WTSEXPRESS
September/October 2010
in this issue...
Join WTS in 2010!
Upcoming Events
Welcome New Members!
President's Column
Get More Involved in WTS!
2010 Challenge Update
September Program: I-35W & 46th Street Station
Member Spotlight: Mary Karlsson
Now Accepting Scholarship Applications
Don't Hold Off...
Join WTS in 2010!

Are you a non-member who has been considering membership in WTS?  There is no better time than 2010 to take the plunge.

Through 2010, new (or renewed expired) members will be eligible for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. The winner will be drawn at our annual WTS Minnesota Holiday Party in December.

For a membership application, click here or contact Molly Stewart.
Upcoming Events

2010 Holiday Party &
Scholarship Fundraiser
December 9th, 5:30 p.m.
Elsie's
729 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis

Stay tuned for more details...
 
New Members!

Avital Barnea, Jill Hentges, and Lyssa Leitner joined WTS in October. Welcome!


Calling all Members: 
We want your news!


Have you recently...

     earned a certification?
       changed jobs?
          grown your family?
              run a marathon?

WTS Minnesota is on the lookout for all kinds of member news--professional or personal--to publish in our bimonthly newsletter.

Send your news to Katie Roth and keep your colleagues in the loop!
Has your email address changed?

Please email Molly Stewart with your new address and don't forget to update your email address with WTS International as well.
 
Join Our Mailing List
2010 WTS Minnesota
Board of Directors


President
Amber Nord

Vice President
Kristin Thompson

Secretary
Joy Miciano

Treasurer
Christina Miller

Past President
n/a

Scholarships & Recognitions Director
Angie Christo

Programs Director
HunWen Westman

Membership Co-Director
Molly Stewart

Membership Co-Director
Karen Allen

Marketing Director
Katie Roth

::

2010 WTS Minnesota
Advisory Board


Donna Allan
WTS Past President

Laura Amundson
Parsons Brinkerhoff

Gina Baas
Center for Transportation Studies

Biz Colburn
WTS Past President

Sandy Cullen
University of Minnesota

Judy Hollander
Hennepin County

Ann Johnson
University of Minnesota

Connie Kozlak
Metropolitan Council

Jessica Laabs
Kimley-Horn & Associates

Stephanie Malinoff
Center for Transportation Studies

Laurie McGinnis
Center for Transportation Studies

Dan Meyers
URS

Sam O'Connell
Dakota County

Kristin Asher-Osberg
City of Richfield

Lisa Raduenz
Iteris

Kate Sanderson
URS

Dawn Spanhake
Center for Transportation Studies

Amy Vennewitz
Metropolitan Council

Charleen Zimmer
Zan Associates

Amber 1
President's Column 
Amber Nord
 

Happy fall to all of you!  I would like to bring to your attention one of the newest benefits of being a WTS member, access to the WTS Knowledge Center.


The purpose of the WTS Knowledge Center is to provide an informal, interactive and inclusive program through which WTS members can obtain data, exchange information, and network with people from throughout the transportation industry on topics of current interest. 

 

There are ten communities of practice.  These knowledge communities are designed to incorporate both passenger and freight modes, including aviation, highways, urban transit, railroads, and all other means of transport. The communities are based on functional areas of practice (planning, engineering, research, etc.), thus facilitating interaction and networking among people throughout the world who are in the public, private or academic sectors; who are in diverse fields of modal endeavor; and who are in a variety of locations throughout the world.

 

Check it out by logging on to WTS International's website. Click on Membership above your login, then to the left click on TransPortal, and finally Knowledge Center at the top.  Choose your Community of Practice and choose the button Join the Group and you're in.

 

This is a great way to share information with others and get your questions answered by experts.  Give it a try!


Amber Nord
WTS Minnesota President
Want to Get More Involved in WTS?

