Student Endowment Fund Spotlight: Jan/Feb

Mark_Spencer_smMark Spencer, LAC Chair for the 2010 District Annual Meeting in San Francisco:  The ITE Student Chapter at UC Berkeley is once again alive, and thanks to the hard work of our student leaders the Chapter is growing.  The tradition of ITE and UC Berkeley dates back to at least 1948 and the first ITE Western District Annual Meeting, held in San Francisco.In 2010 San Francisco will once again host the Western District Annual Meeting, and our Berkeley students are helping us plan and deliver an outstanding event.

The San Francisco Bay Area ITE Section is a proud supporter of ITE students.  We raise scholarship money through various annual events, and each year we send several students to the Western District Annual Meeting.  The Section also provides professionals liaisons to help the student chapter plan events and raise money.

As a former UC Berkeley ITE Student Chapter President, I recognize the importance of supporting our students, and I encourage all ITE members to participate in student programs.  Whether through donations to the Student Endowment Fund, mentoring our future professionals, providing internships, teaching lectures in schools, or conducting school safety seminars in elementary schools, there are many ways for us to contribute our knowledge and plant the seeds for future ITE leaders.

I have met many of the Berkeley students and look forward to working with them in their professional careers for many years to come!

The Jan-Feb Spotlight is written by the University of California Berkeley Student Chapter.

University of California Berkeley Student Chapter officers at the 2009 District Annual Meeting in Denver, CO

University of California Berkeley Student Chapter officers at the 2009 District Annual Meeting in Denver, CO

In the Fall of 2008, two energetic graduate students, Mariana Parreiras and Marin Odioso, revived the long dormant ITE student chapter at UC Berkeley.  The two had attended the Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Anaheim that previous summer and found themselves the only UC Berkeley students in attendance.  Motivated to change this statistic for the coming year, Mariana and Marin worked closely with a dedicated team of founding members to lead Cal ITE in their inaugural year.  This culminated in eight students attending the 2009 Western District Annual Meeting in Denver, which was made possible through local sponsorship from the San Francisco Bay Area section as well as winning the RFP to host the Kell Student Competition at the conference.  The Annual Meeting exposed the students to the vibrant ITE community within a larger, regional context and allowed Cal students to forge connections with professionals and students throughout the West.

Now in our second year, we are building upon the momentum gained thus far.  Our students seize every opportunity to further engage themselves in ITE and regularly participate in a wide range of professional activities, such as attending the monthly meetings of the San Francisco Bay Area section.  Popular events this past Fall semester include a field trip to the San Francisco International Airport that toured the FAA control tower and airfield. Another highlight was the tour of multiple Orange County firms, a concerted endeavor with the ITE chapter at UCLA.  On campus, the chapter holds monthly dinner meetings accompanied by a lecture from an industry guest.  Cal ITE also collaborates with other Civil Engineering societies to put on social events and fundraising events such as career fairs and company infosessions.

Through these efforts, the chapter strives to advocate transportation as a thriving and rewarding career path within civil engineering, especially to younger undergraduate students.  In addition to providing them with the necessary resources to develop and advance professionally, Cal ITE hopes to foster a greater sense of community and scholarship between students interested in transportation.  To this end, the chapter plans to sponsor as many Cal students as possible to attend the 2010 Western District Annual Meeting in San Francisco.