Student Endowment Fund: November/December

The November-December spotlight was written by Kaylinn Roseman, General Chair of the first Western District ITE Student Leadership Summit and recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year Award. The following is Kaylinn’s article regarding her thoughts about the Student Endowment Fund:

IMG_5851-001Hello, my name is Kaylinn Roseman and I am a direct beneficiary of the Student Endowment Fund.

I am a graduate student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and have been an active member of Cal Poly’s student chapter since starting my tenure at Cal Poly five years ago.  In my senior year of my Bachelor’s Degree, I served as the President of our student chapter.  Our chapter’s main goal for the year was to successfully plan and host the first ever Western District Student Leadership Summit.  We had a great group of student chapter members focused on the target date of February 15-17, 2014.  In less than six months we created an event that would focus on student issues and build a community of strong leaders all while inspiring them to continue their involvement in ITE.   And………the Summit went off without a hitch!  85 students from 11 schools (from San Diego to Seattle) traveled to San Luis Obispo, CA for the Summit and EVERYONE HAD A BLAST!  Students participated in sessions about leadership in the working world, transitioning from school to career, ethics, and why it is so important to stay involved in ITE.  Students challenged professionals to a transportation trivia game and broke bread with many leaders of ITE.  It was great to see every student actively participating and making friends along the way.  At every session and meal we asked everyone to sit next to someone they didn’t know.  By the end of the weekend, everyone was complaining that it wasn’t possible!  Attendees filled out an exit survey to help us improve the event for next year.  One of the questions asked was if you would attend the Summit next year and everyone agreed: the Student Leadership Summit is here to stay!

An important part of any large scale event is sponsorship.  Our goal was to make the registration as low as practicable so as many students could attend as possible.  We looked to the Western District and the Board was more than willing to help.  The Student Endowment Fund helped fund the Summit and I believe that we would not have been as successful without the financial support.  The registration fee for the event was reduced by over 70%, largely due to the Student Endowment Fund.

Last year, our chapter also participated in the Western District Data Collection Fund Request for Proposals.  We were selected to perform trip generation and parking generation studies at three wineries around San Luis Obispo, CA.  Through this process, we learned how to perform those studies and the effort gave our members great hands on field work experience, especially for our younger members.  The sponsorship we received from the Student Endowment Fund helped offset the study costs and send a group of our members to the 2014 Western District Annual Meeting in Rapid City.

Flash forward to June 2014, Cal Poly’s ITE student chapter proudly sent thirteen student members to the Western District Annual Meeting.  We hosted the James H Kell Competition with a game that we named “Bus Bonanza”.  Student attendees broke up into teams of six and had to configure a transit bus to hold as many riders as possible.  We placed 3rd in the traffic bowl, learned a great deal from the technical sessions, and had members volunteer to collect meal tickets and provide technical support to the host committee.  Our chapter was rewarded for all our hard work the past year with the Western District Student Chapter of the Year Award.  It meant so much to our members to be able to attend a professional meeting and be recognized by the professionals we aspire to become in the future.  None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for the Student Endowment Fund.

Also at the Annual Meeting, I was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year award for my leadership on the Summit, and commitment to our chapter’s success and to ITE.  It was truly an honor to accept the award from my professional organization and from those visionary engineers that have gone before me.

What is on the horizon for the Student Endowment Fund?  A few months ago, it was decided that the Student Endowment Fund would once again sponsor the 2nd Annual Student Leadership Summit at California State University Sacramento happening February 13-15, 2015.  The co-chairs of this event extend their gratitude for this important financial support.

The Student Endowment Fund is supporting so many awesome opportunities for students.  By funding data collection efforts, competitions, scholarships, awards, and student activities and events, the Student Endowment Fund is enriching the college experience and leading many students towards careers in the transportation field.  Now more than ever, it is important to keep bright minds in transportation engineering and the Student Endowment Fund is helping retain those students in our organization.

Thank you Western District.  All the opportunities afforded to me and all the other students do not go unnoticed.  Your unwavering support of our student members shows in our enthusiastic student chapters and in the retention of our members.  The effect is exponential.

Thank you!