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Current Recipients

2015-2016 Scholarship Recipients

Rae-Leigh Stark is a second-year MURP student and the recipient of the 2015-2016 Alta Planning + Design Scholarship. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati.  She is currently a transportation planning intern at the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Rae-Leigh became interested in transportation as an undergraduate when she studied abroad for a semester at the University of Amsterdam, and is committed to working toward strong, equitable and active communities. She also received the 2014 Gail Achterman Leadership Scholarship, awarded by the Portland, Oregon chapter of WTS to women pursuing graduate or undergraduate studies in transportation. She loves traveling, biking, music, running, and doing anything crafty.


2014-2015 Scholarship Recipients


Liz Kaster is entering her second year in the Master's in Urban and Regional Planning program. She has over five years of experience in active transportation planning.  As an urban planner at the City of Tacoma, Liz worked on the City’s first comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan and helped build a culture of bicycling and walking through education, encouragement, and outreach programs.  Liz has also worked in public health and is very interested in how active transportation can help achieve health equity. Liz is currently working at Alta Planning + Design. She was the 2013-2014 recipient of the Alta Planning + Design scholarship, and is the 2014-2015 recipient of the Rex Burkholder and Lydia Rich Scholarship.



Bryan Blanc, winner of the DKS scholarship, was born in New York and raised in Connecticut. He moved to Portland in 2013 after completing his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Bryan was always interested in working with the built environment, but decided to concentrate his studies on transportation after pursuing a summer research project  studying transportation issues in New Haven, CT in 2011. He was drawn to Portland (and Portland State University) because of the city’s unique experience with bicycle transportation and PSU’s remarkable synergy with nearby transportation agencies. Bryan’s research focuses on assessing the compatibility of bicyclists and infrastructure in Oregon using smartphone applications. Outside of academics, Bryan enjoys reading (especially anything related to A Song of Ice and Fire), playing the guitar, exploring on his bicycle, and sampling the many micro-breweries and beer festivals Portland has to offer.


Gena Gastaldi, recipient of the Alta Planning + Design scholarship and internship, is a Master's of Urban and Regional Planning student at PSU with a focus on active transportation and urban design. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Architecture and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Design, both from PSU. Gena is currently working at Washington County, researching and writing a Health Impact Assessment for a bike and pedestrian bridge project. Gena grew up in Alaska, but has called Portland home for the past 11 years. In her free time, Gena enjoys hiking and camping with her family and their dog.