The WTS Minnesota Board of Directors is seeking members interested in serving on the chapter board in 2011. Participating on the WTS Minnesota Board is an excellent way to get to know the organization, meet new people, and sharpen your leadership skills...all while building your professional network! In addition to the President, the following positions comprise the elected Board of Directors:


  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Programs Director
  • Membership Director
  • Scholarships & Recognitions Director
  • Marketing Director


Directors are voting Board members and are expected to attend monthly board meetings, participate in national conference calls, and carry out monthly tasks as required. We are also in need of members to assist in the following positions:


  • Programs Committee - help develop program ideas and take an active role in planning 1-2 programs a year
  • Membership Committee - assist with initiatives to better serve members and increase membership
  • Scholarships & Recognitions Committee - assist in the annual scholarship and recognition awards processes


Committee members are not formal Board members, but are asked to support the Director. Members serving in these positions are not required to attend monthly board meetings, but are invited and encouraged to attend.


If you are interested in serving WTS Minnesota in any of the above capacities, please contact Kristin Thompson at kristin.thompson@metc.state.mn.us or 612-349-7782. Feel free to contact Kristin or any other Board member listed on the sidebar if you have questions about the duties involved or the level of commitment.


A formal ballot for Director positions will be sent out to the entire membership in the coming weeks. The new 2011 Board will be announced at our Holiday Party on December 9.

2010 Challenge Update
Kristin Thompson

With two months remaining, WTS Minnesota has raised $2,384 of our $7,000 goal for 2010. There is still time to help! Take action now so that we can support deserving women students as they prepare for transportation careers.

Fuel the Fund!  $2384

Many WTS members have renewal dates at the end of December. Did you know that you can easily make a scholarship donation when you renew your membership online? Simply enter a contribution amount to be added to your dues payment. Be sure to direct your donation to the Minnesota Chapter Scholarship fund. When you renew your membership this year, please consider supporting WTS scholarships at the same time.


Another opportunity to support our scholarships is also coming up-and this one involves fun! WTS Minnesota's annual holiday party and scholarship fundraiser will take place on December 9th. As always, proceeds from the iPod raffle and silent auction will support WTS Minnesota scholarships. Look for more details soon. 
September Program:  Public Participation at I-35W & 46th Street Station
Christina Miller
 

On September 30th, WTS members and friends joined University of Minnesota students for our annual Student Program on the U of M campus. Jill Hentges, Community Outreach Coordinator for Metro Transit, provided insight into the successes and challenges of the public participation process for the new I-35W and 46th Street Station, located at freeway level of I-35W at 46th Street in South Minneapolis.

hentges
Metro Transit's Jill Hentges shared her expertise with WTS

Hentges explained how the outreach process unfolded and detailed the challenges of the process. Twelve community stakeholders, including representatives from neighborhood associations, council members, at- large members, and Metro Transit staff were assembled to form a focus group, called the Transit User Group. The group met monthly to discuss the station name, environmental concerns, station safety, station users, and other aspects of how the new station would be used. Hentges explained that because the building's initial design had already been decided prior to Metro Tran sit soliciting community feedback, the outreach process faced additional challenges from the beginning. Some of the challenges included a lack of community trust, discontent in the lack of participation in the design process, and stakeholders' disappointment in their perceived lack of influence and level of engagement.

  

The Transit User Group developed the following recommendations, several of which influenced the completed station:  

  • Begin future public participation processes earlier
  • Prioritize development of the Lake Street station, as many transfers are made at this location
  • Use high-efficiency lighting and geothermal heating at the station
  • Install real-time signage, safety call buttons, monitored cameras, and bike amenities

The focus group did not gravitate toward any particular name for the station, so Metro Transit selected a name based on the street location.


Hentges noted some important lessons learned from the process:

  • Start the public participation process earlier
  • Define a clear scope for outreach
  • Revisit goals throughout the entire process
  • Acknowledge the past, rather than avoid it
  • Have a dedicated outreach staff during and after the public participation process

A grand opening event will be held on December 5th, with full weekday service to the station beginning the following Monday. For more information, please visit Metro Transit's project page.

