Posts categorized under "Education"
The Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility (SURCOM), a center within the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI) at North Dakota State University (NDSU) celebrates its 20th anniversary in April 2022. SURCOM’s mission is to be an innovative research, education, and outreach center providing mobility solutions to small urban and rural communities.
SURCOM has partnered and worked with local, state, tribal, regional, and national organizations and associations (including MATBUS, NDDOT, DTA, CTAA, APTA, FTA, USDOT, NationalRTAP, NTI, and others) to conduct research, offer training, and provide outreach. SURCOM has published more than 115 technical reports, provided, on average, training to 1,200 individuals each year, and participated on panels and committees offering expertise to advance transportation, expand and contribute to the body of knowledge, and educate graduate students in the classroom and through involvement in real-world research projects.
“Over the past 20 years SURCOM has thrived because of the contributions of past and current team members” noted Dr. Jill Hough, SURCOM director throughout the 20 years. Previous team members, including Dr. James Miller, Mr. Ted Rieck, Ms. Carol Wright Kenderdine, Dr. David Ripplinger, Dr. Xinyu Cao, Mr. Gary Hegland, Mr. Jon Mielke, Dr. Al Abeson, Mr. Keven Anderson, Dr. Marc Scott, Dr. Elvis N’dembe, and Dr. Ali Rahim Taleqani, as well as former masters and Ph.D. graduate students, helped to build a strong foundation for SURCOM. Current team members, Dr. Jeremy Mattson, Dr. Ranjit Godavarthy, Mr. Del Peterson, Mr. Rob Lynch, Dr. Dilip Mistry, Dr. Hamad Al Qublan, and students remain dedicated to progressing the mobility of people in the advancing economy. Throughout the years, the efforts of the team have helped SURCOM to grow and expand its vision and resources from focusing on public transportation to include other advanced technologies and mobility options.
SURCOM plans to continue its efforts to increase the mobility of small urban and rural residents throughout the United States and abroad by collaborating with current partners, meeting new partners, and helping to train the next workforce.
A study published by SURCOM captured the NDSU student experience with Metro Area Transit (MATBUS) and students' travel behavior. The survey was administered to NDSU students, and it received 1,180 responses, capturing a significant amount of information regarding student travel behavior, transit use, and opinions about current MATBUS service. The survey obtained information on student transportation modes used to travel to campus, student access to vehicles, factors influencing mode choice, use of transit services, opinions on MATBUS service, thoughts on how to improve service, and willingness to pay for transit services. A second survey was administered to some universities; and feedback on the hourly operational costs of their transit systems, their payment methods, transit system asset ownership, and other characteristics of their campus transit environment was collected.
The full report can be found at the link below:
For more information, contact Kenechukwu Ezekwem at email@example.com.
Dilip Mistry, a doctoral student in Transportation & Logistics within the College of Business at NDSU was named the Region VIII Mountain-Plains Consortium Student of the Year, Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Each year, the U.S. Department of Transportation honors an outstanding student for achievement and potential future contributions to the transportation field. Students are selected based on their accomplishments, academic merit, research and leadership. The award was made at the Council of University Transportation Centers meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
In 2017, in work with the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute's Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, Mistry developed a predictive model to assess issues related to keeping the transportation system in a state of good repair. The work will help transit agencies predict when transit assets need to be rehabilitated and replaced, and make decisions on investments and priorities to maintain state-of-good-repair needs.
See the news article on the UGPTI website for more information about Mistry's accomplishments and the Student of the Year Award.
SURTC and the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning have partnered to provide persons who have successfully completed TRANSIT I – The Foundations (formerly titled Principles of Transit Management) and TRANSIT II – The Pillars (formerly titled Advanced Transit Management) the designation of "Advanced Transit Professional." The Advanced Transit Professional certificate is a great way of showcasing your accomplishments as a transportation professional. Certificate recipient information will be maintained at the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning, allowing individuals to enjoy the prestige of a university-sponsored achievement through this non-academic-track program. For more information, or to confirm your eligibility, and order your Advanced Transit Professional certificate, please contact SURTC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701)231-1064 (additional fees apply).
Visit the SURTC website for more information about the Transit Management Courses.
Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director, will be participating in a March 19 webinar hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) on Developing Mentorship Programs: Successful Models and Pilots. See the details below.
Webinar Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Broadcast Time: 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern; 1-2:30 p.m. Central; noon-1:30 p.m. Mountain; 11-12:30 pm. Pacific
Webinar Summary: This webinar features success stories about mentorship programs conducted by the academic community in partnership with the public and private sector and an internal mentor program developed by a public transit agency. Dr. Jill Hough provides insights and lessons learned as North Dakota State University students were mentored by nationally recognized industry leaders. Mr. Patrick “Paddy” Gough, Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA), discusses the successes and lessons learned from OCTA’s internal mentor/mentee program developed and rolled out for their staff. This webinar examines how to organize a working program as well as some best practices with testimonials from experienced industry professionals. We welcome Mr. Robert Prince, AECOM, and Ms. Linda Bohlinger, Parsons Brinckerhoff, who will be featured in this webinar.
