The Railway Association of Southern California is committed to supporting students seeking careers in the rail transportation industry. Three UCLA students received 2020 RASC scholarships:
- Fariba Siddiq, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Jan Yonan, MURP student
- Nathan Vardas, B.S., Civil Engineering student
Sam Speroni MURP ‘20, who’s currently pursuing a doctorate in urban planning at UCLA, won the Neville A. Parker Award for his capstone project, “School Transportation Equity for Vulnerable Student Populations through Ridehailing: An Analysis of HopSkipDrive and Other Trips to School in Los Angeles County.”
The award is given annually by the Council of University Transportation Centers to two recipients for the best master’s project in either policy and planning, or science and technology. Since 2002, a UCLA student has won it 10 times.
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The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program awards fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. This program advances the transportation workforce by helping to attract the nation’s brightest minds to the field of transportation, encouraging future transportation professionals to seek advanced degrees, and helping to retain top talent in the U.S. transportation industry. Since its beginning in 1983, the program has awarded more than $50 million to transportation fellows.
Ten UCLA students received an Eisenhower Fellowship this year:
- Eric Dasmalchi, MURP student
- Yu Hong Hwang, MURP student
- Hannah King, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Edgar Mejia, MURP student
- Julene Paul, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Miriam Pinski, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Lena Rogow, MURP student
- Samuel Speroni, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Alexandra Weber, MURP student
- Timothy Wickland, doctoral student in Urban Planning
Lee Schipper Scholarship
UCLA doctoral student Fariba Siddiq received the Lee Schipper Scholarship from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations for her proposal “Cross-Cultural Gender Differences in Travel: Ride-Hailing’s Emerging Role.” Her research will analyze gender differences in ride-hailing experiences in Los Angeles and Dhaka, Bangladesh, and explore how burgeoning ride-hailing services affect safe and independent movement of women. (Read more >>)
PSR Student of the Year Awards
The Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center honored two UCLA students for their Student of the Year awards. Doctoral student Sam Speroni MURP ‘20 received the UTC Student of the Year award, and Bing Lin Nyang MURP ‘20 received the Master’s Student of the Year award. The awards recognize students across the eight PSR campuses: Cal State Long Beach, Northern Arizona University, Pima Community College, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, University of Hawaii, and USC.
APA California Award
Katelyn Stangl MURP ‘19 received the Academic Merit Award from the California chapter of the American Planning Association for her capstone project Parking? Lots! Parking over the Minimum in the City of Los Angeles. She worked with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning to examine how developers respond to minimum parking requirements, and how changing parking requirements can make LA more walkable, less polluted, and better designed.
The American Public Transportation Foundation awards scholarships to students who demonstrate a continued interest in a career in the public transportation industry, high academic achievement, and need for financial assistance. This year, APTF recognized six UCLA transportation scholars:
- Doug Arsenault, MURP student
- Benjamin Bressette, MURP student
- Tamara Mahadi, MURP student
- Edgar Mejia, MURP student
- Julene Paul, doctoral student in Urban Planning
- Nataly Rios Gutierrez, MURP student
Young Professionals in Transportation Excellence Awards
Jacob Wasserman MURP ‘19 and research project manager for UCLA ITS, won the Young Professionals in Transportation Excellence in Innovation/Research of the Year for his study Transit Blues in the Golden State: Analyzing Recent California Ridership Trends. The study examined ridership trends in California and in the Bay Area to understand the factors causing the ridership drop and how to best recover from it. UCLA postdoctoral researcher Andrew Schouten PhD ‘19, doctoral students Hannah King and Julene Paul, and recent graduates Madeline Ruvolo MURP ‘20 were also recognized for their contributions to the study.
Women’s Transportation Seminar scholarships
The Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, or WTS-LA, awarded scholarships to second-year urban planning graduate students Shelly Quan and Samikchhya (Sami) Bhusal in recognition of their transportation studies. In 2020, WTS-LA awarded $100,000 to women in high school, community college, undergraduate, and graduate programs.
The neighboring chapter, WTS-Orange County, recognized first-year graduate student Karen Phan for her studies in transportation.
CTF research program of the year
During its 31st Annual Transportation Awards, the California Transportation Foundation recognized UCLA ITS’ study on Bay Area Transit Ridership. “What’s Behind Recent Transit Ridership Trends in the Bay Area?” won the 2019 “Organized Research Program of the Year” award.
The report analyzed ridership across eight transit agencies in the Bay Area from 2008-2018. The data the researchers collected found that ridership losses were most pronounced on buses, at off-peak times, on weekends, in non-commute directions, on outlying lines, and on transit operators that do not serve the region’s core jobs clusters. In other words, transit trips in the region are increasingly commute-focused, particularly into and out of downtown San Francisco.
APA Los Angeles Awards
A research project by Katelyn Stangl MURP ‘19, entitled “Parking? Lots! Parking Over the Minimum in Los Angeles,” was honored with the American Planning Association Los Angeles’ 2020 award for academic excellence for work conducted as part of master’s capstone project. Stangl’s research set out to help pave the way for parking minimum reform by investigating why a developer would build over parking minimums.
Among the other APA Los Angeles award recipients were the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with the landmark award to mark 50 years of UCLA’s urban planning department and its contributions to the Los Angeles community, and the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, as part of the team that advised LA Metro’s “Understanding How Women Travel” report.
APA Student Paper Competition
Two UCLA urban planning students both won second place in the APA Transportation Planning Division’s 2020 student paper competition.
Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting Awards
Evelyn Blumenberg won the TRB Pyke Johnson Award for her work on the mobility needs of aging adults, marking the third UCLA faculty member to win since the prize’s inception. The award-winning paper explores the relationship between car ownership, transit accessibility, and older adults’ employment status. Established in 1971, the award recognized an outstanding paper published in the field of transportation systems planning and administration. The paper was co-authored by Andrew Schouten PhD ‘19, doctoral student Miriam Pinski, and professor emeritus Martin Wachs, who won the same award more than 40 years ago, in 1976.
Cassie Halls MURP ‘20 won the “Best Master’s Student Poster Presentation” during TRB’s 2020 Transportation Research Showcase. The poster presentation featured Halls’ work, along with Emma Huang MPP ’17 from LA Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation, on a case study of bus-lane management. The study measured how the tactical transit lane on Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles impacted bus travel times, corridor-level throughput, and customer and operator experience.