First Annual 2020 YPT TRB Young Members Scholarship Recipients

Over the past month, YPT International advertised for submissions our first annual 2020 YPT TRB Young Members scholarship; a direct result of the generous support of Ford Mobility. Submissions were open from November 5th – 19th, to YPT Members in good standing, and responses were collected using Google Forms. This scholarship opportunity was advertised through our YPT website and e-mail newsletter, YPT social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), and during YPT International and local YPT Chapter meetings.

Applicants were asked to commit to attending at least 20 hours of Conference Sessions & Exhibits during January 21–22 and 25–29. Each applicant was asked, “In 100 words or less, how will the YPT TRB Young Members scholarship help further your professional development?” Additional information, such as the applicant’s Chapter and whether or not the applicant’s employer offers a program that will pay for registration for conferences, was requested to help provide context for the selection committee. We are grateful for the time many of you contributed to selecting our first scholarship recipients.

11-submissions were received for this scholarship opportunity. 9-submissions were responsive (active YPT members in good standing) and were reviewed by a selection of YPT International Board of Advisors, YPT International Board Members, and YPT Chapter Members. 4 submissions were selected for their demonstration of need, current employment status, participation in their chapter, and commitment to attending the conference and writing up their experiences. For the seven applicants who were not selected, we offered a free year of YPT Membership as a sign of our gratitude for the effort they put forth in applying.

We are pleased to introduce our four scholarship recipients:

Morgan Hunlen, is a member of YPT Los Angeles, lives in Glendale California, and recently obtained contractual work with the Thrivance Group, where she will be assisting as a Planner and hopes to obtain formal employment soon as well.

Brianne Eby, is a member of YPT Washington D.C. where she serves as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Eno Center for Transportation.

Gabi Kappes, AICP, is a member of YPT Seattle, where she serves as a Transportation Planner III, Speed and Reliability, in the Capital Division at King County Metro Transit.

J. Swiderski, is a member of YPT Washington D.C. and a recent MURP graduate (Virginia Tech 2020), where they are seeking to serve communities by expanding safe places to walk, roll, scoot, bike, and ride transit.

2020 YPT Award Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our winners! Our annual YPT Awards program was created to fill the void presented to young professionals in large, established transportation organizations. In the past we have only had two award categories two traditional award categories, the YPT Excellence in Innovation/Research Award and the YPT Project of the Year. 

This year we are excited to launch the YPT Changemakers in Transportation to highlight several outstanding YPT members who are making a significant impact in the field of transportation. 

YPT Changemakers in Transportation

Andrea Barbour, University of Tennessee – Knoxville – YPT Nashville

Andrea Barbour is the Special Projects Coordinator at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. Andrea has been working diligently for the last 3 years to complete Regional Rural Transportation Plans for all Rural Planning Organizations (RPO) in Tennessee. Andrea has been working to develop regional level plans for all the RPOs to ensure regional problems are being evaluated and addressed throughout the planning process rather than just focusing on local issues, as is the traditional approach. With this approach to rural planning, the members of our RPOs have been looking at transportation issues through a wider lens rather than just looking at the issues in their specific town/city. The first RPO Andrea worked with to develop a regional wide plan was the Dale Hollow RPO, one of the most economically distressed areas within the state. Through the planning process, Andrea was able to identify regional level recommendations to address transportation issues, but also create economic development opportunities through transportation initiatives. The Dale Hollow RPO and the counties within now have a long-range plan to assist them in prioritizing the transportation needs across the region and assist them in earning future grants through the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Without the plan, the Dale Hollow RPO had little data to support the requests for transportation projects in the area. The impact she has made on the Dale Hollow RPO, and the other RPOs she is assisting, is undeniable.

Jasmine Richmond, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) – YPT DC

Jasmine Richmond works as the Educational Services Coordinator at American Public Transportation Association. Jasmine has extended the values of equitable, sustainable, and accessible transportation to hundreds of emerging leaders in the transit industry, students at all grade levels. She is always strategically building partnerships ranging from local schools to international youth development organizations to instill an appreciation and a curiosity in the transportation industry. Because of Jasmine’s work, APTA has extended its reach, and her programming and strategy has resulted in countless students, association members, and others deepening their interest and understanding of transportation, and setting up the industry to have more exposure and attract a diverse array of stakeholders and talent. 

