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San Luis Obispo, Calif.ย –ย ย For the third year running, Cal Poly’s Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) club reigns as the best in the west. Cal Poly was awarded the Student Chapter of the Year award at the ITE Western District Annual Meeting held July 10-13 in Albuquerque, N.M.

In addition, Rocklin resident and club past president, Kevin Carstens (pictured), received the western district’s outstanding graduate student award.ย  Ashley Kim, vice president, was named outstanding undergraduate student.


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The award was based on student groups’ annual reports, with Cal Poly’s submission ranked first out of 23 reports received from universities in the 13-state region.

“Overall, this year’s report reflected our interest in boosting the profession and not just our chapter,” said Krista Purser (Clayton, Calif.), chapter president. “We coordinated a nationwide teleconference with other campus’ leaders, for example, to discuss how to cultivate leadership, grow and sustain an organization and leverage events.”

Other 2015-16 Cal Poly ITE officers included Krista Purser, president; Ashley Kim (Irvine, Calif.) vice president; Ryan Caldera (Irvine, Calif.), secretary; Edward Tang (Antioch, Calif.), treasurer; Nivedha Baskarapandian (Diamond Bar, Calif.), webmaster; Luis Descanzo (Milpitas, Calif.), historian; Amy Chin (Stockton, Calif.), professional coordinator; Erica Madrigal (Apple Valley, Calif.), social coordinator; Jonathan Howard (Murphys, Calif.), coordinator of the Transportation Engineering Student Project Area; and Mark Howard (Concord, Calif.), marketing coordinator.

Calย Poly swept all chapter-level awards at the regional event, including:

  • First place in the Collegiate Traffic Bowl, a “Jeopardy!”-style competition designed to test students’ knowledge of transportation engineering. Team members included fourth-year student Jonathan Howard and graduate students Kim and Purser. Caldera, a fourth-year student, was an alternate.
  • Student Chapter Annual Meeting Award for the highest participation in the regional conference’s competitions, student sessions and student presentations.
  • Student Website Award – a first for the chapter – recognized the effectiveness of the website’s design and communications. It was produced by Baskarapandian, webmaster; Descanzo, photographer; and Mark Howard, social media coordinator.

At ITE’s international conference, held August 14-17 in Anaheim, Calif., Cal Poly placed second in the Traffic Bowl, one point behind Purdue University. Throughout the conference, the Cal Poly chapter was active on many fronts, ranging from students’ wide variety of volunteer roles to a presentation on Blue Tooth travel time data made by Purser.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers is an international association of nearly 17,000 transportation professionals and more than 140 student chapters.

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