Many people believe strongly in what they do. But others take that commitment even further. Huê-Tâm Jamme demonstrated how strongly she believes in her work by halting a successful career in international development to return to school. And there was quite a bit on the line with this decision. Huê-Tâm had already completed undergraduate and master’s degrees from France’s prestigious Institut d’Etudes Politiques and had been awarded the International Trade prize for the best young professional abroad (for her transportation work in Vietnam). But she was determined. “When I was responsible for the preparation of resettlement studies for Hanoi’s Urban Mass Transit Project, I envied the senior specialists’ proximity with the highest levels of decision-making. I wished I had their negotiating power…Negotiating memoranda of understanding, sovereign loans and large and costly infrastructure projects would give them the ability to influence strategic decisions with regional, national and local implications, immediate and long-term consequences for future generations.” Frustrated, Huê-Tâm wanted to sit on the other side of the table. And education was the way to change seats.
Today, Huê-Tâm is a third-year PhD candidate at USC. And she has already made an indelible impression. Carrying a perfect 4.0 GPA, Huê-Tâm combines her work experience with exceptional data analysis skills and theoretical and qualitative methods training. According to USC Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis Marlon Boarnet, whom Jamme has worked for on several projects, “She is a deep thinker, with a keen appreciation of the need for multi-modal transportation…I believe she will contribute important and innovative new research that will apply both to developing countries and to the developed world. She will be a leader in our field.” Of course, Huê-Tâm’s focus remains absolute. “I am fortunate to have moved to Los Angeles at a time of growing momentum towards the development of sustainable urban transportation systems. In about two years, I have witnessed the opening of two Metro line extensions and one bike share system, I have followed the development of the largest high-speed rail project currently going on in the developed world. This is a critical time worldwide to take advantage of the potentially huge benefits of sustainable transportation policies.” Myra Frank would be proud.
Article originally published on WTS-LA website: http://www.wtsinternational.org/losangeles//2017-myra-l-frank-memorial-g...