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WTS Central PA "MEN"bership Drive!

November 6, 2018 05:37 AM
It’s time to kick-off the WTS Central PA Chapter “MEN”bership Drive! Many transportation industry professionals believe our organization is only available to women, when in fact it is open to all. The mission of WTS is, “WTS attracts, sustains, connects and advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry”, which can only be successfully fulfilled with the support of men and women in the industry. Please encourage your male colleagues to become a member of WTS.
To complement the “MEN”bership drive, WTS would also like to highlight the importance of mentorship. At the WTS 2018 Annual Awards Gala, PennDOT District Executive Karen Michael emphasized how influential her male mentors were in shaping her career:


“Being an engineer and in a male dominated field, I have been blessed with male mentors throughout my career. My mentor was typically my supervisor at whatever stage I was in because I was always trying to learn as much as I could in order to be well versed in that position. Our former District Executive, has mentored me for the past 10 years on everything from how to handle difficult situations, to work-life balance, to knowing the business of the Department.

Many times, in my present position, I have reflected back on situations and solutions that were found. A good mentor will not only guide you, but give you enough leeway to experience the satisfaction of doing something on your own. A good mentor will let you experience situations in which you may not be comfortable while giving you a safety net. Your mentor should be someone you trust implicitly to not let you fail.”

Similarly,  WTS Central PA Advisory Board member Donna Newell, President of NTM Engineering spoke very fondly of her male mentors.

DonnaNewell_mentor   DonnaNewell_mentor2

LEFT - Dr. Arthur Miller and Donna Newell, The Pennsylvania State University,1993

RIGHT- Pictured, from the left: Rachel Tereska (Principal, NTM Engineering), Dr. Arthur Miller, Donna Newell

"I have had a few “male” mentors and my DAD is probably my biggest advocate and always encouraged me. He always said I could be anything I wanted to be as long as I was willing to work for it.

From a Technical/Professional side, Dr. Arthur C. Miller, Penn State Professor was the biggest influence and it is very rewarding to be able to still teach classes with him. The best piece of advice he gave me was to not be intimidated by others and to surround myself with the best! The first sentence is a quote from him, but the rest is from various discussions with him on what that meant during my undergraduate and graduate degrees and continued mentorship over the years.

“Do not be afraid to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you!” Dr. Arthur Miller (PSU). Some people are intimidated if they feel that people that work for them or with them might be smarter than they are. You have to realize that the people your surround yourself with are a reflection of you and your team! Surround yourself with the best and you can achieve great things together!"

Similarly, we asked WTS Central PA Advisory Board member Eric Madden, Vice President of JMT, to share his female mentorship experiences with our chapter:


Eric G. Madden,

Vice President, JMT

“When asked the question, “Have there been female role models in my life,” my answer is a resounding “yes.”  I have been blessed that my life has crossed with many positive influences.  Some have been for a brief moment in time and others for years.  Out of the many, here are merely three females that have guided, and still guide, my life. 

Several years (and several jobs) ago, I had the honor of working with Maryland’s Lt. Governor as an Economic Development Advisor.  The Lt. Governor at the time was a woman named Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  Aside from her role in political office, she was adamant that she be called “Kathleen.”  I can still hear her say “It’s a good name, so use it.”  Kathleen was, and still is, an astute, well-read and thoughtful person.  She was also so much more as she (and her maiden surname) played an integral part of our American history.  Kathleen is the eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy and the niece of Jack Kennedy.  She has seen the greatest and worst of our country through her very own eyes.  Despite the tragedies that fell first upon her uncle and then later her father, she never gave up her faith in people and the good that needed to be done by humanity.  When most would be shaken, bitter and vengeful, she refused and held strong to the ethic that was engrained by her parents.  Working beside her, I saw a person where life had dealt devasting blows, and yet she always stood tall and carried onward.  And through all that, she was always just “Kathleen.”  She taught me that life can be cruel.  Don’t return the favor.  Stand tall and move on. 

 I grew up the youngest of four children.  My father worked three jobs and my mother had the several never-ending jobs of a stay-at-home wife and mother.  Moms and Dads alike offer a plethora of knowledge to their children, should we choose to listen.  However, there is one thing that Mom did that was quite simple and yet remains with me.  Breakfast!  Every morning, she would make breakfast for Dad, a daughter and three sons.  Before going to work or hopping on the bus for school, there was always breakfast – a big breakfast.  Eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, potatoes, toast and juice.  Before Admiral William McRaven’s “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed” there was Dorothy Madden’s “If you want to have a good day, start with a good breakfast.”  This is a trait that I still carry today.  Many years later, I am an adult with a family of my own.  Typically, I am the first to rise in the mornings.  Down to the kitchen I go to make breakfast for everyone.  To this day, I still believe and practice “If you want to have a good day, start with a good breakfast.”  Thanks Mom. 

 This past Easter, my 10-year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes.  Going from that Saturday afternoon knowing little to nothing about Type 1 diabetes to Sunday knowing nearly everything and ultimately Monday morning being sent home with boxes of needles, finger prickers and test strips was not how I anticipated that particular weekend would unfold.  As a terrified parent, I looked at my daughter and asked myself how was she going to cope with this life-changing disease?  She is still a baby in my eyes.  This answer is simple, better than I could ever handle it.  Yes, there are those good days and bad days.  Thankfully, the good days largely outnumber the bad.  It is her daily strength and courage that continue to leave me in awe.  From her, I learned that you don’t always need to look up to find a role model.  In this instance, I simply had to look down.  Let go of your preconceptions, for your next lesson in life just might be under your nose.  Thank you Emma.  Xoxo, Daddy.”

 WTS would like to thank Eric Madden for supporting our chapter as an Advisory Board member and sharing a few of his female mentorship experiences with us.








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