The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has won the 2012 International ITE Student Chapter Award, beating out more than 150 chapters around the world.
The group won student chapter awards at the 1996 and 2012 Western District annual meetings, but this is the first time it has been recognized on the international level.
Each year, ITE chapters from every geographical district submit an annual report, which summarizes their activities from throughout the year. A winning report from each district is then sent to ITE headquarters, where an international winner is chosen.
Ruben Hovanesian, ITE student chapter president for 2012-13, says the award will open the job market for talented Cal Poly Pomona graduates.
“We’re very excited. Cal Poly Pomona has a good name locally in the transportation engineering industry — a lot of companies hire Cal Poly students and alumni,” Hovanesian says. “But now that we’ve been recognized on a national and international level, everyone knows who we are.”
As president, Hovanesian has increased the club’s involvement within the university. At the moment, it is working on five projects: an evaluation of several on-campus intersections; a method for enforcing biking and skateboarding policies; a parking study; an evaluation of the on-campus roundabout on Kellogg Drive by the American Red Cross Regional Facility; and the creation of a database for all signs on campus for use by facilities management.
As well as giving the students valuable hands-on experience, the projects benefit the university.
“These projects are things that the school would have paid a consultant to do,” Hovanesian says. “Now that we’re doing it, whatever solution they end up using will be cheaper and easier to get done.”
The club also brings in guest speakers, takes tours of companies and puts on outreach events.
“We want to give students that kind of exposure, that kind of background,” Hovanesian says. “The overall goal is to make it so that when a graduate goes to an interview and says, ‘Hi, I’m so and so, I’m part of ITE from Cal Poly Pomona’ they are told, ‘Hi, let me show you where your office is.’”
(Photo: from left to right, Trisha Munoz, Ruben Hovanesian, International ITE President Rock Miller, Eric Catig, Matthew Feely)