Registration: Click here to register
The deadline for the student paper competition at the National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation has been extended to March 28. View the recent post on the SURTC blog or the conference website for more information.
Competition for Best Graduate Research Paper
Best Undergraduate Essay
Deadline for Submission
March 7, 2014
The Transportation Research Board Committee on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation hosts a biennial conference in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration, Transportation Research Board, National Rural Transit Assistance Program, American Public Transportation Association, and others. The 2014 conference will be held in Monterey, California on October 26-29.
Part of that conference is a student competition that encourages students in transportation and related fields to submit papers that focus on the 2014 theme of “Setting Our Course for the Future.” There are two competitions: the graduate student competition, which requires submission of a research paper, and the undergraduate student competition, which requires an essay addressing a specific challenge statement related to our theme.
Two winning student papers in each category (graduate and undergraduate) will receive awards, a cash prize and travel expenses to the 2014 conference in Monterey, California.
If you are an advisor or administrator of a program in engineering, economics, business, literature, sociology, medicine, social work, science, or any other discipline in which students are interested in addressing the issues of rural mobility, we ask that you distribute the attached flyers (graduate and/or undergraduate) and encourage them to submit an entry by the March 7, 2014 deadline.
Flyers with more information are below:
- Graduate Student Rural and Intercity Bus Research Paper Competition (pdf)
- College and University Rural and Intercity Bus Essay Competition (pdf)
For more information, contact Del Peterson, North Dakota State University (email@example.com) or Pat Weaver, University of Kansas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Additional details about the conference are available at the conference website.
The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) will be a partner in a new Small Urban and Rural Livability Center being established with a two-year $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant was awarded as part of the University Transportation Centers (UTC) program.
The Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University will lead the effort to conduct research, education, and outreach activities on issues such as expanding public transportation options; creating safe routes for bicyclists and pedestrians; improving access to key regional transportation hubs and destinations; and integrating all available modes of transportation. SURTC brings to the effort expertise in transit, mobility’s impact on access to vital services in rural communities and other rural livability factors. The center will receive $1.1 million over two years for its involvement in the project.
SURTC was created in 2001 to assist small urban and rural transit systems and other transit entities by conducting research and offering outreach and training. In recognition of the role that mobility plays in the livability of rural communities, the center has increased its emphasis on this area of research.
“When people think about livable communities, one of their top priorities is being able to get where they need to go without always having to use their car,” said Steve Albert, director of the Western Transportation Institute. “Most of the livability initiatives up to now have focused on urban areas, so we are very excited and honored to take the lead on these issues for millions of Americans who live in small cities and rural areas.”
The U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration received more than 140 applications for UTC awards from universities and research consortiums across the country, and selected only 35 centers. “Only two Centers were chosen to focus on livability issues, so we are very proud to represent interests and needs of rural residents,” said Western Transportation Institute program manager David Kack, who will serve as the center’s director.
“We look forward to our partnership with the Western Transportation Institute and continuing our work in regards to livability in rural and small urban areas,” said Jill Hough, SURTC director. Hough will serve as the deputy director of the new center.
“Many rural areas are seeing a dramatic increase in the elderly population. Our research shows that elderly individuals prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and it’s cost effective for them to do so,” Hough notes. “At the same time, some rural communities are seeing rapid population growth and economic development. Mobility plays a critical role in maintaining and enhancing the livability of communities in both cases,” she said.
“The grant funding and our collaboration with the Western Transportation Institute will help us address key issues related to livability in rural areas,” Hough said. “It’s likely our work will be useful in addressing those issues in urban and suburban areas as well.”
SURTC director Jill Hough was recently featured in Progressive Railroading. She discussed her work as chair of the National Transit Curriculum Advisory Committee, a group that has been developing a standard curriculum for a semester-long college course on public transportation that could be offered by universities nationwide. Read the article here: Curriculum aims to get college students thinking about careers in public transportation
SURTC has developed a mentorship program to introduce students to industry experts. This program provides a structure for students to engage with industry experts, allowing students to better understand the field of public transportation. The program has been piloted in 2011 and 2012 and is currently being piloted again in 2013.
Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director and instructor for NDSU's graduate-level public transportation course, wrote a working document highlighting the value of a mentorship program for attracting students to transportation careers, addressing reasons to develop a mentorship program, and detailing the process, assignments, and evaluations of the pilot program at NDSU.
This document is available in the Education section of SURTC's website and can be downloaded directly at the following link:
If you have questions about the mentorship program, please contact Jill Hough (email@example.com).