September 29, 2022
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The Transportation Research Board has announced its 2023 class of minority student fellows – part of the organization’s commitment to increase diversity and inclusiveness in the transportation industry.

[Above photo by TRB]

To ensure that solutions to the nation’s transportation problems address people from a variety of backgrounds, TRB established its Minority Student Fellows Program in 2010 to explore research, ideas, and solutions from diverse perspectives.

This program seeks to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups in the transportation field and in TRB activities, the group noted.

The program provides funds to students from minority-serving institutions to attend and present their research at the TRB annual meeting and helps them engage in TRB’s network of transportation professionals.

In 2023, 16 undergraduate and eight graduate students studying in disciplines that include civil engineering, urban planning, biochemistry, global and national security, mechanical engineering, computer science, and electronic engineering technology have been selected to take part in the program.

The fellows will participate in TRB’s 2023 annual meeting with paper presentations and numerous other activities, including Young Members Council sessions, the new attendee welcome event, a career panel, a networking lunch, and committee meetings.

Neil Pederson. Photo by AASHTO.

“TRB is pleased to welcome the 14th cohort of Minority Student Fellows. Since 2010, over 220 scholars have come through the program to present their research and participate in all aspects of our annual meeting,” said Neil Pedersen, outgoing executive director of TRB, in a statement.

“These students have benefitted not only from presenting their research, but also from networking with and learning from the top transportation researchers and professionals in the world,” he added.

An article about the program’s outcomes – published in Transportation Research Record – documents the results of a survey of students and reflections by those involved. Survey respondents indicated the program successfully increases fellows’ exposure to TRB, encourages ongoing TRB participation, and contributes to the students’ career growth.

The Federal Highway Administration provides funding for half of the students in the program, TRB said.

Further financial support comes from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the University of Texas at El Paso’s ASPIRE Engineering Research Center, Cambridge Systematics, and the state departments of transportation in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as from contributions by individual attendees at the TRB annual meeting.

editor@aashto.org

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