UMEC Student of the Year

Jeremy Weiss, a master's degree student in City & Regional Planning at Morgan State University, has been chosen as a University Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year for 2017.Jeremy Weiss

Each year at the annual winter meeting of the Transportation Research Board, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the most outstanding student from each university transportation center is honored for their achievements and promise of future contributions. The award will be presented at the Council of University Transportation Centers banquet on Jan. 6, 2018, in Washington. D.C.

Weiss has worked with Dr. Andrew Farkas, director of the Urban Mobility & Equity Center, a UTC based at Morgan, establishing mechanisms to evaluate, grant and monitor research funding aimed at improving the mobility of people and goods in a sustainable manner.

"Jeremy has been instrumental in the organization of our new USDOT Tier 1 Center. He has assisted in formulating our selection processes for research projects among the partner universities as well as for reporting our accomplishments to USDOT," Dr. Farkas said.

Weiss, whose interests include non-automotive transportation such as pedestrians and bikes, also has assisted Dr. Hyeon-Shic Shin, assistant professor in City & Regional Planning, with a research project on green infrastructure and non-automotive transportation.

Weiss, who has a master's degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management from Clark University, also is interested in planning for social justice and human rights. His background includes work in building inspection, community organization, and weatherization programs; he came to Baltimore six years ago to work for AmeriCorps. He has an undergraduate degree from Clark University in sociology and environmental studies.

"The program at Morgan seemed like a great way to combine a lot of disparate interests," he said. "It was a good conduit to pull together everything I've done - how can I use all these skills to create better opportunities in Baltimore? The Morgan program really treats Baltimore as its living laboratory ... you do need to go out into the communities and learn and interact."

Weiss' master's degree project involves creating a prototype for scoring indoor agriculture operations in Baltimore, which involve turning abandoned warehouse space into indoor farms.

He plans to finish his degree this spring and would like to gain some field experience before considering a Ph.D.

His dream job? "I love doing research and I'd be interested in any sector that would afford me the opportunity to do research," he said. "I would love to find a job where I get engagement with people, and not be behind a desk all day."