News | METRANS Alumni Spotlight Series: 'METRANS on the Move' Editor-in-Chief Danielle Dirksen

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After contributing to METRANS on the Move, METRANS’ weekly student publication, as Editor-in-chief since Spring 2019, Danielle Dirksen has stepped down after graduating in the fall. Dirksen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning with a double minor in Environmental Studies and Occupational Science. She is passionate about pursuing a future in transportation where she can work toward enhancing mobility and improving public transit for traditionally disadvantaged and marginalized communities. As Dirksen says, “We have a lot of stigmas about transit to do away with – e.g., something designated for low-income folks - [but] if we begin to prioritize transit as something for the good of society, maybe we can get somewhere [figuratively and literally].”


Dirksen’s passion for transportation planning and her career at METRANS blossomed in her junior year, when she was accepted into the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) Transportation Education Symposium, an acceptance that she attributes to her supervisor, METRANS Associate Director of Education and Professional Development Victoria Deguzman. During that period, she joined a leadership society where she met Lauren Mullarkey-Williams, then the METRANS student newsletter publisher, who was instrumental in nominating Dirksen to replace her once she graduated. Since Spring 2020, she has also served as both Editor-in-chief and Career Opportunities Editor for “METRANS on the Move.” Dirksen is grateful to both Dr. Deguzman and Mullarkey-Williams for leading her to METRANS.


Dirksen’s short background in transportation provided her a strong foundation for managing the student newsletter. Previously, Dirksen served as a Planning and Development Intern with Metrolink, where she gained insights into the variety of stakeholders involved in transport and was gained access to emerging news in the field. Currently, she is a Capital Projects Outreach Intern at OCTA, which has bolstered her non-technical outreach skills with projects such as editing the OC Streetcar (OCS) Eat-Shop-Play newsletter, as well as Twitter and Instagram overviews for the OC Streetcar social media pages. Her experience with METRANS has helped her gauge how to interact with specialized audiences on social media given her perspective on the sometimes-insular transportation industry.


“Danielle has served as an exemplary team member in several capacities, and her contributions will be truly missed,” said Deguzman.