The Transportation Student Association (TSA) at Iowa State is celebrating its 20th anniversary in style – by winning both section and district awards for Best Student Chapter and reaching for the international chapter recognition this summer.
In mid-May, TSA was awarded the Best Student Chapter award from the Missouri Valley Section (MOVITE) of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), which allowed the group to advance to the Midwestern District Competition. On May 30, the chapter was awarded Best Student Chapter in the Midwestern ITE District for their excellent programs and membership growth during the 2016-17 school year.
Ellen Nightingale, president of the TSA during 2016-17, said they are thrilled to be awarded the Midwestern District Student Chapter Award. “Only once or twice in the last ten years has TSA not won the MOVITE student chapter award,” she said. “However, for the Midwestern District award, we are competing with more schools from different sections, including North Dakota, the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and more.”
This year is the second in a row that TSA has won the Midwestern District recognition, and Nightingale said they are now looking beyond that recognition. “This year, our goal is to win the International ITE award for our student chapter – a feat that has never been accomplished in TSA’s 20 years at Iowa State.”
This year was a particularly notable one for TSA, as the chapter successfully developed and hosted the first ITE Midwest Student Leadership Summit in September, an event that attracted 82 attendees from eight different states for networking, leadership training, presentations, and social events. TSA was able to secure sponsorships for many aspects of the summit and offer a low-cost registration for all student attendees.
In addition to hosting the summit, the TSA’s goals for the year included increasing networking opportunities with non-engineering transportation experts and increasing membership in the chapter. The chapter accomplished both of these goals as well, through summit sponsorships and program participants from various transportation fields, field trips to transportation-related businesses, and a membership increase of over 35%.
Chapter advisor Jing Dong has nothing but praise for the students in TSA, noting that the chapter has won the MOVITE student chapter award for each of the past five years. “They adopted a section of highway to clean this year, they have mock interviews, they ask professionals to come and talk to the group – they are well organized and hardworking,” she said. “I am very proud of TSA.”