Education - 2008 Student of the Year

Mr. Paul Brubaker, Mr. Norman Mineta, Dr. Randy Machemehl, and Ms. Elsa Tedla at the awards banquet.

The University Transportation Center for Alabama is proud to recognize Ms. Elsa Tedla as its 2008 Student of the Year. Ms. Tedla, a native of Ethiopia, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2002 from Jimma University in Ethiopia. In 2003 she traveled to the United States for advanced study and has since become a naturalized citizen. Elsa is pursuing a doctorate in civil engineering at The University of Alabama.

Ms. Tedla was selected 2008 Student of the Year largely for her work on Project #07407 – School Bus Seat Belts: A Pilot Study, a project sponsored by the Alabama State Department of Education. Elsa was in charge of reviewing confidential digital images from participating school systems to determine appropriate seat-belt usage. That work included training undergraduate students, working with school bus transportation directors in 10 school systems, coping with three video-capture systems, and supervising image-review efforts.

The formal presentation of the Student of the Year award occurred in Washington, DC during the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting. Accompanying Ms. Tedla to the awards banquet were her husband, Mr. Menasse Kumlachew; Dr. Daniel S. Turner, UTCA’s founding executive director; and Dr. Jay K. Lindly, UTCA’s current executive director.