural Resources Survey Team at the City and County of San Francisco's Planning Department.
Eric Carlson is pursuing his Master's in Urban Planning at the University of Arizona, where he is studying Transportation and Urban Design. His Graduate work includes a study looking at the relationship between water and land use in the Phoenix area, as well as a study determining the impacts of complete streets projects on real estate prices and economic outcomes for adjacent communities. In his free time he loves to play guitar, read travel literature, write stories, and go on long trail runs in the forest.
Julian Griffee recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a Masters of Science in Urban Planning. He focused his studies within transportation and environmental planning. Julian’s academic career includes serving as a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow, a 2020 TRB Minority Student Fellow, and a presenter on his micro-mobility research at various conferences, including the 99th annual Transportation Research Board, the 2019 Arizona Rural Transportation Summit and the 62nd annual Transportation Research Forum. While in his studies, Julian worked within the City of Tucson’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program contributing towards the E-scooter Pilot Program, and within the City of Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department researching climate action and adaptation plans. Professionally, Julian has served as a Planner I in North Carolina promoting rail-trail conversion, a Metropolitan Planning Organization Intern, an Urban and Regional Planning volunteer with Peace Corps Albania, and is currently a Town Planner for a municipality on the coast of North Carolina. Julian continues to take his passion for planning and apply it in the professional world.
Rachel Gildersleeve graduated with her MPH from the University of Arizona in Spring 2020. She sculpted her masters studies and projects to focus on the social determinants of health and specifically the relationship between the built environment and human health. Her transportation-related projects included a risk assessment of bicyclist and pedestrian hazards in Tucson; a report on tools for equitable housing and transportation planning; and participating in transportation research with Arlie Adkins and Nicole Iroz-Elardo. Through this research, she was honored to attend the Active Living Conference and help facilitate a session on a toolkit used to collect diverse pedestrian input on neighborhood walkability and infrastructure projects. Rachel is excited to find her niche in the intersection between planning and public health and remains dedicated to creating healthier built environments for all.
Samuel Jensen is a planning masters student at the University of Arizona. He was the 2019 NITC Student of the Year
, and was presented with the award at the Council of University Transportation Centers banquet at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January 2020. He presented research on "An Inventory of Bus Stop Amenities Guidelines at U.S. Transit Agencies" at TRB, in the Bus Transit Research and Practices poster session. Samuel's interest in transportation developed through his work as an advocate for transit justice. He also serves as the president of Graduate Planning Society, UA's planning student group, and as vice-chair of the city of Tucson's Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
Georgia Faye Pennington
Georgia Pennington is a graduate student at the University of Arizona studying Urban Planning. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Built Environments in May 2019, she decided to pursue a Master's in Urban Planning. Her interests include transportation planning for urban development and design. In 2019, Georgia completed an internship with Tucson Clean and Beautiful, serving as a Volunteer Coordinator for her undergraduate studies. Currently, she is an intern with the University of Arizona Planning, Design, and Construction department, where she has the opportunity to work on campus planning projects, as well as work with their GIS team to aid in campus mapping. She looks forward to her final year of graduate school and expanding her knowledge in the field of urban planning and transportation.
Andrew Quarles graduated with his Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Arizona in Spring 2020. His studies focused on climate adaptation planning and energy transitions. Within the transportation sector he is interested in leveraging emerging solutions like EVs, hydrogen fuel cells, and utilizing the energy resources of electric fleet vehicles to provide grid flexibility and disaster resiliency. He is excited to use these technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector and protect the electrical grid from the acute shocks and chronic stressors of a changing climate. In his free time Andrew enjoys woodworking and bikepacking among other interests.
Elliot Welch is a graduate student in the Master of Science Urban Planning program at the University of Arizona. He received a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan with a focus on international economics and international trade theory. Studying abroad in Japan, Elliot realized how a well-designed and maintained transportation system can impact quality of life. He intends to combine his experience working in logistics as a software developer with his analytical skills learned from economics and apply them to the field of urban planning. His primary interests include transportation land use, high speed rail,
intelligent infrastructure, big data, and smart cities. In his free time Elliot enjoys hiking and playing basketball.
