By Drew Quinn, USC MPL 2019
Avid readers of METRANS on the MOVE will remember our summer write-up of Lauren Mullarkey-WIlliams’s coveted fellowship at Portland State University’s Transportation Research and Education Center. By her own words Ms. Mullarkey-Williams “took a risk” accepting the summer-long fellowship in an unfamiliar field but found that, “the transportation industry became a way to combine my interests, meet people of very different and exciting backgrounds and skill sets, and prepare for a career where I can see my work in motion.”
Mullarkey-Williams is a progressive degree student, meaning she is concurrently completing the final year of her B.S. in Policy, Planning, and Development in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and beginning an M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technologies offered through the USC Spatial Sciences Institute.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mullarkey-Williams chose to come to USC due to the strong national reputation of the Price School, generous scholarship opportunities, and USC’s position in a city and region that offer tremendous opportunities for studying and engaging urban planning.
Her short-term goal is continued focus on her academic and extra-curricular positions at USC. In addition to being our new Editor-in-Chief, these include Vice-President of SC Mappers (the local chapter of Youth Mappers that connects people interested in Spatial Sciences and promotes changing the world for the better by mapping it), membership in Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and Delta Omicron Zeta (a co-ed professional leadership fraternity), and being highly involved with QuestBridge Scholars Network, a scholarship organization that connects high achieving low-income and first-generation students with top universities.
When asked about her long-term goals Mullarkey-Williams shared, “I hope to continue living in a city where I have choices on how to get around, drive less, take the bus more, adopt a dog, and find a job where I can combine my interests in policy, planning, mobility, and spatial thinking.”
Though Mullarkey-Williams admits she cannot remember how she was first introduced to METRANS on the MOVE she is, “so grateful to have somehow joined the mailing list.” She became an active reader of the newsletter and secured her summer fellowship in Portland through one of the featured opportunity pieces.
Mullarkey-Williams kept in touch with Priya Ramasamy, our departing Editor-in-Chief, this summer after the article about her Portland State fellowship was published. Impressed and inspired by the quality of work the newsletter was producing under Ramasamy’s watch, Mullarkey-WIlliams inquired about open positions.
Her timing was excellent as Ramasamy was seeking a student to replace her as Editor-in-Chief. “A few weeks and a lot of note taking later I am proud to be continuing the legacy she left behind,” Mullarkey-Williams stated.
She acknowledges she is lucky to be joining a stellar student staff, and believes the team will accomplish big things this year with the help of faculty, staff, and other resources. She would like to assure readers that she hopes, “to bring my great positivity and enthusiasm to the METRANS team; my goal is to get others as excited about transportation as I am!”
In my first interview with Mullarkey-Williams earlier this summer she emphasized, “I have always been very interested in how people live, work, play, and move within cities.” In this interview, she added that her summer in Portland revealed to her that, “transportation takes many different shapes and means something unique to each individual.”
In addition to macro trends of the transportation industry we at METRANS on the MOVE strive to reveal the quotidian experience of students and people in our region that Mullarkey-WIlliams references. We are grateful to have Mullarkey-Williams at our helm and look forward to the assistance she will provide us in our efforts to reveal more about the transportation industry to you and from you.
About the Author:
Drew Quinn is a Master of Planning student at the University of Southern California with a concentration in Transportation. Originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mr. Quinn received a B.A. in History from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and has previously lived in Philadelphia and Madrid. Mr. Quinn serves as the Lead Editor for METRANS on the Move and is also the President and Founder of Trees by Trojans, a service organization at USC dedicated to increasing the distribution of green infrastructure in South Central LA.