Student Endowment Fund: November/December

The November-December spotlight was written by Ellen Simpson, Secretary of the Oregon State University ITE Student Chapter. OSU will be hosting the 2018 Student Leadership Summit, and the student chapter would like to share their thoughts on this endeavor and the Student Endowment Fund:

The Oregon State University student chapter would like to thank the Student Endowment Fund (SEF) for providing such generous support for the Student Leadership Conference (SLS). Our leadership team has dedicated many hours to trying to find sponsors for this event and Western District ITE has helped us reach our fundraising goal.  Our student chapter is very grateful for the SEF; this is not the first time we have benefited from this fund which allows us to continue to grow as a chapter and better serve our members. The 2018 SLS is the first time that our chapter has had the opportunity to serve other transportation students, and we are very excited to show them what we can do.  Without the assistance from the SEF, the 2018 SLS would not be as big of a success as I anticipate.

The 2018 SLS is being held for the first time outside of California, and we are thrilled to have so many transportation students come visit beautiful Oregon. Because this might be many people’s first visit to Oregon we want to make sure they leave with happy memories and a desire to come back. When our student chapter applied to host the 2018 Student Leadership Conference we had never before attempted to plan such a large and complicated event. However, after being selected to host in April our leadership team put our noses to the grindstone and began planning. With an anticipated 120 student attendees, there were a lot of details to iron out. All of the SLS planning committee had to step up and take on duties that they had never attempted. Some of the planning elements went more smoothly than others, but any arguments we had over appetizers and t-shirt colors were quickly resolved.  While these may seem like minor issues to outsiders, we are trying to live up to the four previous summits in the Western district.  The planning process, while stressful, has ultimately improved the abilities of our student chapter both as a whole and individually. We are getting very close to the conference and have secured some very compelling speakers and presentations for our attendees.

We are very excited to have Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matthew Garrett as our keynote speaker during the banquet. Mr. Garrett assumed the directorship in 2005 manages an agency that employs approximately 4,500 people with a biennial budget of 3.5 billion. Outside of his career with the state of Oregon, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and is also the Chairman of the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment. We are very honored to have Mr. Garrett come speak at SLS and believe that he will provide a unique perspective on leadership in transportation.

The rest of the conference will be filled with engaging technical presentations from professionals from varying backgrounds, a panel discussion on career development, and small group mentor sessions. Attendees will interact with some of the best transportation minds that Oregon has to offer.  We are looking forward to seeing familiar and new faces here in Corvallis in January and hope that everyone in Western ITE is as excited as we are.  The OSU student chapter and myself would like to extend a final thank you to Western ITE and the SEF. Without their support our chapter would not be thriving and growing as it is now and we would never be able to successfully host SLS.

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