Jordan Preston, a civil engineering student at Oregon Institute of Technology, has been selected as the 2017 “Student of the Year” by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, a university transportation center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For the past 15 years, the department has honored an outstanding student from each University Transportation Center at a special ceremony during the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Preston received a certificate and $1,000 plus the cost of her attendance. Criteria for the award included technical merit and research accomplishments, academic performance, professionalism and leadership.
She is currently working on her master’s degree with a goal of graduating this spring . She came to O.I.T. from Yakima, Wash., and was inspired to begin her civil engineering journey by her father, a graduate, and other O.I.T. graduates.
“When I decided to pursue civil engineering, Oregon Tech was the only choice,” she said. “The civil engineering program is such a good balance of classroom and practical work. We are learning concepts and the theory behind engineering, but then we get to go out to the labs and put them right into practice. The work is challenging, but working on group projects or studying for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam together creates a real sense of community among the students. The faculty knows their technical stuff, but are also interested in helping students succeed, whether that is academically, professionally or personally.”
Dr. Roger Lindgren, professor and graduate program director in the civil engineering department, has worked with Jordan during her years at Oregon Tech. “Jordan is a remarkable student and she has made a lasting impact on the civil engineering department, the larger Oregon Tech community, and the field of transportation engineering. She has been highly successful as an undergraduate, a graduate student, a teaching assistant, a research assistant and an extracurricular volunteer,” said Roger Lindgren, professor and graduate program director in the civil engineering department. “It has been an honor to work with her.”
Upon her graduation, she said she hopes to work for a private engineering firm in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in transportation planning and design.