News | Transportation Students Compete at CTF Symposium

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Transportation Students Compete at CTF Symposium

Friday, September 26, 2014

Andrina DominguezUSC undergraduates Andrina Dominguez (Public Policy), Erica Fine (Public Policy) Rayed Khan (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Todd Nguyen (Public Policy) were selected to participate in the 19th Annual California Transportation Foundation's (CTF) Educational Symposium in Santa Cruz, where they gained a unique opportunity to learn by doing with transportation professionals in the industry. “The core of the symposium is a mock RFP,” explains USC Viterbi School of Engineering Vice Dean for Academic Programs and symposium participant Professor James Moore, II. “Students are thrown into teams to respond; their teammates are complete strangers. And every student is assigned a high-level professional agency or firm mentor, who answers questions and helps formulate strategy. Much midnight oil is burned by students and professionals alike.”

As Moore suggests, the competition is intense, but collegial. Only the “best and brightest junior or senior undergraduate students majoring in civil engineering, planning, or other transportation-related field” are invited by CTF to participate. Drawn from universities across the state, student teams are judged by a jury of transportation professionals. The event took place in Santa Cruz on November 7 and 8, 2013. Free to students, the symposium also makes students eligible for CTF scholarships.

USC Policy student Andrina Dominguez was awarded first place, which carries with it a $5,000 scholarship.  Dominguez has now graduated and is a full time employee in the Environmental Department of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA).  However, the ties she made with her fellow students at the symposium are still strong.  "It was an invaluable experience." she remarks. "The four of us who attended from USC still chat all the time and are planning a reunion!"