Past Scholarship Winners
2023 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipients
The recipient of the 2023 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship is Lauren Kretchman.
I am a student at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. In 2023 I will be beginning my third quarter, quickly approaching graduation in March of 2024. I am honored to be the recipient of the Sharon D. Banks Memorial Scholarship this year. As a woman pursuing a field mainly dominated by men, I appreciate opportunities directed towards women alone. I am excited to represent the WTS International Pittsburgh Chapter for the next year and the rest of my time at PIA. I cannot thank you all enough for this opportunity as I strive to achieve my degree in Aviation Maintenance.
The recipient of the 2023 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates is Haley Neidig.
I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown studying Civil Engineering. I am from South Williamsport, PA. The past two summers I interned with PennDOT where I worked in the STAMPP and ROW units. Here I inspected storm water drainage pipes, guide rails, and surveyed permitted signs. Besides my schooling, I am a member of the UPJ Women’s Soccer team, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and an athletic student worker. During my soccer career in 2021 I was awarded 2nd team all-PSAC West, and 2nd team all-Atlantic Region. The following year I was honored 1st team all-PSAC West. I am working to get another internship this summer with a Civil Engineering company located near me.
The recipient of the 2023 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates is Melina Hudson.
Melina Hudson is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing her master's degree in sustainable engineering. During her master's program, Melina is doing water quality research with Sustainable Design Labs at Pitt and is working remotely part-time for the Milford, Delaware office of Greenman Pedersen, Inc. (GPI) as a transportation design engineer. Melina will graduate in April 2023 and then begin working full-time for GPI, where she will focus on drainage and stormwater design. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Melina graduated from Pitt with her bachelor's degree in environmental engineering in the spring of 2022. Melina is passionate about creating safe spaces for all individuals to be the most authentic versions of themselves and hopes to continue to create and foster those environments in her future. In her free time, Melina loves playing bass guitar and travelling - she looks forward to a future filled with meaningful work balanced with these hobbies and time spent with family and friends.
The recipient of the 2023 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship is Taraneh Ardalan.
Taraneh Ardalan is a Ph.D. student, teaching, and research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. With an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering focusing on Transportation Engineering from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Taraneh has been working on several projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Florida DOT, and Pennsylvania DOT. She has received several prestigious awards including the WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship, WTS Pittsburgh Leadership Legacy, Best Master Poster Award at the Annual Academic Excellence, First Place in the 4th-Annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition in FAU within the College of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as the FAU's 3MT® Championship Award. Taraneh has published and presented at different conferences including the TRB annual meeting. Her research interests include Traffic Simulation Modeling, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Traffic Signal Control.
2022 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipients
The recipient of the 2022 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship is Samantha Woloszyk. Samantha is finishing the fourth year of her 3+2 program. She spent three years at Slippery Rock University studying physics before she transferred to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2021 where she will conclude the last two years of her program for a civil engineering degree. This past summer, she interned with PennDOT as an inspector on the Highland Park Bridge Interchange project and is excited to try her hand at design during this upcoming summer with Michael Baker International. Aside from her studies, Samantha is very active in her church and is a member of the ASCE Student Chapter at Pitt
The recipient of the 2022 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates is Melina Hudson, a senior environmental engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh who hails from Milford, DE. At Pitt, Melina is a tenor sax player in the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band, is involved in the Pitt Society of Women Engineers, and has recently become involved in Pitt AAEES's Campus RainWorks Project. Melina intends to continue her education at Pitt next fall by pursuing her master's degree in sustainable engineering through Pitt's EAGr program. After that, she plans to work for Greenman-Pedersen Inc., in Milford, DE, where she has been an intern since the summer of 2019. Melina is passionate about creating safe spaces for all individuals to be the most authentic versions of themselves and hopes to continue to create and foster those environments in her future.
