Congratulations to our nine 2021-2022 WTS Greater Chicago Area Chapter scholarship recipients!
The Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 is being awarded to Haley Dahl. Haley is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Civil, Materials and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois in Chicago, with a minor in sustainable cities. She is a member of UIC’s NCAA Division 1 women’s track and field team. She is also the creator of Green Exploration: Rockford, an independent research podcast which consists of interviews of municipal and environmental leaders to discuss environmental issues that afflict the Rockford region.
The Helene M. Overly Graduate Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 is being awarded to Andrea Pimentel Rivera. Andrea is a master's student in human geography and urban planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research within transportation geography focuses on issues related to the mobility of people across modes. As a scholar and planner, she hopes to contribute to creating accessible, livable, and healthy communities through just means.
The Diversity in Transportation Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 is being awarded to Gabriela Gonzales. Gabriela is pursuing a master’s degree in Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the Universidad Catolica Boliviana-San Pablo in her native Bolivia, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration and Management. She has seven years of field experience in vertical construction and transportation and is the president of CMAA-UIC.
The Executive Partnership in the amount of $2,000 is being awarded to Jennifer Grafelman. Jennifer is a seventeen-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Transportation where she specializes in crash reconstruction. She conducts crash investigations and has served on numerous road safety assessment teams. Her goal is to further the safe transportation of the traveling public on our state and federal highways.
The Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates in the amount of $2,000 is being awarded to Olivia Hansen. Olivia is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Structural Engineering through the co-terminal program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a rising senior and will complete her studies in May of 2023. Additionally, she is heavily involved in campus organizations such as the Illinois Tech Railroad Club, SEAOI-IIT, ASCE-IIT, SWE and the Armour Student Council.
The Leadership Legacy Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 is being awarded to Shanshan (Shirley) Liu. Shanshan is a Ph.D. student from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include transportation electrification policy and planning, sustainable transportation systems, and transportation energy. Her current focus is on transportation energy vulnerability analysis and electric vehicle smart charging schedule with the consideration of emission, user preference, and energy cost.
The Transportation YOU High School Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is being awarded to Saliyah As-Salaam. Saliyah was a member of numerous school clubs including Freshman Mentors, Key Club, Yearbook, Environmental Outreach Club, Best Buddies, Windy City Hacks, the National Honors Society for Dance Arts, the National Honors Society, and was also the caption of the Varsity Bowling Team. Saliyah will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. She plans to create new experiences working with diverse, low-income communities ensuring environmental equity, involvement with professional organizations for interpersonal growth and continued attainment of leadership roles that positively impact environmental change.
The President’s Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 is being awarded to two recipients:
Yen-Chu Wu is pursuing a master’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in vehicle decarbonization and sustainable transportation systems and is currently working on a project about electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy planning for the State of Illinois with IDOT.
Oufa Benkraouda is a PhD candidate at the department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Ouafa earned her bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from United Arab Emirates University and her Master’s degree in Urban Infromatics from New York University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, transportation, and equity in urban spaces. She is especially interested in the equity impacts of emerging technology in transportation (i.e., autonomous vehicles). Her ultimate goal is to make sure future mobility solutions consider and incorporate vulnerable communities and individuals in their planning, making and deployment.