For the November-December spotlight, Student Funding and Initiatives Committee Chair Kimberly Leung will be sharing updates to the District’s Student Initiatives, including new awards and funding allocations, beginning in 2020.
The Student Funding and Initiatives Committee (SFIC) is tasked with promoting the advancement of the transportation planning and engineering profession by fostering the close association of professionals with civil and transportation planning and engineering students. Student members are valuable assets and the future leaders of the Institute. The SFIC is also charged with overseeing and managing the Student Endowment Fund, which establishes a self-sustaining funding source for the District’s Student Initiatives.
In 2020, with the creation of the New Mountain District from a portion of the existing Western District, the Student Endowment Fund was distributed equitably based on the proportion of student membership located within each District, with 73% in the Western District and 27% in the Mountain District.
To reflect the redistribution of student chapters, the funding for the Western District’s various Student Initiatives was also adjusted with changes that included:
- Reducing the number of data collection projects from six to four.
- Eliminating the $100/report award for student chapter annual reports.
- Establishing more detailed submittal requirements, including evaluation criteria and page limits, for the Student Chapter Award.
- Establishing the Student Chapter Momentum Award to recognize a student chapter that has experienced the greatest momentum or most improvement in the past year.
- Reallocating $1,000 previously used to provide travel support for the Student Chapter Award winner to attend the ITE International Meeting if they were also the winner at the International competition to the Student Chapter Momentum Award winner at the District level.
- Eliminating the $300 cash prize for the Kell competition.
- Reducing the number of Student Regional Travel Scholarships from four to two.
Each year, over $12,000, paid from the Endowment Fund, is spent on Student Initiatives, which now includes:
- Funding for the Data Collection Fund ($1,000/project for 4 projects)
- Awards for the Student Chapter and Student Chapter Momentum winners at the Western District Annual Meeting ($1,000/award for 2 awards)
- Funding for the James H. Kell competition held at the Western District Annual Meeting ($1,500)
- Awards for the Student Paper, Outstanding Graduate Student, and Outstanding Undergraduate Student winners at the Western District Annual Meeting ($500/award for 3 awards)
- Student Regional Travel Scholarships to attend the Western District Annual Meeting ($500/student for 2 students)
- Support for the Student Leadership Summit ($1,000)
- Travel support for the winning Student Traffic Bowl team to the ITE International Meeting ($1,000)
- Sponsoring special events for students and professionals ($250)
Student Chapter Awards
The complete list of award and funding opportunities for student chapters, including award guidelines and deadlines, is available here.
In 2004, the ITE Western District created a Data Collection Fund to encourage student chapter involvement with the profession. This program is specifically aimed at creating interest in transportation through practical activities and mentoring. The District awards up to $4,000 annually for the Data Collection Fund, typically distributed in $1,000 increments.
Beginning in 2019, the number of data collection projects was reduced from six to four.
The James H. Kell Student Competition Award intends to give student members attending the District Annual Meeting an opportunity to apply transportation and traffic engineering classroom knowledge to a real-world problem. The competition also gives students the chance to meet and interact with students from other schools. The District issues a request for proposals (RFP) inviting ITE student chapters to design and run the student competition at the Annual Meeting. The winning student chapter is awarded up to $1,500 to cover material costs and travel expenses of students and their faculty advisor to attend the Annual Meeting.
Beginning in 2020, the $300 cash prize for the Kell competition was eliminated.
The Outstanding Student Awards recognizes both an undergraduate and graduate student who has shown exceptional dedication to the transportation profession, extraordinary enthusiasm for ITE, and unwavering professionalism in transportation research or an intern position. The District recognizes one undergraduate student and one graduate student each year. The winners receives plaques, a $500 award, as well as free registrations for the Western District Annual Meeting.
The Outstanding Transportation Educator Award recognizes an educator who has shown extraordinary creativity in teaching, taken exceptional measures to spark student interest in the transportation profession, provided unwavering encouragement for student endeavors, or shown unequaled service to ITE.
The Student Chapter Annual Meeting Award encourages student participation in Annual Meeting events. The award is given to the student chapter who has the highest participation and performance at the Annual Meeting. Points are awarded for general attendance, participation in student events, and volunteering throughout the conference. The winning student chapter receives the Western District Student Chapter Annual Meeting traveling trophy.
The Student Chapter Award is designed to encourage ITE student chapters to participate in activities that are in alignment with the purpose and objectives of ITE. Additionally, student chapters should strive to show diversity and inclusiveness practices throughout their various activities. The winner student chapter receives a plaque and $1,000 for travel to attend the Western District Annual Meeting. The District will submit the winning report for consideration in the ITE International competition.
Beginning in 2020, the $100/report award for student chapter annual reports was eliminated. The $1,000 previously used to provide travel support for the Student Chapter Award winner to attend the ITE International Meeting if they were also the winner at the International competition was reallocated to the new Student Chapter Momentum Award. Additionally, more detailed submittal requirements, including evaluation criteria and page limits, have also been established and are included in the award guidelines.
The Student Chapter Momentum Award recognizes the student chapter that has experienced the greatest momentum (or most improvement) in the past year. Submissions can address (but is not limited to) activity in any of the following areas: Chapter Administration, Application of Technical Knowledge, Networking Events, K-12 STEM Outreach, New Member Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion, Training/Professional Development, Field Trips/Technical Tours, Service Projects, and Leadership Development. The winning student chapter receives a plaque and $1,000 for travel to attend the Western District Annual Meeting. The District will submit the winning report for consideration in the ITE International competition.
This new award was established in 2020 and includes a $1,000 prize. This $1,000 was reallocated from travel support for the Student Chapter Award winner to attend the ITE International Meeting if they were also the winner at the International competition to the Student Chapter Momentum Award winner at the District level.
The Student Paper Award encourages student members of the Western District to conduct and to report on independent research and investigation of transportation engineering subjects and to provide a means for recognizing outstanding accomplishments in this area. The winner receives a plaque, a $500 award, as well as free meeting registration for the Western District Annual Meeting. The District will submit the winning paper on to ITE International for consideration in the Daniel B. Fambro Student Paper Award competition.
The Student Regional Travel Scholarships provide financial support for up to two (2) students to attend the upcoming ITE Western District Annual Meeting. The District will select one student from each region (Region 1 and Region 2). The recipient from each region receives a $500 travel scholarship. Please see the scholarship application to determine your school’s region.
Beginning in 2020, the number of Student Regional Travel Scholarship was reduced from four to two.
The Western District hosts a Student Traffic Bowl at the Annual Meeting. All teams are required to attend the Pre-Qualification round on Monday of the Annual Meeting. The winner student chapter receives the Western District Student Traffic Bowl traveling trophy, a certificate, and $1,000 in travel funds from the District to attend the International ITE Annual Meeting to compete in the Collegiate Traffic Bowl Grand Championship.
Thank you to the Western District and its members for your continued support of the development of students in our profession. Contributions to the Endowment Fund can be made at westernite.org/endowment-fund/endowment-fund-contribute/
For questions regarding the District’s student initiatives and chapter awards, please contact SFIC Chair Kimberly Leung at firstname.lastname@example.org.