Introducing the 2022-23 Transportation Scholars of Portland State University

posted on Friday, September 23, 2022

We are proud to introduce four new transportation scholarship recipients at Portland State University for the 2022/23 academic year. Congratulations to Peter Domine, Lise Ferguson, Kyu Ri Kim, and Valeria Tapia, all students in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning!

Scholarships are made possible by the generosity of donors who want to invest in the future of Portland State students. PSU students work on real transportation system projects with partners in our community. Through scholarships, we can support students in overcoming barriers to funding as well as acknowledging those who go above and beyond in advancing transportation. Learn more about PSU transportation funding opportunities and read about past transportation scholars.

Peter Domine

Recipient of the Walter H. Kramer Endowed Transportation Fellowship

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How can community members become more engaged in transportation decision making?

Individuals and groups can learn to effect powerful change, but success requires some familiarity with how civic processes work. Community Transportation Academies, or CTAs, provide a basic technical understanding of how a city or region’s transportation system operates, along with the decision makers and decision-making processes that determine how the system is shaped.

Supported by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the new Wasatch Transportation Academy (WTA) at the University of Utah was piloted in 2022 in the Salt Lake City region. The research team developed a course vision, topics, and logistics for the WTA by interviewing stakeholders in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, and the Wasatch Front Regional Council. Led by Nathan McNeil of Portland State University and Keith Bartholomew of the University of Utah, the WTA used the established Portland Traffic and Transportation class in Portland, Oregon as a framework. 

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We're proud to announce that the Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE) has awarded Portland State University's ITE Student Chapter, Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (ITE-STEP), the 2022 Student Chapter Momentum Award. The award recognizes the student group for an outstanding year of accomplishments.

This year's ITE-STEP leadership made big strides in activating and energizing the student chapter. They hit the ground running after being elected, to prepare for Transportation Research Board (TRB) scholarship applications, through which they leveraged UTC funding from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities to send ten PSU students to attend the TRB annual meeting in Washington, D.C. 

"The award shows the dedication and commitment that the ITE-STEP board provided. Despite having full-time academic schedules, internships and jobs, and COVID-19 issues, the board stayed committed to holding frequent online and in person...

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In 2019 Olivia Nell wasn't sure what she wanted to study in college. A junior in high school, she discovered a free transportation summer camp at Portland State University (PSU) for high schoolers. After seeing the behind-the-scenes workings of transportation in Portland, Oregon and meeting local professionals, she knew she wanted to pursue: engineering.

"I really enjoyed my time at the camp, and it helped me narrow down my educational interests. I am now in my third year of college at Oregon State University studying mechanical engineering, hoping to focus on renewable energy," Olivia said.

This summer she returned to the camp as a counselor to mentor the next cohort of Oregon high school students. She is one of five past students to do so.

"Three of our counselors this year were past camp students. I think that in itself speaks to the importance of this camp in drawing people to the transportation profession," said Hau Hagedorn, associate director of the Transportation Research Education Center (TREC) at PSU.

Olivia decided to return because she appreciates how the camp positively impacts students: "I wanted to be a part of a team that allows for students to explore various career...

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The Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) program at Portland State University has hosted twenty-four fellows since 2017, and recently wrapped up its summer 2022 session. This year, six undergraduate researchers worked on projects aimed at improving the safety and efficiency of multimodal transportation systems. The research goals ranged from surveying pedestrian count programs and safety performance functions across the country, to reviewing case studies of tactical curb extensions and collecting pedestrian data at intersections. 

Hosted by PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), the TURF fellows also experience a variety of workshops with PSU faculty and staff on research, communication and data science skills. They attended the 2022 Forth Mobility Roadmap Conference in June, and participated in networking events with the Portland chapters of YPT and WTS. Here is some of what the students had to say about the experience:

"I enjoyed all of the experiences surrounding my time here at TREC, but I loved the workshops. I especially enjoyed Dr. Golub's workshop...

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Cross-posted from Oregon State University

Research by the Oregon State University College of Engineering and Portland State University suggests a trio of roadway treatments would enable people age 65 and older to travel on foot more safely.

The research findings are important because older pedestrians are among the most likely to be killed in traffic accidents, according to the National Safety Council. In the United States in 2020 there were 709 pedestrian fatalities in the 65-74 age group – 20% of total road-user deaths in that age bracket. The project used data from Oregon collisions but is likely applicable in other areas, and it provides a framework for jurisdictions to develop their own safety recommendations, said David Hurwitz of the OSU College of Engineering.

