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The organization has more than 5,000 members worldwide, but only three other student chapters are in existence. The PSU student chapter will be the fourth.
Students who join WTS will have the opportunity to network with professionals working in all areas of transportation. Other benefits to joining include professional development programs, leadership training, membership discounts, and opportunities to apply for special scholarships and grants.
The PSU student chapter is likely to thrive, in part because Portland’s professional chapter of WTS has a strong presence in the city, and because PSU’s other student transportation group, STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning)
, has a robust membership at the university.
The two student groups expect to cooperate and overlap, while remaining autonomous and offering different benefits to their respective memberships.
The new group’s first event, a meet and greet, was held on Thursday, May 8, in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at PSU.
Susan Wright of Kittelson Associates, vice president of the WTS Portland chapter, opened the meeting with statements of encouragement for students to get involved.
Transportation professionals and members of Portland’s WTS professional chapter were in attendance, along with prospective student members.
Representatives from Kittelson & Associates, TriMet, and various other transportation agencies were there to share information with students about internships and job opportunities.
Following a brief presentation by the student officers and introductions of the attending professionals, refreshments were offered and students were given the chance to mingle with WTS members.
WTS was originally named Women’s Transportation Seminar because at the time it was founded in 1977, professional women couldn’t get subsidized for association memberships unless they were considered educational.
Today, though still dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation fields, membership in WTS consists of both women and men, and men are welcome to join the PSU student chapter as well.
The student chapter currently has four interim officers: Katherine Bell, Kristina Currans, Mandia Gonzales and Tara Goddard. They will serve until the group has officially formed and officers have been elected.