University of Oregon

Planning, Public Policy and Management

National transportation conference honors UO students

Published on: 
Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 13:00

The two graduate students are honored at the national conference for their work on bicycle transportation issues.

When 11,000 transportation professionals descended on Washington, D.C., in January for the National Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference, their numbers included UO students Cortney Mild and Kory Northrop, each there to be recognized for their impressive work in active transportation.

Cortney Mild Mild was honored at the conference as the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium’s (OTREC) Student of the Year. She was recognized at the Region X TRB reception and received a $4,000 award. In addition, Mild received the President’s Legacy Leadership Scholarship for 2011-2012 by the Portland Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). This award is given to a female student doing excellent work in the field of transportation studies.

Mild stood out for her participation in a summer abroad UO class on bicycle transportation in Amsterdam and an eight-week internship at Goudappel Coffeng, a leading firm in integrated transportation planning in Deventer, the Netherlands. She is also the current president of LiveMove, the student active transportation advocacy group on campus.

Northrop had a busy TRB conference, giving presentations on his award-winning research to five different audiences. His project, “Bicycling Commuting Trends in the United States,” won the “Data Visualization Student Challenge,” a competition designed to encourage students to examine infographics options for helping decision-makers make better-informed policy and investment decisions in support of transportation safety and/or economic development. The League of American Cyclists was so impressed with Northrop’s work, they endorsed his work on their website

As a winner of the visualization challenge, Northrop won a $2,000 scholarship and was a guest of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), receiving free lodging, registration, and transportation to the conference. He also gave his presentation at the USDOT headquarters.

Kory Northrop“It was a tremendous experience to engage with advocates and professionals working in government, nonprofit, and private sectors worldwide,” says Northrop. “One of the reasons I was happy to present multiple times at TRB was that in doing so I was able to increase the collective exposure of attendees to bicycle transportation issues.”

Northrop didn’t just present about bicycling while in Washington. He purchased a three-day pass to the city’s bike share system and rode around town from museums to monuments to meetings. Northrop believes the bike share program is a good sign of the growth of bicycling as a transportation choice. “Until recently, it wouldn’t have been possible for a visitor to borrow a bicycle, ride it comfortably from point A to point B, and then just quickly stash the bicycle and be on his or her way. It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

Story by Dave Amos