The recipient of the 2022 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates is Farzaneh Azadi. Farzaneh has more than 15 years of experience as a civil and transportation engineer. She received her B.Sc. degree in civil engineering followed by an MS in Transportation Management from Iran. After moving to the US in 2016, Farzaneh has worked with the University of Missouri-Columbia on a variety of research projects with the main focus on transportation safety. In 2019 she joined the University of Pittsburgh. Her Ph.D. research focuses on intelligent traffic management with connected and automated vehicles. Farzaneh is a recipient of several prestigious awards including WTS Metropolitan St. Louis Chapter (2018), ITS Heartland First place poster award (2019), Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholar (2019 to 2022), and WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship (2022). She has published multiple papers in Transportation journals and had several conference presentations. Her research interests include intelligent traffic control systems, transportation safety, transportation modeling, and data analysis.
2021 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipients
Recipient of the 2021 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Molitoris Leaderhip Scholarship for Undergraduates is Kaitlin Hudak, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation. Throughout her college career Kaitlin has been involved with Air Force ROTC, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), ASCE, Water Polo and the Newman Club, where she mentors underclass women. Her summers have been spent interning at the PennDOT District 11 office where she worked in the maintenance and construction divisions. When not telling her friends how interesting bridges are, you can find her climbing, writing a newsletter or hiking.
Recipient of the 2021 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship is Crystal Daughtry, who will be receiving a degree from The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in June, 2021. Crystal began her education journey at Eastern University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, she began her professional career in the transportation field with Delta Air Lines in 2011. Crystal’s time with Delta had been quite rewarding with many opportunities to witness the innovative ways aviation has enhanced transportation over the years. She spent two years working at the LaGuardia Airport in New York City, where she watched a massive growth in Delta Airlines as they expanded their services. Though this was a time of maturation, Crystal had a desire to do more within the company. She began to pursue a new career in becoming an aircraft mechanic and to accomplish that goal, a move back to Pittsburgh was required. Upon her return to Pittsburgh, she began taking courses at the Community College of Allegheny County to gain a basic understanding of mechanical concepts. Her time there was completed with an Associate of Science in Mechatronics, which truly created a great foundation for the final step in becoming a certified aviation mechanic. In the fall of 2019 she began studying at The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics to obtain an Associate’s degree in Specialized Aviation Technology and an Airframe and Powerplant Certificate.
Recipient of the 2021 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates is Taraneh (Tara) Ardalan. With an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering focusing on Traffic and Transportation Engineering from Florida Atlantic University, Taraneh is pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. During her master's, she has contributed to many research projects sponsored by local, state, and federal transportation agencies. Her research interests include Simulation Modeling, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Traffic Operations, and Traffic Data Analysis.
Taraneh has received several prestigious awards including the Best Master Poster Award, the First Place of Three Minute Thesis Award, and now the WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates. She has published and presented in several conferences including the TRB Annual Meeting. Taraneh is also interested in working actively in different student organizations. She is the founder and the former president of the WTS FAU Student Chapter and the vice-president of the ITE FAU Student Chapter. After a semester at the University of Pittsburgh as a PhD student, she is now working on establishing the Pittsburgh WTS Student Chapter to provide more opportunities for students interested in the field of transportation engineering.
2020 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipients
Winner of the 2020 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Molitoris Leaderhip Scholarship for Undergraduates is Isabelle Macioce, an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown majoring in Civil Engineering, with a concentration in Transportation. As an ardent fan of Disney World, Isabelle’s academic career can be summed up with this quote by Walt Disney himself, “Whatever you do, do it well.” From being Valedictorian of the Big Spring Class of 2017 to her perfect 4.00 GPA at the University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown, Isabelle has a perfectionist drive. In addition to her Civil Engineering coursework, she also works as a Supplemental Instructor for Statics, of which her favorite topics are 3D moments, free body diagrams, and trusses. Through hosting weekly review sessions outside of class, she provides positive reinforcement for students who attend, works difficult problems, and prepares original practice material that targets key concepts. Other school activities include being a member of the First Place Team at the 2019 Contractors Association of Western Pennsylvania Student Estimating Competition and tutoring Public Speaking. In her spare time, Isabelle likes playing golf, skiing, and going to Disney World.
During the summer, Isabelle has developed real-world skills in two internships. Her first internship was with PennDOT Central Office. Her main task involved developing 3D linestyles and 3D cells in Bentley Microstation. Most recently, Isabelle completed an internship in highway engineering with HNTB Harrisburg. She had the opportunity to work on a major highway reconstruction project by correcting markups on Signing and Pavement Marking plan sets, drawing bike lane details, and generating turning templates. In addition, Isabelle’s meticulous technical writing ability was highlighted by editing various Design Field View and Safety Review submissions.