University of Oregon
Clare Haley is entering her second year in the Masters of Community and Regional Planning program at the University of Oregon. Her focus is on transportation planning with the goal of becoming an active transportation planner. Prior to beginning graduate school, she worked as a bicycle mechanic and repair shop manager. She is currently researching active transportation street interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with Dr. Marc Schlossberg and Dr. Rebecca Lewis. Her terminal project researches how e-bikes can address the gender gap in cycling. While not in school or doing research, Clare loves traveling and hiking, and she has recently taken up roller skating in empty parking garages. See a sample of Clare’s work here
John Larson-Friend is entering his second year in the Masters of Community and Regional Planning program at the University of Oregon. He discovered transportation planning during his undergraduate degree in International Studies at Portland State University, and has been hooked ever since. He is very interested in how transportation will continue to evolve over the next decades, and desires to play a role in that change. Currently, John is the Planning Intern for the City of Cottage Grove, the 2020-2021 LiveMove Speaker Series Coordinator, a student researcher working with Dr. Marc Schlossberg and Dr. Rebecca Lewis on a new edition of the Rethinking Streets book series, and recently began a research position with Dr. Anne Brown researching Equity in Shared Mobility. In his free time, John enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling with his partner. See a sample of John's work here
Maddy is a recent 2020 graduate from the University of Oregon. During her time at the University, she found her passion in learning about the world of sustainable transportation and advocating for its prioritization in policy and everyday life. Maddy was heavily involved with LiveMove, the University of Oregon's active transportation and livability advocacy group supported by NITC, as the Speaker Series Co-Coordinator. Along with her co-coordinator Fin Heeb, Maddy planned a monthly "Breaking Status Quo" speaker series that discussed the social, environmental, and economic barriers associated with today's transportation norms and pushed attendees to challenge these notions. Maddy is passionate about connecting with people and doing the best for those on our planet! With her bachelor's degree in Planning, Public Policy, and Management, she will carry on to affect positive state policies that consider environmental, social, and economic equity as top priorities. See a sample of Maddy’s work here
Catherine Rohan is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon’s Master of Community and Regional Planning program. She received her BS in environmental science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Her environmental science background and extensive travels are what ultimately led her to pursue an advanced degree in planning. Within the field of transportation, Catherine is most interested in bicycle transportation and the opportunities the mode presents for increasing social trust and equity. Catherine recently accepted a job with the Albany Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and is excited to now be working as an assistant transportation planner (though she still laments the lack of Tex-Mex in Oregon). See a sample of Catherine’s work here
Aliza Whalen is pursuing a masters’ degree in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Oregon. She is interested in the intersection of transportation equity, land use, and housing. With Dr. Marc Schlossberg and Dr. Rebecca Lewis, Aliza is currently working as a Research Assistant examining COVID-era street changes that support physical distancing for people walking, biking, and eating. She will be a Project Manager for the UO Community Planning Workshop (CPW) during the 2020-21 school year. When not at her desk, Aliza enjoys
trying new recipes, trail running, riding her bike, and reminding friends and family to wear sunscreen. See a sample of Aliza’s work here
University of Texas at Arlington
Samantha Anne Bradley recently earned a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas Arlington. In June 2020, she successfully defended her thesis titled, "A Source of Ridership Beyond Headway Changes: A Case Study in Three Texas Cities". She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University and taught K-12 education for 9 years before transitioning to the field of urban planning. While a graduate researcher at the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars she researched and assisted in writing two publications concerning micro-mobility policy issues. Her goal for the future in the field of City and Regional Planning is to work in the field of alternative transportation focusing either on cycling and pedestrian trails, micro-mobility, public transportation networks, or regional transit connectivity. Her career goal is to work either for a transit authority or with a municipal complete streets or micro-mobility department. She is less concerned with the job title or position itself, and more interested in ensuring that the department’s goals are focused on sustainability and increasing non-automobile transportation such as walking, cycling, small non-motorized vehicles, buses, commuter rail or light rail transit. She believes that transportation equity is more than increased infrastructure or transportation engineering projects related to complete streets or transit. Practicing planners must be willing to use data analysis to build smarter, listen to the demand, and educate the public. Her other professional passions include urban forestry, environmental justice, and the intersection between housing inequity and the urban heat island effect.
