Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse joins WTS Greater Chicago in celebrating scholarship award winners
As executive director of the Illinois Tollway, Cassaundra Rouse serves as an inspiration and valuable resource to other women in the transportation industry.
With that in mind, the WTS Greater Chicago Chapter invited Rouse to serve as a member of its advisory board to help raise awareness of the organization’s mission to attract, sustain, connect and advance women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry.
Members of WTS Greater Chicago Chapter represent transit, freight rail, highway and aviation agencies, private consultants, municipalities, academics and students from across Chicagoland. Other advisory board members include leadership from IDOT, CMAP, Cook County DOHT, Metra and CTA, as well as top executives from major transportation firms such as AECOM, HNTB and WSP.
In her role as an ambassador for women in transportation, Rouse joined with other advisory members to celebrate the WTS Greater Chicago Chapter Scholarship Award winners at the Sky-Line Club in Chicago on June 22. The annual event was attended by nearly 100 WTS members, the scholarship winners and their families.
“It’s a great privilege to join the WTS Greater Chicago Chapter in honoring exceptional young women as they pursue careers in the transportation industry,” said Rouse. “These scholarships will help support women seeking both undergraduate and graduate degrees to pursue and achieve their transportation industry career goals.”
Each of the WTS Greater Chicago Chapter Advisory Board members was paired with one of the 11 scholarship recipients and had the opportunity to network with other transportation leaders and industry professionals. The scholarships provide up to $5,000 for qualified female high school and college students who live or attend school in Illinois.
Rouse was paired with one of the recipients of the WTS Greater Chicago President’s Scholarship Awards, Chi-Ya Chou, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University. Chou received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering at National Taiwan University.
Chou’s research interests lie mainly in transportation planning, travel behavior and disaster management. She says her goal is to become a top researcher in the field of transportation systems, applying her knowledge and skills to address questions related to the resilience of transportation systems.