Thursday, June 22, 2017

Industry Peers Recognize Two UNO Transportation Institute Leaders

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Two representatives from the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute (UNOTI) won awards from the greater New Orleans chapter of the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS). Associate director Carol Short was named member of the year, and research associate Tara Tolford won an award for transportation innovation. Awards will be presented at a July 8 brunch event on the UNO campus.

Short’s Member of the Year Award honors a chapter member who has promoted the reputation of WTS within the transportation community. In addition to serving as associate director of UNOTI, Short is and co-author and administrator of UNO’s Master of Science in Transportation degree program. She has extensive experience in the maritime industry and serves as the institute’s liaison to that community.

Short is also an advocate for transportation education and workforce development, working throughout Louisiana on federally funded work-based learning programs for middle and high school students. She has served on the organizing committees of several national conferences and seminars on transportation and women’s leadership issues. Short is a founding host of the National Evacuation Conference and serves on the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business advisory board.

The Innovative Transportation Solutions Award salutes a project that improves the quality of life for users and the community. The project for which Tolford won the award involves a statewide count of active pedestrian and bicycle transportation activity. Collection of such data will drive statewide implementation of “complete streets,” which are roadways designed to safely accommodate all types of users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and mass transit users. Tolford has already implemented a pilot project in partnership with the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission allowing her to validate the concepts proposed for statewide implementation.

Tolford received a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UNO with a dual specialization in transportation planning and land use. She has been involved with the UNO Transportation Institute since 2009 and is currently responsible for leading all bicycle and pedestrian-related programs and research activities. Her past research has included development of an active transportation planning and design course curriculum, complete streets policy development and implementation and smart growth management in Louisiana. Tolford is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), serves on the Louisiana DOTD Complete Streets Advisory Council and chairs the New Orleans City Council Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Advisory Committee.

The University of New Orleans Transportation Institute (UNOTI) is designated as a U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Center. The Center’s core area of expertise is informing policy for developing sustainable, resilient and safe transport systems. The center’s work often involves maritime and port planning as well as planning for transit-oriented development.

Founded in 1977, WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women. Today the organization boasts more than 6,500 members, including both women and men. Its mission is helping women find opportunity and recognition in the transportation industry.

The greater New Orleans WTS chapter will holds its inaugural chapter awards gala on July 8th at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. New Orleans Aviation Board member Cheryl Teamer will serve as keynote speaker. Registration is available online.