Three engineering students receive $3,000 scholarships from Institute for Transportation Engineers

Contact: Cindy Wagner
Students holding scholarship award certificates

Representing the Institute for Transportation Engineers, Tim Haagsma, director of traffic and safety for the Kent County (Michigan) Road Commission, presented $3,000 scholarship awards to WMU civil and construction engineering students. From left are Sia Mwende, Sam Hall, Haagsma and Stiven Reci.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three Western Michigan University students have each been awarded $3,000 scholarships from the Michigan section of the Institute for Transportation Engineers. 

“These motivated and inquisitive students are committed to excellence in their academics and to pursuing careers in transportation,” says Dr. Jun-Seok Oh, professor of civil and construction engineering. “These scholarships are intended to entice more students into the transportation area and to help those students focus their studies on transportation.”

To be considered, students must submit a paper titled “My future in transportation” and be recommended by a faculty member. Since 1989, the organization annually awards scholarships to engineering students at Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Michigan Technological University and Western. WMU students received three of the six scholarships awarded this year. All WMU recipients are studying civil engineering in WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The winners

Sam Hall

Sam Hall, from Richland, Michigan, is an undergraduate majoring in civil and construction engineering. He plans to graduate in April. “To me, this scholarship is a sign that the engineering faculty are not only giving me support to pursue transportation planning, but the industry wants to see me doing work in the things that I’m excited to be doing.”

Hall has held three transportation engineering internships at Wightman, HNTB and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Hall has held multiple positions on the executive board of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter and assisted the Concrete Canoe team with mix design and drafting reports.

“I was drawn to become a civil engineer with a focus on transportation engineering by the chance to put my statistical skills to the test and help people on a very large scale. I always like to learn something new.” 

Sia Mwende

Sia Mwende is graduate student from Tanzania pursuing a Master of Science in civil and construction engineering. Her research interests include non-motorized safety, intelligent transportation systems and traffic simulation. After completing her program, Mwende plans to pursue a Ph.D. in civil engineering at WMU. She received her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

“The scholarship has shown me that I’m viewed as someone who has potential in the transportation sector,” says Mwende. “It has greatly inspired me to continue my efforts to achieve my goals.”

Stiven Reçi

Stiven Reçi is a senior studying civil engineering and plans to attend graduate school and build a career concentrating in transportation. He has been part of multiple highway construction projects in West Michigan in inspection roles. He works as a field engineering intern at Somat Engineering.

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