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Scenes from the Transportation Center
Student of the Year
Alesandra Morales Velez
In recognition of her commitment to transportation research and her academic accomplishments, the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center selected Alesandra Morales Velez as its 2013 Outstanding Student of the Year. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Morales Velez will complete a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Rhode Island next fall.

Morales Velez was nominated for the award by Chris Baxter, URI Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Ocean Engineering. Baxter cited the role Morales Velez played in securing a National Science Foundation award and her contributions to several research projects.

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Gema Viñuales
The University of Rhode Island Transportation Center named Gema Viñuales as its 2012 Student of the Year. For the past five years, Viñuales has served as the URITC’s research manager, collecting research reports from professors and posting the reports on the URITC’s website.
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Justin Messina
The University of Rhode Island Transportation Center named Justin Messina as its 2011 Student of the Year. Messina received his award at the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting in January 2012 in Washington, D.C.
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Lauren A. Stachowicz
Lauren A. Stachowicz of Oxford, Conn. was named Student of the Year for 2010 by the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center. She was selected for the award because of her academic achievements, her efforts on a Rhode Island Department of Transportation-funded research project and her skills as a student-leader in URI’s Supply Chain Management program.
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Steven Humphrey
The University of Rhode Island Transportation Center selected Steven Humphrey of Tiverton, RI as its 2009 Student of the Year in recognition of his outstanding academic record, research achievements and the leadership skills he demonstrated as a spokesperson in URI’s supply chain management program.
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Sam Cheung
Sam Cheung has been pursuing a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering (ISE) at the University of Rhode Island under the direction of Dr. Jyh-Hone Wang, while serving as a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Commuting to URI three days a week from his home in Oakdale, Conn., with a wife and newborn baby at home, Cheung credits the support of those around him for winning the award.
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Amy Thompson
Amy Thompson, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Rhode Island's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was named URITC's Student of the Year for 2007. Thompson, who is from Guilford, Conn., completed her Bachelor's degree from URI in Industrial Engineering and her Master's degree from URI in Manufacturing Engineering. Her undergraduate GPA was 3.47, earning graduation honors status. Her graduate GPA was 3.68.
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Aaron Clark
Aaron Clark is a candidate for the URI Master of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Rhode Island and is well known for his academic excellence and love for his work. Clark conducted his graduate research on a URI Transportation Center sponsored project titled "Assisting Elder Drivers' Comprehension of Dynamic Message Sign Messages." As part of this project, he helped test and design traffic message boards that are easier to read for elderly drivers.
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Jessica Sick
Jessica Sick earned a Master of Community Planning at the University of Rhode Island. She conducted her graduate research on a URI Transportation Center sponsored project titled Developing Intermodal Transportation Projects: A Public-Private Partnership Approach and presented a paper on this topic at this year's TRB Meeting. The focus of her graduate work was researching a method to rank proposed transit stations in Rhode Island in terms of appropriateness for transit oriented development. She earned her Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Alfred University in 2002.
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Aaron Bradshaw
Aaron Bradshaw is the 2004 Student of the Year from URI Transportation Center. Mr. Bradshaw is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering. He earned his Master's degree in Ocean Engineering in 1999 from the University of Rhode Island and his Bachelor's in Civil Engineering in 1996 from Tufts University. Prior to his return to the University of Rhode Island for his Ph.D. in 2003, he worked for Hart Crowser, Inc. in Seattle, Washington, as a geotechnical engineer. He was involved with projects involving the capping and remediation of contaminated dredged sediments and seismic retrofitting of marine port facilities.
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Samuel K. Eisenbeiser
Samuel K. Eisenbeiser earned his Masters in Community Planning degree from the University of Rhode Island in May of 2003, achieving a GPA of about 3.9. As a graduate assistant, he played a key role in the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center (URITC)-funded project "Developing and Applying a Transportation Model for Aquidneck Island." As part of this effort, he researched transportation models and demonstrated the use of GIS models in case studies related to planning efforts in three towns on Aquidneck Island, RI.
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Oran (Skip) Viator
Oran (Skip) Viator completed his Ph. D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in May, 2002. As a doctoral candidate, Skip participated in two URI Transportation Center research project. The first studied chemical contaminants in the sediments off Quonset Point, Rhode Island, the proposed site of a major cargo / passenger port for which dredging would be required. The characterization of the contaminants within this area was essential to determine if there were toxic constituents present that could be re-suspended in the water column by dredging.
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Bryan Reimer
Bryan Reimer is a doctoral candidate in the URI Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. He also earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from URI. Working with URI Professor Manbir Sodhi, Reimer's research focuses on the safe use of invehicle technologies by analyzing the eye movement of drivers who are distracted by cell phones, car radios, and other vehicle technologies. This research has important safety implications for vehicle design and operations.
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