News | USC Students Win WTS-LA Scholarships

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USC Students Win WTS-LA Scholarships

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

by Namitha Nixon, USC, Business of Cinematic Arts 2024

Each year the Los Angeles chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS-LA), facilitated by the generous support of local sponsors, awards academic scholarships to a select group of inspiring females aspiring to pursue careers in the transportation sector. We are grateful for all who make this program possible to support the next generation of female transportation professionals. 


This year, four USC students have received these scholarships:  doctoral student Aisling O’Reilly, master’s students Zoey Li and Elena Vindrola, and undergraduate student Jessica Brown.


Aisling O’Reilly


USC Sol Price School of Public Policy PhD student Aisling O’Reilly discovered her passion for transportation by accident, but she shares that it led her on an impressive and exciting journey in the transportation sector. Aisling began her journey within the transportation industry unintentionally through an internship focused on Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering in Austin, Texas, and the rest is history. She is the proud recipient of the Myra Frank WTS LA $10,000 scholarship. Aisling is working toward a PhD in Urban Planning and hopes to pursue an academic career, teaching and conducting research with a focus on the intersection of land use and transportation.  Read more about Aisling and her scholarship here.


Zoey Li


USC Viterbi School of Engineering Master of Civil Engineering – Transportation Engineering student Zoey Li’s fascination for transportation was inspired by her father’s passion as a transportation engineer. She credits her experiences growing up watching her father’s career develop to have shaped her interest in system engineering in transportation designs and operations. Following in the footsteps of her father, Zoey aims to become a professional in the transportation engineering and planning field as a transportation researcher, analyst, modeler, or planner. The WTS-LA Chapter Board of Directors has selected Zoey as the winner of the $5,000 Build Your Dreams Graduate Scholarship. Read more about Zoey and her scholarship here.


Elena Vindrola


Elena Vindrola is pursuing a Master of Science in Green Technologies at the Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  She looks forward to dedicating her professional career to changing the world with sustainable transportation. Elena recalls her passion for the industry began during her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego where she majored in Environmental Systems and studied transportation as a major source of anthropogenic carbon emissions. Elena was awarded the WTS LA Zephyr Rail $5,000 scholarship for women pursuing careers in the transportation sector. Read more about Elena and her scholarship here.


Jessica Brown


Jessica Brown is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering with an emphasis in Building Science. She credits her initial interest in the transportation industry as sparked by her experience as a construction management intern with a general contractor after her freshman year. She shares that she particularly appreciated the opportunity there to work on what is now called LAX-it, a fast-paced auxiliary curb to siphon rideshare traffic from the central terminal area (CTA) at the Los Angeles International Airport. Jessica is the WTS-LA $8,000 Ava Doner Memorial Scholarship recipient. Read more about Jessica and her scholarship here.


About the Author

Namitha Nixon is sophomore at the University of Southern California studying the Business of Cinematic Arts, leads the METRANS K12 Student Outreach Team and a is a student staff writer for the METRANS Student News. She also serves as the Vice President of Career Development for the USC Marshall School of Business Entertainment Association and the Vice President of Administration for the USC Marshall School of Business Women’s Leadership Board.