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Kelly Doren

Nine Napa Valley College students pursuing transportation-related careers will research transportation projects in 2018 as members of the federal Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

Since the 2009 Fall semester, 51 NVC students have received the award, which includes a $5,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Center for Transportation Workforce Development.

The Center helps to attract and encourage future transportation professionals to seek advanced degrees by coordinating student transportation education programs for colleges and universities.

“Over the past eight years, NVC student research topics have varied from local to national issues, and from transportation projects affecting the Bay Area to projects impacting most of California,” said NVC physics and engineering instructor Antonio Castro.

Some of the research topics include autonomous cars, high-speed rail, traffic congestion reduction projects, environmental impacts and transportation-related safety issues.

The program allows NVC students to do research, work closely with NVC faculty, present their results, and attend the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

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“Attending the TRB annual meeting gives students the option to create and expand their professional network and search for internship opportunities. In addition, they learn about cutting-edge transportation-related fields of study and research opportunities," said Castro. 

“Students participating in the DDETFP are doing graduate-level work while they are at NVC. Another benefit of this program is that students are better prepared to work independently as they transfer to a four-year college,” said Castro.

The fellowship applications were completed with the help of NVC staff, including Interim MESA Director Rene Rubio, HSI STEM Counselor Patricia Posada and Castro.

“The amount awarded to NVC students since the Fall of 2009 totals more than a quarter of a million dollars,” Castro noted.

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