Friends of WTS Graphic

To encourage women to pursue careers in transportation, the Heart of Texas (HOT) Chapter of WTS is awarding multiple scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to young women in their senior year of high school to be used for college or trade school. These scholarships have been made possible through generous contributions from our corporate members.

Available Scholarships: DUE MARCH 1, 2024:

The scholarships are competitive and based on the applicant’s specific transportation involvement and goals, job skills, and academic record. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

Any students that may be eligible for the scholarships should apply!


Friends of WTS Scholarship Sponsorship Opportunities

The Heart of Texas Chapter of Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) is preparing for its seventh year of our scholarship opportunity for female high school seniors in the Central Texas area. 

To continue this successful program, we are reaching out to our members for the opportunity to sponsor $2,500 scholarships. This scholarship enables the WTS Heart of Texas chapter to reach additional high school STEM scholars in the Central Texas Area. It has different application requirements than what is currently offered by the WTS International scholarships. 

As a scholarship sponsor, your firm will be recognized during the scholarship presentations at our 20th Annual Transportation Awards Gala, which will be held on April 26, 2024. You will also be recognized throughout the year as we acknowledge those who have donated. 

If you are interested in sponsoring a Friends of WTS Scholarship, please contact our scholarship co-chairs by April 5, 2024.



Questions about the scholarship materials, the application process, or becoming a sponsor?

Please contact the Heart of Texas Scholarship Co-Chairs at [email protected] and [email protected] or by phone:

Brittani Kaim at 737-703-3863

Stephen Johnson at 512-485-0030



Congratulations to all our 2023 scholarship winners!


Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship

Jinli Liu

Jinli Liu is currently a Ph.D. student in the Geographic Information Science program within the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Texas State University. In 2021, she completed her M.S. degree in transportation management and planning at Texas Southern University. Prior to that, she obtained my bachelor’s degree and another master’s degree in Transportation Engineering from Zhejiang Normal University, located in Zhejiang, China.

Throughout her academic journey, her research interests have primarily revolved around traffic signal design, statistical analysis, machine learning techniques focusing on safety and transportation operations, and the design and analysis of GIS-based systems. Currently, she is serving as a graduate research assistant at Dr. Subasish Das’s AIT lab, where she has the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge transportation research.

Ms. Liu is genuinely passionate about making strides in the field of transportation, particularly by improving traffic safety and equity. She believes that through research and innovative solutions, we can positively impact how people experience transportation systems. She is grateful to WTS for granting her this scholarship, which will undoubtedly play a vital role in helping her achieve her career goals. She will use this opportunity to further her education and contribute meaningfully to transportation.

Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Grace Li

Ms. Li is a rising sophomore at the University of Texas in Austin, and she is majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is interested in working with both robotics and artificial intelligence technologies and seeks to learn more about them throughout her education. 

She hopes to work towards integrating systems such as these with public transportation in tandem with the current workers serving the system to create a safer traveling environment for everyone. Her favorite way of giving back to the community is to volunteer at robotics events to encourage the next generation of engineers. 

At UT Austin, she is currently an undergraduate member of the ReNeu Robotics lab, where she works on machine learning programs, and also a member of the Robotics and Animation Society RoboMasters Computer Vision team. Grace plans on using the experiences and knowledge gained from these activities to help her advance toward her career aspirations and goal.

 Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates

Kiersten Crespell

Kiersten Crespell is from Austin, TX, where she attended Lake Travis High School. She is currently a Junior at Texas A&M Central Texas University seeking a bachelor’s degree in aviation science, and she aspires to be one of the few female professional airline captains in the industry. 

Ms. Crespell is interested in new alternative energy-powered planes (electric and hydrogen-powered) and also wants to be a test pilot for companies developing these new technologies. She believes these technologies and the development of smaller 1–4-person electric planes and drones will help alleviate ground transportation traffic congestion. She wants to help make that change a reality. 



Paula Hammond Leadership Legacy for Graduates

Anna McAuley

Anna McAuley is a Ph.D. student in Transportation Engineering at the University of Texas Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. Her research is focused on emerging technology in the transportation industry, particularly related to connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) infrastructure. Her work helps public agencies understand industry trends and opportunities, adopt and deploy technology, and develop strategic policies supporting their long-term goals. She is part of the team leading the Texas Connected Freight Corridors project, a CAV deployment funded by a USDOT ATCMTD grant. 

Prior to graduate school, Anna worked for Kimley-Horn and Associates, Arup, and Union Pacific Railroad. Anna is involved in the campus WTS, ITE, and ITS student chapters and serves as a K-12 STEM mentor. Outside of school and work, she enjoys being outside, gardening and trying new restaurants. 

Anna holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. in Transportation Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. She is advised by Dr. Randy Machemehl. 

Ms. McAuley also won the Jannet Walker Ford Legacy Leadership Scholarship at the international level. 


Junior College Scholarship

Aubrey Ryan

Aubrey Ryan is an undergraduate senior studying Aviation Science at Central Texas College and Aviation Management at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. 

Aubrey is an instrument-rated private pilot who is finishing flight training to become a commercial pilot. She is a Central Texas College Flight Team, Aviation Association, and Women in Aviation International member. 

After graduation, Aubrey plans to become a flight instructor for a few years to encourage young women to fulfill their dreams of flight. Her career goal is to be an international pilot for a major airline. Aubrey is passionate about researching methods to make aviation more environmentally sustainable. In her free time, Aubrey volunteers at events at the local airport to inspire young women to build a career in aviation.


Transportation YOU Scholarship

Aishwarya Sreenivasan

Aishwarya will attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in Statistics and Data Science. 

At her high school, Aishwarya was the Vice President of the Women+ in Computer Science club, in which she worked to create academic and networking opportunities to increase diversity in the technology field. She is interested in using data analytics to ensure the safe and efficient transport of people in their daily lives by using data-driven approaches to improve traffic and safety and determining strategies to increase sustainability by offsetting carbon emissions by vehicles. 

She is extremely grateful to receive this scholarship and is excited to explore career options in transportation. 

Outside of school, she enjoys practicing nature photography and learning geography, and her goal is to use technology to enable social and environmental change.

Aishwarya also won the Transportation YOU scholarship at the international level.


Friends of WTS Scholarship 

Quynhnghi Tran

Quynhnghi Tran is an incoming freshman at the University of Texas at Arlington this fall of 2023, pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Quynhnghi graduated as valedictorian and an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program student from Uplift Summit International in high school. 

Her interest in transportation was first sparked through Texas Youth & Government, where she participated in writing and debating state proposals for sustainable reform regarding development, infrastructure, and transportation throughout high school. Later, she was inspired after reading books by women such as Janette Sadik-Khan and Jane Jacobs, female pioneers of sustainable transportation and development, to fully commit to serving people through civil engineering. 

After graduating, Quynhnghi hopes to pave a path of change for sustainable development to exist within transportation and infrastructure, both environmentally and economically, within the state of Texas.


Friends of WTS Scholarship 

Christine Lai

Christine Lai is an incoming freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, where she will be majoring in Civil Engineering. She hopes to not only provide quality infrastructure to low-income households but to improve it as well. 

As a part of this goal, she wishes to enhance public transportation in her home city of Houston, where traffic congestion and car dependency are huge problems. 

Christine was also highly involved in her school choir, including participating in a musical production of Legally Blonde Jr. and becoming a TMEA Region Choir Member. She enjoys serving her community through volunteering and leading volunteer organizations during her free time.