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Engineering student named 2022 Minority Student Fellow by Transportation Research Board

Engineering student named 2022 Minority Student Fellow by Transportation Research Board

August 19, 2021 at 2:15pm

Jesus Molina has been named one of 24 Class of 2022 Minority Student Fellows by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Molina is an undergraduate student at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

“We are very proud of Jesus and feel fortunate to have such a stellar student representing FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing before the TRB,” said Arindam Gan Chowdhury, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Jesus is dedicated, hardworking and an inspiration to all. We are proud of his willingness to undergo the rigor of conducting TRB research and presenting his findings before the board as a representative of FIU.”

As part of its commitment to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in transportation, the TRB Minority Student Fellows Program funds students from minority-serving Institutions to attend and present their research at the TRB annual meeting and help them engage in TRB’s network of transportation professionals.

“TRB is pleased to welcome the 13th cohort of Minority Student Fellows. Since 2010, over 200 scholars have come through the program to present their research and participate in all aspects of our annual meeting,” said Neil Pedersen, executive director of TRB. “These students have benefitted not only from presenting their research but also from networking with and learning from the top transportation researchers and professionals in the world.”

To ensure that solutions to the nation’s transportation problems address people from a variety of backgrounds, TRB established the Minority Student Fellows Program in 2010 to actively explore research, ideas and solutions from diverse perspectives. This program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the transportation field and in TRB activities.

“Jesus is an intelligent, hard-working and dedicated student, and I wish him continued success,” said Priyanka Alluri, associate professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “As his mentor, I am proud of his accomplishments. I want to thank the TRB Minority Student Fellows Program for giving this rare opportunity to Jesus and allowing him to present his research during the TRB annual meeting in Washington, D.C. I believe that this fellowship will allow Jesus to explore the transportation engineering field and further cement his passion for transportation engineering.”

Molina is one of 15 undergraduate students studying in disciplines that include civil engineering, urban planning, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, earth science and sustainable built environments to be selected to take part in the program. The group is also comprised of nine graduate students to form the 2022 cohort of 24.

The fellows will participate in TRB’s 2022 annual meeting with paper presentations and numerous other activities, including Young Members Council sessions, the new attendee welcome event, a career panel, a networking lunch and committee meetings.

“I am honored to have been selected and very much looking forward to attending the TRB annual meeting for the first time,” says Molina. “I’m excited to collaborate with the other fellows and learn from professionals within the transportation industry. I know the experience will expand my horizons, both professionally and personally. I am very grateful for this opportunity.”

An article about program outcomes published in Transportation Research Record documents the results of a survey of students and reflections by those involved in the program. Survey respondents indicated the program successfully increases fellows’ exposure to TRB, encourages ongoing TRB participation and contributes to the students’ career growth.

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration provides funding for half of the students in the program. The program also receives financial support from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the state departments of transportation in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as from contributions by individual attendees at the TRB Annual Meeting.

The Transportation Research Board is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The National Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.