Student Endowment Fund: November/December

The November-December spotlight for the Western District’s Student Endowment Fund is submitted by students from Oregon State University who contributed the responses below.

Oregon State University ITE Officers (from left to right): Amanda Riley, Travis Larson, and Cameron Bennett

Cameron Bennett
3rd Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering and GIS

How did you join ITE?

I started attending industry speaker events and got roped into a cabinet position by another member at my second ever general meeting!

What do you like about your ITE position?

I love getting people involved and encouraging them to interact with potential employers, careers, and interests. Getting people close to work that they find meaningful (and pays the bills) is super rewarding!

Dream job?

I strive to improve the safety, livability, and environmental friendliness of our built places with a focus on transportation systems and urban planning. I hope to be employed somewhere I can model traffic operations on a large scale, assess environmental and cultural impact, and make decisions that will improve people’s lives and the health of our planet. Most importantly, though, I want to make lots of maps!

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

Sending students to conferences is a great way to supplement their education and get them as much exposure to real world experience as possible. The Student Endowment Fund allows many students to attend many events each year and pick up an invaluable amount of knowledge and number of connections.


Amanda M. Riley
3rd Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering  – Transportation

How did you join ITE?

My mentor Dr. Kate Hunter-Zaworski spoke very highly of ITE, and I joined in on an Adopt-A-Highway event.

Dream job?

My dream job is to design transportation systems that are efficient and reduce our reliance on vehicular transportation. I want to build livable cities with multiple options for travel.

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

OSU ITE has been the recipient of support through travel assistance, awards for the student chapter annual report, and outstanding student awards.

Anything else you would like to share?

ITE has provided me with numerous opportunities. Each event has so many new ideas to offer, it is always exciting to meet professionals and hear about current projects.


Travis Larson
Masters Student, Civil Engineering – Transportation

How did you join ITE?

When I took my first transportation engineering course as an undergraduate, I was already set in pursuing structural engineering as a career.  During the course, though, I quickly realized how much I enjoyed transportation and I promptly switched my desire to focus on transportation instead of structures. My professor for the course was the faculty advisor for Oregon State ITE and he promptly got me involved with the Oregon State ITE chapter.

What do you like about your ITE position?

As the president of our chapter, I really enjoy helping students establish connections. Whether that be with faculty, other students, or professionals, it is really rewarding to help facilitate those relations.  The other aspect of my position that I appreciate is the long-term planning and networking that I get to perform. While there are day-to-day tasks in my role, a lot of what I do is planning for the immediate and distant future. It gives a great look at the overall scope and goals of ITE and the paths we should take to reach them.

Dream job?

My largest interest in the transportation world is traffic operations, specifically the mix of modes and the challenge of trying to alleviate conflict points between them all while maintaining efficiency in the system. In whatever role I assume, though, I want to be an advocate for all transportation engineers and professionals by helping the general public understand what transportation engineers actually do through my words, actions, and designs.

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

The Oregon State ITE chapter has benefited enormously from the Endowment Fund. We have been awarded money for our successes in areas like winning the Outstanding Student Chapter last year as well as being given support for the Student Leadership Summit that we hosted last January.

Anything else you would like to share?

Just a thank you to all the people that support the students of ITE! Not only with money, but really through the encouragement and support on an interpersonal level. One of the greatest aspects that ITE has helped me with is confidence in talking and networking with professionals. ITE definitely fosters an atmosphere of students being important and encourages them to meet people. Other groups that I have been a part of make it difficult for students to connect with everyone else, but this organization excels at it!


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