In a remarkable display of cooperation, two rival universities are submitting a joint September-October spotlight for the Western District’s Student Endowment Fund. Students from the University of Southern California (USC) and UCLA’s ITE student chapters have contributed the responses below. They intend to jointly hold events in the coming years.
How did you join ITE?
Lilly Nie, USC Undergraduate 2nd year, Urban Studies & Planning, Minor: Spatial Studies
With a passion for multimodal transportation and equity, I joined ITE in the second semester of my freshman year on a whim and decided to attend the SLS Conference, where I received mentorship from a number of industry professionals. It was one of the best decisions of my freshman year.
Walker Dai, UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering, BS expected 2021
When I was a young child, I used to explore bus lines in my hometown of Jiaxing, China. As I traveled around my city, I realized that people need to travel every day, and buses, along with other modes of transportation, provide people service to commute, to visit friends and to travel to another city. I was amazed by the power of transportation systems and wanted to understand how different modes of transportation work. When I entered UCLA, I encountered ITE and a group of enthusiastic seniors who were willing to answer my questions and give me advice. I started to participate more in ITE activities and became an active member.
What do you like about your ITE position?
Brandon Duong, UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering, BS expected 2019
I like my position as Project Manager because I get the opportunity to pass on everything I’ve learned the past couple years, from the project workdays to work experience to presentation skills, to my project members. I want to guide my fellow students into the field that they most want to pursue, and if that is a career in transportation or traffic engineering, I will do everything I can to inspire them and give them the tools to succeed.
Lilly Nie, USC Undergraduate 2nd year, Urban Studies & Planning
Being Communications Officer has expanded my skill set as a planning student and aspiring transportation professional. I love creating flyers and banners for events and engaging with our chapter’s general members through social media.
Beatrice Mititelu, UCLA Chapter Internal Vice President, Civil and Environmental Engineering, B.S. expected 2020
My dream job would be to work on the California High Speed Rail project! I think it’s such an incredible idea for our state and would love to see it through.
Lei Lily Tam, USC Undergraduate 3rd year, Industrial & Systems Engineering (Information Systems)
Anything that deals with the integration of business and technology.
What is your ITE chapter’s plans for the upcoming year?
Rachel Krusenoski, USC Chapter President, Undergraduate 4th year, Urban Studies & Planning, Minor: Environmental Studies
We are excited to start off the year with our membership drive and welcome new members to our organization! We plan to spend the semester hosting a speaking series with professionals in transportation, planning site visits for our members, and providing opportunities for students to attend conferences and networking events for young transportation planners and engineers!
Dario Qiu, UCLA Chapter President, Civil and Environmental Engineering, BS expected 2019
This year, our focus is connecting students directly to the industry. We understand the value of industry experience, and so one of our greatest objectives for this academic year is to provide students with direct employment opportunities. With that being said, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting our Inaugural Career Fair on November 7th, 2018. New events like these are what allow us to establish ourselves as the premier club for transportation enthusiasts on campus, and it is with hopes that we can continue to cater to students with a transportation engineering and planning focus in mind.
Anything else you would like to share?
Maya Bouchet, graduated USC Spring 2018, BS, Planning, Policy & Development
One of my favorite memories from ITE had to be when our team participated at last year’s traffic bowl! It was so fun to get to meet the other ITE chapters and also become closer with the members in my own chapter as we prepared for the transportation trivia!
Michael Weyant, UCLA Structural Mechanics, M.S. expected 2019
For me, being a part of UCLA’s ITE chapter was the most enjoyable extra-curricular experience I had during my undergrad years. While the technical work in transportation is what drew me into the organization in the first place, it was the people, both in our chapter and at professional events, that kept me intrigued and motivated to do the best possible job I could to learn more and improve the events that our chapter held. Based off of the experiences my fellow Bruins and I have had in the past few years, we are very interested in the concept of potentially hosting SLS in the near future. With Los Angeles being the city in the United States with the greatest number of opportunities to improve its transportation infrastructure in the near future, we are aiming to foster an ever-growing community of young transportation enthusiasts to help tackle the issues that the city is facing. If we were to host SLS and publicize to the rest of the University of the event’s success and importance, we believe it will provide an additional source of motivation for more students to join our chapter, and consequently, join the transportation industry upon graduation.
Rachel Krusenoski, Undergraduate 4th year, Urban Studies & Planning, Minor: Environmental Studies
We are excited to not only grow as an organization on our own campus, but also explore opportunities to work with other ITE student chapters at neighboring universities, like the UCLA Chapter. We believe this partnership will strength our organizations, provide new connections, and create a team that is excited to reach new achievements. We hope to be able to continue our partnership by hosting a future Student Leadership Summit.
Contributions to the Endowment Fund can be made at westernite.org/endowment-fund/endowment-fund-contribute/