Joseph Harwerth is an advanced Master of Social Work student for the University of Texas at Arlington with a specialization in healthcare. Joseph has worked side-by-side with Dr. Kathy Lee as her graduate research assistant for nearly two years. While attending UTA, Joseph won accolades for his research regarding adverse childhood experiences. He won first-place poster at the 2019 UTA Lifespan Symposium and he was selected to present that research at the National Society for Social Work Research Conference in 2020. Joseph has also been recognized for his achievements by the UTA School of Social Work as he was awarded the 2019 Honored Faculty Endowed Scholarship and 2020 Outstanding MSW Graduate Research Assistant Award. Joseph’s career aspirations include working as a medical social worker for a local Dallas hospital and he intends to use his research background to empirically improve how interventions and services are administered in healthcare agencies.
Laura Rose Messier
Laura Messier is a Geographic Information Systems Certificate student at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with high honors in 2008. She received her architecture license in three states and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) BD+C. She practiced architecture in New York with BSC Architecture from 2008 to 2011 and with Jensen Architects in San Francisco from 2011 to 2016 where her Children’s Day School and Minnesota Street projects won several design awards from the California Preservation Foundation, the American Institute of Architects San Francisco chapter, and the Chicago Athenaeum. Since coming back to Texas, in addition to acting as primary caregiver for her two young children, she has acted as both architect and general contractor for her own home renovation. She has also done volunteer work, researching privatization of city services for her local city councilman and acted as Vice President of her neighborhood association. In that capacity, she has spearheaded efforts to improve neighborhood sidewalks, organized community events and coordinated with the association and the city to draw up plans for playground improvements at the neighborhood school. She has recently joined the City of Dallas Mobility Advisory Committee to assist in planning efforts for the Strategic Mobility Plan. She plans to pursue a dual masters in City and Regional Planning and Public Health beginning in the Fall of 2022 focusing on the power of the built environment to influence health.
Farah Naz is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Currently she is the president of Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and president of Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) student organization at UTA. She earned her M.S. in Transportation Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts. She worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation in the Rail and Public Transit division where she assisted in developing the Transit Network Analysis (TNA) software tool in collaboration with Oregon State University. Farah’s scholarly work uses Machine Learning algorithm to characterize Paratransit system user and recognize their travel pattern. This framework will help decision maker in allocating resources to the right places at right time and maximize operational efficiency. Her work will also enable agencies to tackle the overbooking issue. Farah likes kayaking, hiking, biking, and exploring new places.
Erin Roark Murphy
Erin Roark Murphy, LMSW, ABD, is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is passionate about elevating the voices of marginalized populations. Her scholarly work uses community engaged mixed methods approaches to create more holistic understanding of the needs of the diverse aging demographic in the US and an aging homeless population. In order to address these needs, our complex transportation system demands better data for more inclusive decision making and planning. Data from my dissertation will examine the implications of transportation dependency, access, and mobility on the life trajectories of a particularly isolated, vulnerable population of older adults with histories of homelessness in order to optimize transportation systems for individuals, organizations, and communities. Study outcomes will offer implications aimed at improving the mobility of persons at-risk of homelessness and those currently experiencing homelessness, considering transportation as a critical intervention point in the homelessness continuum. Outside of her academic work, Erin enjoys spending time with her twin daughters, reading books, swimming, and cooking new Nigerian inspired vegan dishes. See a sample of Erin’s work here
University of Utah
Jake Gallaher is a graduate assistant at the University of Utah's College of Architecture and Planning. He is a leader in Point B, the University of Utah's transportation student group, and his work with that group focuses on improving bicycle safety. Jake earned his B.S. in civil engineering from Ohio Northern University in 2019. In 2018 he served as an engineering intern at SDS Mechanical & Automation.
Damian Adrian Rodriguez
Brandon is a master's student in the City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Saint Louis University and became interested in urban planning as a way to blend his interest in sustainability and urban spaces. Before enrolling in his master's program, Brandon worked as a full-time intern at the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation in St. Louis, where he primarily did GIS work and data analysis to aid in the nonprofit organization's community planning efforts. He currently works as a research assistant in the U of U's Metropolitan Research Center where he examines land use and transportation questions, including a project he leads that is looking into the effects of light rail transit on auto traffic in Salt Lake City's 400/500 S corridor. Brandon aims to return to the St. Louis area after graduation to work in either transportation planning, land use planning, community development, or some combination of these. See a sample of Brandon’s work here
Meadow Virginia Wedekind