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K-State Today

January 18, 2018

Two APDesign students receive prestigious Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellowship

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Andrew Young and Rachel Foss, regional & community planning students in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, are among two students across the U.S. to be honored with the 2017-2018 Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation. These are the third and fourth Eisenhower fellowship received by K-State regional & community planning students. James Wood and Emma Rearick, received the award in 2013 and 2016 respectively.

The fellowship recognizes students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. The program advances the transportation workforce by attracting the brightest minds to the field through education, research and workforce development.

The fellowship provides a stipend, tuition support and the opportunity to attend the 2018 Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Young and Foss applied for the fellowship in April 2017 by submitting a personal statement, research plan, resume, transcripts and four letters of reference.

Young's project focuses on policy, where he intends to investigate the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on vehicle collision statistics.

"This fellowship is an exciting opportunity to become more familiar with the field of transportation, beyond planning. As part of the fellowship, I'm attending the Transportation Research Board annual conference in D.C. where I will have the opportunity to meet professionals in the field and present my research. Hopefully, gaining feedback that can influence future work," Young said.

"There are so many topics in transportation that are worth exploring in detail however, I am most interested in researching document communication. Documents in transportation such as Long-Range Transportation Plans have for years been designed to primarily inform local staff and influence a local decision-making body. Yet with the emergence of technology and public demand for access to information, it is important for planning professionals to clearly and strategically communicates their objectives with the public through a broad range of mediums. To date, there is no research that directly addresses the future of document communication for planning professionals," Foss said. 

Foss also explained how the fellowship will enhance her research.

"The Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship not only empowers my research but the U.S. Highway Administration awards this fellowship in faith that each recipient holds true to their traditions as they see value in each recipient's future. To me, that is a great honor. This fellowship enables me to move forward with my research in confidence and enables me to focus on being a student. With the Eisenhower fellowship, I will additionally be able to attend the Transportation Research Board conference in Washington, D.C., where I will be able to learn from greatest minds in transportation from all over the world. This conference and fellowship will inspire my research here at K-State," Foss said. 

Gregory Newmark, assistant professor of regional & community planning, and Young's graduate study committee chair, received the Eisenhower Fellowship when he was in graduate school.

"I am thrilled that Andrew Young and Rachel Foss have been selected to be supported by David Dwight Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellowships," Newmark said. "They are both wonderful students who have demonstrated their deep interest in pursuing a career in transportation. I am amazed at the initiative they have already taken down this path, with Andrew actively researching Green Apple Bikes since its launch in 2015 and Rachel becoming an indispensable player in regional transportation planning through her professional work at the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization. The fellowships support will very much advance their studies. These awards also highlight the strength of the department of landscape architecture and regional & community planning in preparing students for careers in transportation. I should mention that it is nice that these activities take place just down the road from President Eisenhower's childhood home. His inspiration continues."

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