Introducing the Newest NITC Dissertation Fellow: Kelly Rodgers of Portland State

Student Spotlight NITC Dissertation Fellow - Kelly Rodgers.png

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to introduce a new dissertation fellow: Kelly Rodgers of Portland State University. Four other NITC dissertation fellows were announced in summer 2020. Our NITC Dissertation fellowships applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Kelly’s dissertation project will focus on "The use and influence of health indicators in transportation decision-making."

Research on health and transport has increased significantly in the past 20 years, both across health and transportation fields. Researchers and practitioners have called for the use of health indicators in transportation, which come amidst the growing emphasis on the use of indicators for transportation plans and projects in general. The underlying hope is that new procedural arrangements, such as measuring and tracking indicators, can turn policy goals into practice. This research project will explore the use and influence of health indicators in transportation using a mixed methods approach.

Kelly Rodgers is a PhD student in Urban Studies who is studying the use and influence of health indicators in transportation decision-making. She has been twice awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship and twice named a NITC Student Scholar. Kelly is also the Executive Director of Streetsmart, a non-profit organization developing an evidence-based platform that helps civic leaders integrate health, climate, and equity concerns into transportation. Kelly is the vice-chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers' Health and Transportation Standing Committee, a member of the Transportation Research Board's Transportation and Public Health Committee, and is an advisory board member of the American Public Health Association's Center for Climate, Health, and Equity. Kelly also serves on the inaugural steering committee of Planning for Health Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership (PHEAL), a group of nearly 80 planning, public health, and other built environment practitioners who have written guiding principles that reaffirm health equity as a superior model for community planning. Kelly graduated with a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University. Watch a Research Spotlight video interview with Kelly.

Kelly was involved in four sessions at the 2021 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) last month. In addition to the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program Poster session where she shared her NITC-funded doctoral research, she also co-presided over the workshop Identifying Systemic Transportation-related Health Effects of COVID-19 to inform Interdisciplinary Research; presented her poster "A Blueprint for the Post-COVID Era" in the Health, Equity, Resilience and Community Impacts session, and was part of a team presenting "Transportation Wallet for Residents of Affordable Housing: Evaluation of an Incentives Pilot Program in Portland, OR" in the New research on travel demand management poster session.

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.

Share this: