San José State University (SJSU) conducted its seventeenth annual Mineta Summer Transportation Institute (MSTI) during July-August 2022. MSTI was offered as a 3-week, Monday through Friday, 15-day non-residential program for high school students (9th through 12th grades) on the campus of SJSU.
The primary goal of the program was to inform and inspire students to think critically about their futures and their potential for careers in transportation. A secondary goal of the program was to inspire the students to attend a college or university after high school. The program was comprised of three main components: (1) a college-level course in environmental studies, with an emphasis on transportation; (2) field trips; and (3) guest speakers. MSTI was designed to be both academically challenging and fun. The participants had the opportunity to earn three units of college credit at no cost to the student through SJSU in an introductory environmental studies class with a STEM and transportation emphasis.
Overall, we are happy to note a 100% satisfaction level with the program among students. In addition, a survey of participants found that the program helped them better understand the field of transportation and encouraged them to consider a transportation career. Program changes were made to refine and improve upon MSTIs from previous years by combining elements from previous successes and adding new activities. This year, new community partnerships include the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the Port of Oakland, and the US Coast Guard.
Alverina Weinardy first joined MTI as a graduate student research assistant in 2017. As Public Programs Coordinator, she manages the institute’s online presence through newsletters, social media campaigns, press releases, blogs, and web content creation. She also develops graphic design and video materials for public engagement. Alverina holds a BFA in Interior Architect and Design from the Academy of Art University and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, with a focus on Affordable Housing and Community Development Finance, from San José State University.