Published On: August 22nd, 2022

Thank you Western District ITE and the Student Endowment Fund for selecting me to receive the Student Regional Travel Scholarship to attend the Western District Annual Meeting in Palm Springs this June. I am honored and grateful for this scholarship, since it gave me the opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting by covering my travel expenses from my home in Beaverton, Oregon to sunny Palm Springs. Thank you to the Student Initiatives Program for being very generous and giving me an amazing experience with so many memories and connections that will benefit my transportation engineering career. Here are a few special memories from the Annual Meeting that I was able to make with my Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) ITE Student Chapter due to this fund.

Cal Poly SLO ITE earning second place in Traffic Bowl

At the Annual Meeting, I had an incredible time competing in the Western District Student Traffic Bowl and finishing second place with Cal Poly SLO ITE. It was an amazing experience representing my school in a Jeopardy-style transportation game! Additionally, I had a blast competing in the James H. Kell Student Competition hosted by Oregon State University this year, which consisted of strategically using time, money, the environment, and different modes of transportation to travel to all of the states in the Western District, with each one having a fun minigame to play. My team placed third in this event and brought home a cash prize! I want to thank the Student Endowment Fund again for their generous prizes and funding for the event. I also enjoyed participating in the MiteY Race, where my teammate and I raced against other students to complete several different fun tasks throughout the Palm Springs Convention Center. It made me feel like I was racing in the actual Amazing Race!

Cal Poly SLO ITE receiving the Student Chapter Award

Besides competing in these fantastic student competitions, I am thankful for the opportunity to make connections with professionals, faculty, and other student chapters. I found the Student/Faculty Leadership Forum and the Young Member & First Timer Social to be very helpful in making these connections. Of course, I was making new connections throughout the entire Annual Meeting, but these specific events helped strengthen these bonds.

A few students who benefited from the Student Endowment Fund

From the technical sessions to the luncheons, I am grateful for the knowledge and lessons I gained from the Annual Meeting. It made me even more passionate about transportation engineering and planning, as well as more comfortable with talking to professionals. I even learned about how transportation has become more efficient for Coachella!

This specific Annual Meeting meant the most to me because I have been very involved with Cal Poly SLO ITE throughout college, serving as the President and helping earn the Student Chapter Award this past year. This was my first in-person Annual Meeting and my last one as a student, since I just graduated from Cal Poly with my B.S. in Civil Engineering. I had such a wonderful experience at this year’s Annual Meeting, so I will definitely attend again! I also hope to get more involved with ITE at the Western District level, since I really enjoyed taking on several leadership roles with my ITE student chapter.
When I was awarded this scholarship, I was given a transportation professional buddy to help me navigate the Annual Meeting. Thank you, Pat Marnell, for being my buddy and introducing me to several professionals.

Students, faculty, and alumni of Cal Poly SLO

Lastly, I would like to thank the Student Endowment Fund for all the funding given to our student chapter over the years, which included funds for the Student Leadership Summit, data collection projects, scholarships, and several awards. A special thank you to Kayla Fleskes and the past Student Funding & Initiatives Committee Chairs for making this possible!

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