Jai Daniels is a first-year Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) student at Portland State University, currently working with PSU's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) as a Graduate Research Assistant under faculty advisor John MacArthur. She is interested in urban livability, bicycle and pedestrian planning, transit planning, and the intersection between urban planning and the environment.

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I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, often referred to as 'Mayberry.' Living near the Blue Ridge Parkway and not having much to do, apart from spending time outside, largely influenced both my passion for environmental conservation and my desire to travel. This in turn influenced what I chose to study. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 with a degree in environmental studies and minor in city and regional planning. Now, I live in Portland and am in my first year of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University. Outside of school, I enjoy listening to podcasts, watching movies, taking film pictures, and hiking.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

As an undergraduate student, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, which sparked my...

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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 Tech, working on a post-evaluation of implementing protected bicycle lanes. Natasha is interested in learning about the effects caused by the implementation of safe, inclusive active transportation infrastructure in a community.

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I'm from Coos Bay, OR and I am attending Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, OR in order to earn my bachelors and master's degree in civil engineering. Currently, I am on track to earn my masters degrees in 2021. Throughout my college years, I've gained a significant interest in the transportation field, especially through the classes that I have taken and the events that I have attended through the Institute of Transportation Engineers club.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

My career path in transportation was influenced by learning about and experiencing the state of the United States' current transportation system. The United States is one of the leading nations in the world however it lacks initiative in the transportation area, especially regarding public transportation....

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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.

...
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Photo by AlbertPego/iStock

Lincoln Edwards is a masters student in urban planning at the University of Arizona, and a TRB Minority Student Fellow for 2021. He currently works as a research assistant in UA's College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, on projects that relate to Equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD). In 2019 he was an intern for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Lincoln earned a BA from Pennsylvania's Millersville University with a double major in Geography (with a concentration in global studies) and Government & Political Affairs. His future career goals center around issues related to transportation planning, gentrification, universal design, and community development.

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I’m a second year Masters of Urban Planning student at the University of Arizona and a 2021 TRB Minority Student Fellow. I’m originally from Philly and received my B.A. in Geography at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA. Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to have a career in urban planning due to my passions towards urban restoration and community revitalization.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

My upbringing as a wheelchair user allowed me to...

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The Outstanding Student of the Year award is presented during the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) banquet at each annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, where the U.S. Department of Transportation honors an outstanding graduate student from each UTC. Gabby will be presented with the award for NITC at the virtual CUTC award ceremony and banquet on January 6, 2021. See past NITC Students of the Year.

Another honoree at this year's CUTC banquet is Hau Hagedorn, our associate director, who will receive the CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership.

2020 NITC Outstanding Student of the Year: Gabby Abou-Zeid, Portland State University

Gabby Abou-Zeid holds a B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments from the University of Arizona and is currently a second-year Civil Engineering MSc student with transportation emphasis at PSU. Working in Dr. Kelly Clifton’s Sustainable Urban Planning and Engineering Research Lab (SUPERLab), her interdisciplinary research examines multimodal travel behavior, urban freight, and intersections between transportation and land use. In 2018, she participated in...

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Image: Left - Crosswalk with blue lines to illustrate the concept of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems); Right- Hanna Hutcheson with a ponytail and a blue shirt. Text reads: NITC student spotlight, Hanna Hutcheson, University of Utah.
Photo by metamorworks/iStock

Hanna Hutcheson is a second-year Masters of City and Metropolitan Planning student at the University of Utah. Her specialization is in Transportation and SMART Growth, and she is passionate about increasing accessibility to transit, designing cities to be more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, and improving environmental conditions through planning. Hanna also works as a graduate teaching assistant, and in the summer of 2020 she completed an internship with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 

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Hi! I’m originally from Eugene, OR, but I got my undergraduate degree in geography from BYU and have been living on and off in Utah ever since. I’m in my second year of the MCMP program at the University of Utah, focusing on SMART growth and transportation; my passion lies specifically with transit and, to a lesser degree, active transportation and complete streets. Outside of school, I’m a big fan of reading, Netflix, ‘80s music, and embroidery.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

I have to give a shout-out to Ted Knowlton, the deputy director of the SLC region’s MPO, for really sparking my interest in...

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Left: A Google streetview image of the University of Texas at Arlington, near the School of Social Work. Right: Sarah Robinson, wearing  blue and pink shirt. Text: NITC Student Spotlight, Sarah Robinson, University of Texas at Arlington.

Sarah Robinson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington, Texas and a NITC dissertation fellow. Her research primarily focuses on service provision and utilization by survivors of intimate partner violence. Sarah's NITC dissertation will explore the transportation challenges of survivors in intimate partner violence shelters. She is particularly interested in how the built environment (i.e. the structure, location, design of service agencies and transportation networks) impacts survivors’ abilities to access services and survivors’ outcomes, such as future experiences of violence and overall health and well-being.

NITC Researcher Profile | ResearchGate Profile


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My name is Sarah Robinson and I am a current...

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Left image: Screenshot of USA map showing locations of transit agencies. Right image: Headshot of John Larson-Friend in a checked shirt. Text reads "Student Spotlight: John Larson-Friend, University of Oregon."

John Larson-Friend is in 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 UO faculty Marc Schlossberg and Rebecca Lewis on a new edition of the Rethinking Streets book series, and recently began a research position with Anne Brown researching Equity in Shared Mobility.

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I grew up in Forest Grove, Oregon, but had the opportunity to live in the Midwest and Southern California before I ultimately returned to Oregon. Similarly, my journey to transportation planning has been long and winding. I have worked in the film industry...

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Text: NITC Student Spotlight, Frank Boateng Appiah, Portland State University. Images: Frank Boateng Appiah in a grey hoodie next to an image of a rectangular rapid flash beacon at a crosswalk.
Frank Boateng Appiah is a graduate student and research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University, working with Chris Monsere and Sirisha Kothuri on best practices for the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacons with or without Median Refuge. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with Bsc. Civil Engineering in 2013. Frank is interested in how transportation improves life by increasing productivity, efficiency and other aspects of mobility.
 

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I come from a small town in Ghana called Adamsu but spent most of my formative years in Accra, the capital city. Living in Accra, a city where road transport has been the primary mode for several decades, I came to appreciate how a disintegrated transportation system affects a nation’s economic growth and therefore requires effective and efficient planning and design to increase productivity. This informed my decision to read civil engineering during my 4-year undergraduate study at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology. At Tech I was much involved in student groups such as CESA (Civil Engineering Students Association), where I held some leadership positions. In PSU I am an active member of...

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Right: Kayla deHoop in a black shirt posing in front of a brick wall. Left: Rural highway in Oregon. Text: NITC student spotlight, Kayla deHoop, Oregon Tech.
Photo by ChrisBoswell, iStock

Kayla deHoop recently completed her bachelors degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon Tech and is currently a masters student. 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.

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I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon on a dairy farm and didn't really consider engineering until my senior year of high school. I took a personality and placement test and several times civil engineering came up as the top career for me, so that is what I pursued and I am so glad I did! At Oregon Tech I have become very involved with many student clubs including ASCE-AGC, ITE, and Tau Beta Pi, often taking on a leadership...

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