Margaret-Avis Akofio-Sowah, WSP USA – YPT DC

Dr. Margaret-Avis Akofio-Sowah is an infrastructure asset management consultant with experience in both the research and practical aspects of asset management. She has led projects to implement Federal asset management regulations at both transit and highways agencies and is a co-author of industry Asset Management Guides including the FTA Transit Asset Management Guide for Small Providers and the 2019 update of the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide. As a result of her work, she has presented at several industry conferences including the TRB Annual Meeting and the TRB National Transportation Asset Management Conference. She has published peer-reviewed articles in notable journals, including the Transportation Research Record and the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. She is also a member of the TRB Standing Committees on Transportation Asset Management (AJE30) and Strategic Management (AJE10) and an Associate Member of the Institute of Asset Management. Margaret also currently serves as President of the Ghana Transportation Professionals Forum (GTPF), an organization of professionals originally from Ghana or with an interest in Ghana who are based outside the country.

YPT Transportation Project of the Year

IH 45 Segment 2B

Emily Weigand, Jacobs – YPT Austin 

This project, titled “IH 45 Segment 2B” is the second and final proposed segment within the Central Walker County Project with the purpose to enhance freight mobility and address safety along the IH 45 corridor. The proposed changes will help meet current and future traffic needs resulting from increasing population growth and developmental trends in the region. In addition to the benefits discussed above, the project creates a route for hurricane evacuation.

YPT Excellence in Innovation/Research of the Year 

Transit Blues in the Golden State: Analyzing Recent California Ridership Trends

Jacob Lawrence Wasserman, University of California, Los Angeles Institute of Transportation Studies – YPT Los Angeles

In 2020, the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) completed a comprehensive study of transit ridership trends in California and released two reports, one statewide, funded by the California Department of Transportation, and one on Bay Area trends, funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). This innovative work analyzed the ridership drop from all angles—including both supply-side and demand-side factors—to identify the factors most affecting transit use and the ways to best recover.

Additional team members who contributed to the report are: Andrew Schouten, Hannah King, Julene Paul, Madeline Ruvolo.

YPT 2020 Election Results!

Thank you for participating in our 2020 YPT elections. Here are the results!

In cases where voters elected candidates to more than one position, the candidate has their choice of position, and the runner-up of the position(s) they did not choose are elected to these position(s). Your local chapter will let you know the final makeup of your local board soon!

Today’s the Last Day to Cast Your YPT Vote!

How to Vote

Election time is here! All registered YPT Members in good standing should have received a ballot via email from us labeled “YPT 2020 Election Ballot”. This email contains your login information and the link to vote. The polls close on October 30th, at 11:59 pm EST, so be sure to make your voice heard for the future of YPT local and International chapters!

If you have questions about the elections process, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Timeline for voting process 

This year we are implementing a new timeline for all YPT Chair Board Members, which extends your leadership till January 1st of the calendar year. 

October 30, 2020 – Online elections close at 11:59 PM EDT. International and Chapter Board members and nominees will be notified of election results shortly thereafter.

January 1, 2021 – New Board term for all winning candidates begins

YPT Nomination Period Extended!

That’s right, we have extended the nomination period to be a part of YPT Leadership through October 1st.  We all understand that these are some trying times and being able to get some extra time to submit an application is always a game changer. Here’s our new timeline for submitting an application to become a YPT Leader for your local chapter and or joining our YPT International board.

Timeline for voting process 

This year we are implementing a new timeline for all YPT Chair Board Members, which extends your leadership till January 1st of the calendar year. 

October 1, 2020 – Candidate statements are due by 11:59 PM EDT. (Updated 9/21/2020)

October 19, 2020 – Election ballots will be sent out by YPT International to eligible voting Members for all Chapter and International elections by 9:00 AM EDT. 

October 30, 2020 – Online elections close at 11:59 PM EDT. International and Chapter Board members and nominees will be notified of election results shortly thereafter.

January 1, 2021 – New Board term for all winning candidates begins

To learn more about becoming a YPT Leader for your local chapter or joining our YPT International board click here.