USC Students Win California Transportation Foundation Scholarships

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 2:54pm

By Deepa Hegde, MS Business Analytics 2017  


University of Southern California (USC) students David Roachford and Fernanda Gushken were recently awarded 2017 California Transportation Foundation (CTF) scholarships.  Both represented METRANS and USC at the 23rd Annual Transportation Education Symposium held in Santa Cruz, CA in November 2016.


David Roachford is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning, with an emphasis in sustainable planning and a minor in spatial studies, and plans to graduate this spring.  He was awarded a $5,000 scholarship by CTF. Roachford has been interested in the field of transportation from a young age. “When I was about 8, I took a trip to New York and got to see the subway system there and I thought it was amazing,” he shared. “Growing up in suburban Dallas, we didn't have anything like that. My parents drove me everywhere until I was old enough to drive myself places. So, that interest in trains as well as planning issues like transit oriented development (which I didn't know there was a term for that at the time) and building walkable communities really inspired me to study it in college.” When asked what this scholarship meant to him, he said, “I'm really honored to receive the scholarship and grateful because it will help me to continue learning about the industry. Education is extremely important to me, but it is also very expensive. This will definitely help me to pursue a master’s degree after graduation and working for a few years.” David aspires to develop more complete streets, expand transportation options especially in transit deficient areas, embrace new technological advances, and update neighborhood plans to make sure they actively reflect the needs of those residents.  

(Photo by David Roachford)


Fernanda Gushken was awarded a $1,000 CTF Scholarship.  She is a senior student in Industrial Engineering and minor in Business Administration (graduation May 2017) and Masters in Engineering Management (graduation December 2017).  Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she shared that she came to USC “because of the broad opportunities in Engineering.  I became interested in the field of transportation after Industrial Engineering classes of Logistics and Supply Chain. It was my first contact with transportation and I became really interested. Last summer I interned at a Management Consulting company in Brazil called Visagio,” she added.  “According to my skills, I was selected to pursue a project at the logistics department of Suzano, one of the biggest paper and pulp companies in Brazil. I had a great experience learning how the logistics department had bottlenecks that affected the service level of many MRO inventories.” Gushken plans to continue in the field of transportation after she completes her studies.  “I will graduate in May 2017and intend to pursue an internship in consulting, especially in a project that is related to transportation improvement. Once I complete  my master’s program in December 2017, I intend to work in a major consulting company to acquire exposure in global supply chain so that later on I can garner sufficient expertise in the area to work as a senior partner,” she explained.

(Photo by Fernanda Gushken)


Deepa Hegde

Deepa Hegde is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science program in Business Analytics at the USC Marshall School of Business, and expects to graduate in Dec 2017. She is interested in Human Behavioral and Social Media Analytics and aspires to bring a positive transformation to society through her problem-solving and analytical skills.  She can be reached at