By Griffin Kantz, USC Price B.S. of Policy, Planning, and Development 2017
Kaitlyn (Kenan) Zhang, METRANS Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of the weekly METRANS student newsletter, graduated from the USC Price School of Public Policy this week with a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree and a Graduate Certificate in Civil Engineering – Transportation Systems. Although the METRANS staff is sorry to see her leave, we are immensely proud of her accomplishments.
Kaitlyn began her career with METRANS as part of our events team, planning and hosting the 2016 Council of University Transportation Centers Summer Meeting at USC’s University Park campus. She was quickly was promoted to a position on the news team, then to Editor-in-Chief. For the next year, she carefully monitored student content creation, compiled online transportation-related career opportunities postings and current events articles, and steadily grew the newsletter’s readership to a subscriber base of more than 2,000 worldwide. "I wish I could stay at METRANS!” Kaitlyn remarked. “Working on the newsletter allows me to challenge myself to not only get the articles published but also know what readers would like to see. I am super happy every time when I see a new subscription, especially when people outside our target group subscribe.”
Kaitlyn Zhang, left, with fellow graduate, METRANS student assistant USC Price MPL Yurida Ramos
From left to right, Kaitlyln Zhang, METRANS Associate Director Victoria Deguzman, METRANS Advisory Board Member Dan Beal, METRANS longtime friend and supporter, USC Viterbi Vice Dean for Academic Programs James Moore II
Her leadership role at METRANS garnered her high praise. She was awarded the Alexandra Spencer Transportation Communications Scholarship by the WTS Los Angeles Area chapter in Fall 2016, and the James A. Ditch Education Fund Scholarship by the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium earlier this spring, and the USC Order of the Torch, an honor bestowed on select graduates for their “outstanding commitment to service while maintaining an high level of academic integrity…and leadership in programs and organizations benefitting both the USC community and the community at large.” While at USC, she also served as a teaching assistant for the PPD 501 class, and since July 2016 she has interned for Culver City Bus, serving multiple service planning-related roles there.
“In the future, I want to be a transportation planner and focus on transit planning and local development.” Kaitlyn shared. “I am continuing my position at Culver City Transportation Department as a planning intern and am actively looking for full time opportunities."
Says Victoria Deguzman, METRANS Associate Director of Administration, about Kaitlyn, “She has had a lifelong interest in advancing the quality of urban development worldwide. Her enthusiasm is matched by her follow through, and after a short time as a volunteer at METRANS she was offered one of a small number of paid positions with the center as a student assistant. She once again proved herself exemplary, and quickly advanced to a lead student assistant, setting in place programs and establishing programs and relationships between the center, students, practitioners, and governmental entities which have continued to this day. She now has added chief editor to her list of skills and accomplishments. Each week, without fail, Kaitlyn produces a high quality, comprehensive, and timely source of news and opportunities of interest and value to transportation students throughout the Los Angeles region, and we are all greatly benefit from her unwavering dedication to the transportation industry.”
METRANS warmly thanks Kaitlyn for all the time and effort she has lent to us and wishes her continued success in future endeavors!
About the Author
Griffin Kantz received his B.S. in Policy, Planning, and Development with a track focus in Sustainable Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in 2017. He worked at METRANS as a student assistant between December 2015 and May 2017. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.