Twenty-nine Portland State University students have been awarded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholarships for the 2022/23 academic year. We're very proud to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. The NITC Scholarship program recognizes outstanding students working on transportation projects. Financial support for students helps to develop the workforce by directing talented individuals toward research and practice, raising the number and caliber of graduates in transportation. 

Meet the NITC Scholars of PSU:

Mackenzie Aamodt, Masters of Urban & Regional Planning

Mackenzie Aamodt is a student in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and having access to green spaces, trails, and bike paths heavily influenced her decision to pursue... Read more

Each year, the Portland Chapter of WTS bestows scholarships to assist exceptional women in their educational pursuits in the field of transportation. The scholarships are competitive and based on the applicant’s specific goals, academic achievements, and transportation related activities. Two of the five scholarship winners this year are Portland State University transportation students in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program. Jamie Arnau and Dawn Walter were presented with their awards at the annual WTS Winter Gala on January 24, 2023.

Jamie Arnau: Helene M Overly Scholarship

Jamie Arnau is a second-year MURP student studying urban design. She is passionate about public space design, equity, and improving walking and transit experiences for all. She is currently a transportation planning...

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Christian Galiza is a senior in civil engineering. He is the Vice President of Communications for Portland State University's Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter, Students in Transportation Engineering & Planning (ITE-STEP), and also works as a structural engineering intern for Eclipse Engineering. He is the recipient of an ITE Regional Travel Scholarship to attend the 2022 ITE Western District Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, CA. He is also a 2022/23 National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholar. Christian enjoys transportation because it's fascinating to think about the relationship between building sustainable infrastructure and transportation planning and its impact on how people move every day.

Connect with Christian on LinkedIn.


Tell us about yourself?

I am originally from the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, and I have been working through the B.S. Civil Engineering program at Portland State University. My transportation interests include Complete Streets, safety, and issues involving transportation equity. In January 2023, I’m excited to embark on an engineering internship with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) in their Traffic Operations section...

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Portland State University graduate Mike McQueen, who earned his masters in civil engineering in 2020 and now works at ICF as a transportation data specialist and engineer, has published an article in the November 2022 issue of Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

The article, "Assessing the perception of E-scooters as a practical and equitable first-mile/last-mile solution," is a revised version of McQueen's masters thesis, "Comparing the Promise and Reality of E-Scooters: a Critical Assessment of Equity Improvements and Mode-Shift," which is available for download on PDX Scholar. The article updates the statistical model used to a mixed multinomial (MMNL) regression model, which allows for better control of random variations in taste among respondents, and makes findings about the influence of travel time and cost on mode choice more robust. McQueen presented this research during a poster session at the TRB Conference on Advancing Transportation Equity (CATE) conference in September 2021.

"This research shows that e-scooter systems in their current form are not organically leading to substantial mode shift from automobile travel at a regional scale, nor are they leading to increased...

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New mobility technologies, such as shared mobility services and autonomous vehicles (AVs), continue to evolve. How do travelers decide whether to adopt new transportation modes or continue to use conventional modes? "Transportation Mode Choice Behavior in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles: The Application of Discrete Choice Modeling and Machine Learning" is a 2022 dissertation by Sangwan Lee of Portland State University which uses machine learning to examine this question.

Lee, who earned his PhD from the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning in 2022 working with faculty advisor Liming Wang, is now a research associate working in employment research at LX Spatial Information Research Institute, Korea Land and Geospatial Informatix Corporation in Jeonju, South Korea. He is currently working on several research topics, including autonomous logistics.

"I'm excited about the next chapter of my work in employment research because I am joining research projects about autonomous vehicles," Lee said.

Lee's dissertation consists of three papers. The first examines future market shares of each available mode of transportation in the era of AVs, factors influencing mode choice behaviors, and their marginal effects using a mixed...

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We are proud to acknowledge Portland State University engineering masters student Cameron Bennett, who has been awarded a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship for the second year in a row. Bennett, who won his first Eisenhower Fellowship last year, will receive another presented by the U.S. Department of Transportation at this year's annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He is also being honored as the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) Masters Student of the Year.

Connect with Cameron on LinkedIn.

During his master's program, Cameron has served two terms as President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers student chapter at Portland State, ITE-STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning). In 2022, the student group won the ITE Student Chapter Momentum Award. He has also received a National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholarship and a 2021 Walter H....

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Researchers Rob Hemphill, John MacArthur, Jennifer Dill and Philip Longenecker of Portland State University; Garima Desai of the University of California, Santa Cruz; Lillie Nie of the University of Southern California; and Abbey Ibarra of California State Polytechnic University-Pomona have published an article in the August 2022 issue of the Journal of Transport and Land Use.

The article, "Congested sidewalks: The effects of the built environment on e-scooter parking compliance," offers recommendations for policymakers and future research around the impacts of the built environment on electric scooter (e-scooter) parking.

With the proliferation of e-scooters in cities across the world, concerns have arisen about users parking them on sidewalks and in other public spaces. Research has looked at e-scooter parking compliance and compared compliance to other mobility devices, but until now, research had not yet examined the impacts of the built environment on parking compliance. Using a field observation dataset in Portland, Oregon, and novel GIS data, the authors attempt to understand the spatial distribution of e-scooter parking and the impact of built features on parking compliance.

The results of the study show that 76% of e-scooters observed fail at least one of Portland’s parking compliance requirements and 59% fail at least two criteria...

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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

I am a lifelong Oregonian and Salemite. I love history, which is where much of my interest in urban planning came from. I am fascinated by many subjects and that is also why I enjoy...

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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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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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