NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Five TSU students are now members of the prestigious Minority Student Fellows Program of the National Transportation Research Board, or TRB.
The students, from the Colleges of Engineering, and Public Service, were recently accepted into the program at the TRB’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This followed the acceptance of technical papers the students presented from research conducted late last year.
“Representing my university in the Transportation Research Board Minority Fellows Program was one of the most wonderful and involving experiences I’ve ever had,” said KeAnna Dakwa, a sophomore civil engineering major from Huntsville, Alabama. Dakwa’s research was on “Analyzing Traffic Circles as They Pertain to Crash Severity.”
Tyler Thompson, a senior urban studies major from Naperville, Illinois, who presented on “After the Referendum: Fixing Traffic in Nashville, TN,” said he was honored to be accepted as a fellow of the TRB program because of the opportunities it affords him.
“I enjoyed my experience at the TRB annual meeting,” Thompson said. “I was able to network with people who are in the same field of study as myself, while sharing my research with people from all over the country.”
Other TSU students who were accepted into the TRB Minority Fellows Program were: Cam’Ron McKinney, sophomore civil engineering major from Cleveland; Dominique Wallace, senior civil engineering major; and Kahlil Andrews, who is pursuing his master’s degree in civil engineering.
Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett, associate professor of urban studies in the College of Public Service; and Dr. Deo Chimba, associate professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering, accompanied the students as advisors.
A program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the TRB annual conference promotes innovation and progress in transportation through research. The Minority Student Fellows Program, established in 2010, actively explores research, ideas, and solutions from diverse perspectives with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the transportation field.
According to Chimba and Triplett, the TSU students and new TRB fellows applied classroom theory to transportation problems in their research, got critical exposure to the range of transportation issues, and gained the ability to improve research writing skills.
“This program has boosted and exposed TSU underrepresented civil engineering minorities to the transportation field and TRB activities,” Chimba said.
Triplett added that participating
in the TRB program has motivated non-civil engineering students to find their
place in the transportation industry as urban planners.
“Participation in this program will continue to encourage student growth at TSU in urban planning within the transportation field and in TRB activities,” said Triplett, adding that previous TSU students have received employment in the transportation field through their participation in the TRB program.
This year’s TSU students received sponsorships from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, TRB and the Federal Highway Administration.
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