Published On: October 18th, 2023

The Student Endowment Fund provides two Travel Scholarships per year to support attendance to the Annual Western District Conference. This year, we are proud to present this to Alex Wang and Ruimin Lin. Below, Ruimin shares some of her experiences from her time in Portland. 

“Mahalo to the Student Regional Travel Scholarship which allowed me to travel from Honolulu, Hawaii to Portland, Oregon to attend the Joint ITE International and Western District Annual Meeting. I am honored to have been selected for this scholarship, representing both
Hawaii and women in transportation. During this conference, I reconnected with students I met at the 2023 Western District Student Leadership Summit, made new friends, networked with transportation professionals and learned about how the continental United States plans and
operates their transportation system.

During the conference sessions, I loved listening to the presenters share about their transit projects. I learned about what their planning process was, how they involved the community, and problems they encountered and how they overcame them. I found the sessions talking about roundabouts especially fascinating. Back in Hawaii, we have several smaller scaled roundabouts and seeing them on a bigger scale made me realize the transportation possibilities. In addition, I
learned something that gave me a new perspective in transportation safety planning. One presenter mentioned that their particular roundabout project actually resulted in an increase in accidents, but these accidents were significantly less fatal compared to the accidents reported pre-project.

Inaddition, I loved Family Night. My fellow volunteer and I guided attendees to the Rose Bowl like wayfinding signs. This social event was a great opportunity to network with other students and professionals in a more casual setting which allowed me to have genuine and heartfelt conversions with them. I spoke to students about how their club was structured which inspired me to host similar events to build our student chapter back in Hawaii. I also had the opportunity to ride the different trams, trains, and buses which was something new to me since Oahu only has a bus network and the recently added “Skyline,” our rail system. The aerial tram was particularly interesting because in Hawaii there are lots of developments on top of mountains, which could benefit from a gondola lift like that. I also met TriMet employees while riding transit. There, I learned more about the hands-on operations of TriMet rather than the planning processes.

Thank you to ITE International and ITE Western District for making my first international conference memorable! Lastly, thank you to ITE Western District for supporting ITE at UH Manoa by providing us with funds and leadership. With your help, I’m excited to see our chapter grow!”

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