Student Endowment Fund: May/June

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ITE Officers (from left to right) Brendan Lin, Brian Gaul, and Vanessa See

For the May-June spotlight, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ITE shares the impact that ITE has had on their college experiences since their first years at SLO. Hear the thoughts of President Vanessa See, Vice President Brian Gaul, and Historian Brendan Lin on ITE and the Student Endowment Fund:

Vanessa See

3rd Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering

How did you join ITE?

I first learned about ITE during an internship at SFMTA the summer before college when I was copied on an email to Cal Poly SLO alumni at SFMTA. The email included a picture of Cal Poly SLO ITE winning the ITE International Collegiate Traffic Bowl in 2015. I thought that it would be valuable (and very fun!) to surround myself with students who were also passionate about transportation, so I joined ITE in my first quarter at Cal Poly.

What do you like about your ITE position?

In my role as president, I get to oversee all the Student Chapter’s events. My favorite part of serving as president is seeing our members receive jobs and internships from the events we hold. I also love knowing that I’m helping our members develop meaningful relationships with each other and with professionals.

Dream job?

My dream job is any transportation engineering position at SFMTA that allows me to serve the people of San Francisco, my hometown.

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

Our chapter has received assistance from many of the Fund’s initiatives over the years. I’m most personally affected by the Regional Travel Scholarship, which helped me travel to the Western District ITE Annual Meeting in San Diego last year. I was paired with a mentor, Dalene Whitlock, who reaffirmed the importance of ITE to me by introducing me to people she has met over the years in ITE. This bolstered the idea that ITE is important not only for the technical knowledge gained but also for the lifelong friendships made.

Anything else you would like to share?

ITE has given me so many opportunities, from travel to internships to friendships. I love ITE and look forward to whatever opportunities lie ahead. Thank you to the entire Western District for supporting the students!


Brian Gaul

3rd Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering

How did you join ITE?

I joined ITE my very first quarter when I came to Cal Poly. I already was interested in transportation when I started college so it was natural to join ITE as soon as possible!

What do you like about your ITE position?

I am the current vice president of our chapter and I love this position because I get to bring students into the field of transportation. One of my tasks is to attend new student events and club showcases. I find it rewarding to bring more students into our club and our profession. I also enjoy the ability to go to all of the annual meetings and make lasting friendships and connections!

Dream job?

I would love to design an airport or work at Disney dealing with all of their transportation needs.

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

Our student chapter has been the recipient of many of the Fund’s initiatives in the past few years, between Regional Travel Scholarships and Data Collection funding. These funds have allowed our chapter to send more members to conferences and put on more amazing events. Regardless of the money, events such as the Data Collection project provide valuable experience for our students.

Anything else you would like to share?

I really enjoy being part of the ITE community and look forward to continuing my involvement as a student and professional in the future!


Brendan Lin

2nd Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering

How did you join ITE?

During Open House, I had the great opportunity to meet Vanessa, the professional coordinator of ITE at the time. Her encouraging words and enthusiasm really motivated me to pursue ITE during the coming school year. After attending the first general meeting where I got to learn more about ITE’s purpose and meet many of the passionate individuals of ITE, I knew I wanted to become a member.

What do you like about your ITE position?

As the historian of ITE, I really enjoy capturing the moments that represent and express the community of Cal Poly SLO ITE. Determination, excitement, and fun are some words I would use to describe ITE’s archive of photos. To take these photos, I have the wonderful opportunity to attend many of the events ITE plans throughout the year where I know I’ll have unforgettable memories.

Dream job?

My dream job is to become a civil engineer.

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

Over the past years, Cal Poly SLO ITE has proudly received funding and awards from many initiatives of the Student Endowment Fund. Each achievement has graciously supported our chapter by providing the necessary resources responsible for our chapter’s growth, passion, and success. Many of the funds have helped our chapter maintain bi-weekly general meetings, our transportation engineering student project area, and many professional transportation-related events. Without the Student Endowment Fund, many of the events that inspire young transportation professionals would not have been possible.

Anything else you would like to share?

I am so thankful for the Student Endowment Fund. The District’s Student Initiatives Program has been a great source of funding for our chapter and has endlessly provided me with a passion to become successful in the field of transportation. My involvement with ITE has been very impactful to my career and it is a community that I would be more than happy to grow. When I encounter other peers unaware of ITE, it brings me great joy and pleasure to share how much I love being a part of ITE.


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