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The WTS-LA Scholarship and Awards Dinner: Three of the Evening’s Main Forces

Renowned chef, author, and spy Julia Child said, “The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.” Nothing better describes the following winners of WTS-LA awards this year.
 
Consider this year’s Honorable Ray LaHood Award.
 
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Awarded to someone who has directly and indelibly contributed to the advancement of women and minorities, the WTS Honorable Ray LaHood Award is bestowed on someone who has meaningfully supported women and minorities throughout his/her career, while advancing the reputation and credibility of women in transportation. USDOT Maritime Administration Director of Mid Pacific Gateway Eric Shen has done exactly that. In every role he’s ever held—from Port of Long Beach Transportation Planning Director to TRB Chair to USC Professor—Eric Shen has mentored and supported women and minorities. Many credit him specifically with being the pivotal mentor in their advancement. And his work and his advocacy have not gone unnoticed, garnering numerous awards for both. For these reasons and many more, WTS-LA chose him for the highly coveted 2018 WTS Honorable Ray LaHood Award. 
 
 
Then, there’s the WTS-LA Rosa Parks Diversity Award
 
Picture_1Promoting diversity and cultural awareness within the transportation industry, displaying extraordinary effort and initiative to create opportunities for women and minorities, supporting the goals and mission of WTS—these are the criteria for the award. Newly named HDR California Highway & Roads Leader Carrie Bowen exceeds these criteria. In her service as director for Caltrans District 7—the first woman and non-engineer in the role—Ms. Bowen championed equity and equality throughout her long Caltrans tenure. In addition to advancing safety, technology, and mobility, she shattered glass ceiling after glass ceiling. Serving as a role model, she also routinely promoted and supported women and minorities in critical and decision-making roles. For these reasons and many more, WTS-LA named her the winner of the 2018 WTS-LA Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. 
 
Finally, there is the WTS-LA Member of the Year.
 
Todd_TRBWTS-LA names a member of the year for his/her selfless devotion to the chapter. In short, when others stop working, the member of the year continues on, doing more to help the chapter succeed in numerous ways. WSP deputy project manager and transportation and environmental planner Todd Nguyen does just that each and every day. Bringing boundless enthusiasm and passion to his work with the chapter, Mr. Nguyen gets things done. Whether it’s engaging the next generation of transportation professionals or revamping the College Outreach Committee, he never stops working to improve the chapter and help it better achieve its mission. His commitment to hard work and success for the chapter is inexhaustible and unmatched. So, WTS-LA named Todd Nguyen as the 2018 WTS-LA Member of the Year. 
 
Congratulations to all three winners and their unique ability to do something they appreciate that is truly worthwhile. And kudos to WTS-LA for recognizing them in that regard. 
 
 

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