Findings of the study led by Chris Monsere of Portland State were published in the Transportation Research Record in May 2022, "Systemic Opportunities to Improve Older Pedestrian Safety: Merging Crash Data Analysis and a Stakeholder Workshop".

Hurwitz and Monsere, whose collaborative background includes a recent...

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The fall term at Portland State University starts September 26, and registration opens September 6 for non-degree students. (Students who are already enrolled in a PSU degree program can register online now.) Lifelong learning is a guiding principle of PSU, and anyone interested can take transportation courses through the non-degree application process or as a post-baccalaureate student. Taking a course can be a good way to see if one of our graduate degree programs is right for you. Check out the course offerings below to see what's available this fall.

See PSU’s COVID-19 Student Resources for the latest info on our campus vaccination requirement for students and staff. If you're not sure when or where (or whether) to show up for your course,...

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Researchers Aaron Golub, John MacArthur and Sangwan Lee of Portland State University, Anne Brown of the University of Oregon, and Candace Brakewood and Abubakr Ziedan of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville have published a new journal article in the September 2022 volume of Transportation Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Rapidly-evolving payment technologies have motivated public transit agencies in the United States to adopt new fare payment systems, including mobile ticketing applications. The article, "Equity and exclusion issues in cashless fare payment systems for public transportation," explores the challenges facing transit riders in the U.S. who lack access to bank accounts or smartphones, and potential solutions to ensure that a transition to cashless transit fares does not exclude riders. Learn more about the project and read an open-access version of the final report.

The study asks: who is most at risk of being excluded by the transition to new fare payment systems and how would riders pay transit fares if cash payment options were reduced or eliminated? Researchers answer these questions using intercept surveys of 2,303 transit riders in Portland-Gresham, OR, Eugene, OR, and Denver, CO.

The...

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In order to make sure bicyclists' needs are considered when improving a transportation system, planners and engineers need to know how many people are biking, and where. 

Traditional bicycle counters can provide data for limited sections of the bike network, often these counters are installed at important locations like trails or bridges. While limited in location, they count everyone who bikes by. Meanwhile, GPS & mobile data cover the entire transportation network, but that data only represents those travelers who are using smartphones or GPS. Combining the traditional location-based data sources with this new, crowdsourced data could offer better accuracy than any could provide alone. 

"Knowing how many people are bicycling on a street is really important for a number of reasons. As just a few examples, bicycle volumes give you a way to understand safety data and determine crash rates. They provide insight into where and how bicycle trips are taking place, which can help plan for new or improved facilities," said Nathan McNeil of Portland State University.

Supported by a pooled fund grant administered by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), Dr. Sirisha Kothuri of Portland State University led a research project aimed at fusing traditional and...

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Nick Puczkowskyj is a graduate research and teaching assistant at Portland State University's College of Urban and Public Affairs. He is a current Urban Studies PhD candidate, and has served as past president of Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), PSU's transportation student group. He has also worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Nick's research specializes in transportation equity, focusing on mobility justice, transgender mobility, queer mobility, gender disparities, and marginalized communities. He earned his master's degree in community and regional planning from the University of New Orleans.

Connect with Nick on LinkedIn or view his PSU profile.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickPuczkowskyj


Tell us about yourself?

Currently I'm a 5th year urban studies Phd candidate. Originally from Chicago, I also call Portland and Hong Kong home. Off campus, you can find me on the rugby pitch with the Portland Lumberjacks RFC or foraging Oregon’s forests for mushrooms.

What (or who...

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In 2022, a PSU Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) team made headlines with their strategies to improve safety for houseless pedestrians. Cities across the U.S. are facing alarming increases in traffic fatalities, especially among the number of pedestrians who are struck and killed by drivers. In 2021, 70 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Portland were of people experiencing houselessness. The MURP team Street Perspective, made up of Peter Domine, Nick Meusch, Asif Haque, Angie Martínez, Sean Doyle, and Meisha Whyte, investigated how to reduce the risk of being hit and killed specifically for unhoused people. 

As the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is updating the city's Vision Zero Plan, the team provided PBOT with recommendations to reduce the risk of pedestrian fatalities among the city's vulnerable houseless communities.

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