Student Endowment Fund: March/April

Cal ITE Officers (from left to right) Jannette Choi, Henry Hammel, and Marissa Milam

Beginning this Spring, the Western District membership will now have an opportunity to hear directly from the students through the Student Endowment Fund Spotlights. On a bimonthly basis, student chapters are being invited to share with the District about what excites them about ITE and the transportation field and the ways in which the Student Endowment Fund has benefited their chapters. This new approach of highlighting officers from the student chapters throughout the District was inspired by the Cal (UC Berkeley) ITE’s officer spotlights. Therefore, it is only fitting to hear from President Henry Hammel, Vice President Jannette Choi, and Treasurer Marissa Milam of the Cal ITE Student Chapter for the March-April spotlight. The following are their thoughts on ITE and the Student Endowment Fund:

Henry Hammel

4th Year Undergraduate, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Transportation Emphasis)

How did you join ITE?

I got involved in ITE as a freshman after going to a general meeting with our SFMTA speaker Kimberly Leung . My first internship was actually with SFMTA and I learned about it from the ITE meeting. This organization is one of the go to organizations for the profession, so it’s incredibly helpful for networking.

What do you like about your ITE position?

My role as president is to set overall objectives and keep projects on track, but what I enjoy most is when I see an opportunity for growth and find someone who can fill that role, and then watch it come to fruition. I like getting our officer board to talk and connect with professional networks, and facilitating the exposure of other people in our club to these companies and professors. That’s what I enjoy most.

Dream job?

My interests right now are in data analytics and transportation planning for sustainability. With the emergence of technology and big data we have enormous potential to change the transportation industry. I’m interested in harvesting that power to drive sustainable and equitable policies and practices.

Ways in which your student chapter has benefited from the Student Endowment Fund?

Our student chapter has received substantial support from the Student Endowment Fund. In particular the fund supports our annual efforts by providing a stipend for submitting an annual report and this year has encouraged us to emphasize it this year. We are also thankful for the student paper awards, outstanding student and travel scholarships. Many students at Berkeley are financially stressed but these awards and scholarships make involvement in ITE and student development accessible for all.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to thank Kimberly Leung and the entire Western District for their support of student initiatives. Western District ITE has done a great job of supporting student chapters and providing us with the resources we need to grow. We would love to see more support for these efforts from the industry. The support for student activity is strongly appreciated and an incredibly important investment in our industry’s future.


Jannette Choi

4th Year Undergraduate, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Transportation Emphasis)

How did you join ITE?

I joined Cal ITE, because I wanted to become more involved in the transportation industry and meet like-minded people that are enthusiastic about solving current transportation issues, as well as transforming the future of the industry.

What do you like about your ITE position?

As the Vice President, I enjoyed outlining and planning the events with the President, as well as coordinating with student groups and corporate partners. This year, we came up with the idea to host a Fall Mixer with our student members and corporate sponsors; it was an exciting networking event, in which we were able to increase our presence on campus and establish stronger ties between our graduate students, faculty, and industry members.

Dream job?

There is a vast amount of data available, but an under-utilization and -leveraging of it in our current industry. I am excited to partake in better using this data to form a more connected and collaborative future and increase the safety and efficiency of transportation. I am especially interested in becoming more involved with the integration of connected and autonomous vehicles into our transportation systems.

Ways in which your student chapter has benefited from the Student Endowment Fund?

The Student Endowment Fund was extremely beneficial in helping our chapter host professional and social events that has helped our chapter grown significantly in the past years. With this funding, we were able to host more events that has brought together students across various majors interested in transportation-related fields and contributed to building a stronger community with a vision to improve the future of transportation. We are especially thankful for the support we received for winning the opportunity to lead the Kell competition at last year’s Western ITE Meeting – it was an amazing opportunity to develop our organization’s presence within the district.


Marissa Milam

3rd Year Undergraduate, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Transportation Emphasis)

How did you join ITE?

I joined Cal ITE because I wanted to meet other transportation enthusiasts at Berkeley, and become more involved with the engineering community on campus. I also wanted to establish connections within the transportation industry through networking events with ITE.

What do you like about your ITE position?

As treasurer, I work to plan each semester’s budget and keep track of our finances. This year we set up a very successful sponsorship program with local transportation companies. This has been a rewarding process as we get to provide more opportunities for our student chapter, as well as establish connections within the industry.

Dream job?

I am interested in using big data to improve traffic operations and encourage sustainable transportation. Current disruptions in the industry provide us great potential to shape the future of transportation, and using big data will help sustainable and effective transportation planning.

Ways in which your student chapter has benefited from the Student Endowment Fund?

The Student Endowment Fund has provided an incredible amount of opportunity for our student chapter. In particular, the fund provides a grant for the data collection project, which Cal ITE has participated in the past two years. The project encouraged student involvement in ITE, as well as provided real-world transportation project experience. The data collection project was also a great introduction to the ITE Trip Generation Manual and technical report writing for students. The funds received from this project will be put towards hosting more general meetings with industry professionals, as well as covering costs for students to attend ITE conferences.


Contributions to the Endowment Fund can be made at westernite.org/endowment-fund/endowment-fund-contribute/