I-35W & 46th Street Station
Service to the station begins December 5th
member spotlight

Mary Karlsson

Title:  Senior Transportation Planner
Company/Agency:  Metropolitan Council - Metropolitan Transportation Services
WTS Member Since:  2004

What do you do in your position on a daily basis, and what do you enjoy most about your job?  As staff to the Twin Cities' metropolitan [transportation] planning organization, all of my daily professional activities revolve around coordinating long-range transportation planning in the region. A typical day might include participating as a member on a technical committee for a corridor study, observing a policy committee meeting for a corridor study, reviewing or helping prepare draft environmental documentation for a proposed project, managing federal grants, or participating in some Counties Transit Improvement Board-sponsored activity. I also manage Council-led initiatives like the Regional Transitway Guidelines and am looking forward to participating on the project management team for the Arterial Transitway Corridors Study being led by Metro Transit. My favorite parts of the job are getting to know all kinds of really great people working on transportation issues in the region--my industry colleagues are definitely my favorite part of my job.

Mary Karlsson
Fill in the blank:  Outside of work, you'd most likely find me...  Hanging out with my husband, son, or close friends. A couple of years ago you'd find me at a lot more WTS and other events/happy hours, or concerts, or reading books, or studying languages ... but I've found that little ones have a tendency to keep me closer to home a lot these days. It's a change from my "old life" but also good, fun, and funny (3-year olds say the silliest things!).

How did you learn about WTS and why did you decide to join?  I learned about WTS through my dear, former mentor at SRF Consulting Group, Beth Bartz. I moved to the Twin Cities back in 2004 after working as a transportation planning consultant in Madison, Wisconsin, didn't know a soul here, and was looking for a way to get to know people. Beth suggested I volunteer for the WTS MN fundraising committee and help coordinate the annual silent auction at the Holiday Party. I heard good things about WTS back in WI ... now six years later, I can't imagine having done it differently.

How have you been involved with WTS over the years?  Fundraising Committee - organizing several silent auctions, including the auction for the 25th anniversary gala, and helping to lead the scholarship endowment effort; Secretary; Coordinator for the five-year strategic plan
 

What has being a WTS member meant for you?  Friendly faces. A network I can call on without reservations. Mentoring & sharing experiences (how do you do this job successfully through each phase of life?). Meaningful continuing education ... WTS MN hosts great programs on issues I care about personally and professionally.

Anything else to share with your WTS colleagues?  Two things: I want to extend a big THANK YOU to my WTS Sisters and past Fundraising/Endowment committees for helping out over the years, whether on completing committee work or by reassuring me it's ok to renegotiate deadlines and helping me learn how to do that. Also, remember we're on the home stretch for the scholarship endowment with less than $7,000 left to go to secure these important awards in perpetuity ... please give anything you can and it will be matched by WTS MN in 2010!
Now Accepting 2011 Scholarship Applications!

WTS Minnesota is now accepting applications for our three scholarships:

  •  Graduate Scholarship - $2,000
  •  Donna W. Allan Undergraduate Scholarship - $2,000
  •  Katherine F. Turnbull Undergraduate Leadership Award - $500

The scholarships are competitive and are based on the applicant's specific transportation goals, academic record, and transportation-related activities or job skills. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Financial need is not a primary consideration. Scholarship funds can be applied to Spring Semester 2011 expenses, so students in their final year of school are welcome to apply.

 

WTS Scholarships are open to women who:

  • Are currently enrolled in a degree program in a transportation related field (such as engineering, planning, finance, or logistics) in Minnesota and can provide proof of this enrollment. Students at schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are also eligible if they have had Minnesota residency in the last 5 years.
  • Have a GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Plan to pursue a career in transportation

Electronic applications are available by contacting Angie Christo at 651.367.2308 or via email at angela.christo@aecom.com.


The application form, an accompanying transcript, personal statement, and letter(s) of recommendation must be sent to the address indicated on the application form, and be received by Monday, November 15, 2010.