Winner of the WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship is Sharika J. Hegde, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Sharika is interested in intelligent transportation systems, shared mobility, and connected and automated vehicle technology. Combining her experience in transportation and computing, she is also interested in using machine learning and data analytics techniques to tackle issues within the transportation domain.
Sharika has completed numerous internships, most recently at FHWA’s Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory, where she supported their Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment program and CARMA platform. During this internship, Sharika authored a paper on connected vehicle data privacy, which she then presented at the 2020 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. On-campus, Sharika served as the 2019 President of CMU’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She is also involved with transportation research at CMU, as a researcher at Prof. Sean Qian’s Mobility Data Analytics Center. Sharika will continue her education and research by pursuing a Ph.D. in transportation systems in the fall of 2020.
Winner of the 2020 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates is Kathryn Schlesinger, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. In December 2020, she will receive a Masters Degree in Public Management with a concentration in Public Policy. Although originally hailing from sunny, south Florida, Ms. Schlesinger considers Pittsburgh to be her second home after living here for nearly ten years. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a dual B.A. and GIS Certificate, Ms. Schlesinger accepted an AmeriCorps Fellowship position at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a nonprofit membership based organization, where she served for close to four years as the Transit Research and Policy Fellow, and later went on to become the Policy Coordinator. Over her time at PCRG, Ms. Schlesinger earned her LEED Green Associate accreditation and began the Master of Public Management program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in January 2018.
After transitioning to a new role at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in fall 2018, Ms. Schlesinger now works on the Mobility Team as the Mobility Project Manager. In this role, she has had the opportunity to work on and lead a variety of mobility and public realm improvement projects to enhance the vibrancy and character of Downtown Pittsburgh. Among many other projects currently underway, her team is leading a process to develop a Mobility Plan designed to improve the Downtown experience for all users and identify ways to improve the pedestrian, transit, biking, vehicle, and delivery realms. Outside of work and school, Ms. Schlesinger enjoys living in Squirrel Hill with her longtime partner, Josh, and their two cats, Pluto and Ezio.
2019 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipients
Winner of the 2019 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Molitoris Leaderhip Scholarship for Undergraduates is Elyana Hurst, a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Elyana is interested in transportation infrastructure, specifically within and around cities, and hopes to pursue research regarding autonomous vehicles. She is involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers at her university, and she serves as an ambassador for the Engineering & Public Policy department. Elyana aims to pursue a career that allows her to combine her passion for the transportation industry with her knowledge of environmental concerns and the importance of government policies.
Winner of the 2019 WTS Pittsburgh Chapter Leadership Legacy Scholarship for Graduates is Jeanne Batog, a second-year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, originally from Reading, Pennsylvania. This spring she will receive her M.S. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation. Jeanne also received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. During her time in Pittsburgh, Jeanne completed several transportation related internships throughout the summer and school year. In addition, as a graduate student, Jeanne was involved in two transportation research projects, as well as serving as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate transportation introduction course and the freshman program course. When Jeanne is not studying, she enjoys horseback riding, trying new restaurants around the city, and cooking.
2018 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipient
The WTS Pittsburgh Chapter is pleased to announce that Grace Taylor has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the $2000 WTS Pittsburgh Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates. Grace is currently a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, seeking a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, with concentrations in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy. Grace’s goal after graduation is to pursue a career in the design of sustainable infrastructure in order to achieve her goal of mitigating climate change.
2017 WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Recipient
The WTS Pittsburgh Chapter is pleased to announce that Kate Lundy has been selected as the first recipient of the $1000 WTS Pittsburgh Molitoris Leadership Scholarship. Kate will be honored at the WTS Pittsburgh Scholarship Gala and Fundraiser to be held at the Sheraton Station Square on Thursday, March 23rd. Kate was born in China and grew up in Brookline Massachusetts. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, where she majors in Civil Engineering and has a 3.964 GPA. Kate is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter and part of the Pitt ASCE Steel Bridge Competition team. Building bridges has been an interest of Kate’s since she was a child. As a civil engineer, Kate hopes to manage major transportation projects that improve urban living.