Meet the STRIDE 2015 Summer Interns

Students from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Morehead State University, Florida International University, University of Florida, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are participating in this summer's STRIDE Internship. The internship, also known as TRIP, is a great way for undergraduate students to learn about transportation engineering and to participate in cutting-edge research projects along with faculty and graduate students. Also this summer, two students (Guilherme Moyses Pfeffer and Bianca Farias de Souza) funded by the Brazillian Science Mobility Program (BSMP) have been selected to participate in TRIP at UF.


Intern: Zoe Beccera, Morehead University/Georgia Insitute of Technology

Advisers:  Dr. Gregory Corso (Morehead University) and Dr. Michael Hunter (GaTech)
Intern Bio: Zoe Becerra  (Morehead University/GaTech). Zoe Is a junior in the George M. Luckey Jr. Academic Honors Program at Morehead State University. She has a double major in Psychology and Mathematics. Outside of academics, she is a member of the Morehead State dance team and a resident adviser for the Honors Living Learning Community. Zoe has been recognized as the Outstanding Sophomore Psychology student and the Outstanding Junior Psychology student. After completing her undergraduate degree, Zoe plans on continuing her education working toward a Ph.D. in Human Factors.


Intern: Mario Rojas, Florida International University (FIU)
Adviser: Dr. Xia Jin, FIU
Intern Bio: Mario Rojas (Florida International University). Born and raised in Miami, Mario B. Rojas IV is a native Floridian. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Newberry College in 2013 and leading the college’s varsity baseball team, Mario enrolled at Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Engineering and Computing to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Just recently he was admitted to FIU’s Accelerated Bachelor/Master program through which he will earn his Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 2016, one year after completing his Bachelor’s degree. During his time at FIU, Mario has worked in the GIS Laboratory under Dr. Xia Jin and alongside her doctoral students in the Lehman Center for Transportation Research. Through this experience, Mario has been able to explore many facets of transportation and has gravitated towards transit, planning, and transportation engineering. While he has not determined a topic for exploration during STRIDE’S TRIP, Mario will certainly focus his efforts on transportation. In the future, Mario will enter the Civil Engineering industry and become a Professional Engineer with goals to improve Miami as well as the state of Florida.


Intern: Stephen Spana, University of Florida (UF)
Adviser: Dr. Yafeng Yin, UF
Intern Bio: Stephen Spana, (University of Florida). Stephen is a 4th year Civil Engineering student from Cape Coral, Fla. He chose civil engineering specifically for Transportation Engineering, which he plans on studying at the graduate level. Stephen has been involved in transportation research at UF for the past year, and looks forward to continuing this summer. In his spare time, Stephen enjoys running and watching baseball.



Intern: Ethan Stoop, University of Florida (UF)
Adviser: Dr. Scott Washburn, UF
Intern Bio: Ethan hopes to graduate from UF in Spring 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and with a minor in Urban and Regional Planning. Ethan was born in Clearwater, Fla., and has lived in the state his entire life. Both of his parents attended the University of Florida, as well as his twin brother. Ethan has focused on Transportation Engineering while at UF and is particularly interested in the recent trends towards New Urbanism and complete street design. He is also interested in the continued development of autonomous vehicles, vehicle-to-vehicle communication and intelligent transportation systems. He is very eager to work with STRIDE over the summer.


Intern: William Wagner, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Adviser: Dr. Despina Stavrinos, UAB
Intern Bio:  William is an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Chemistry and Creative Writing. He will be graduating in Spring 2016 with Psychology Honors. William has worked as a research assistant in the Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) Laboratory since January of 2014 on a variety of transportation related projects.  He has authored two poster presentations at scientific conferences. William's interests in transportation include examining the hazard anticipation for at-risk, clinical populations of drivers and pedestrians, especially those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and/or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a TRIP Intern, William plans to focus his efforts on examining how young adult drivers differ in their reactions to social and nonsocial hazards. After graduation, William hopes to attend graduate school in Clinical Psychology and to continue his work in the area of traffic safety in clinical populations.



Intern: Tianfa Wu, University of Florida (UF)
Adviser: Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, UF
Intern Bio: Tianfa is a senior student studying civil engineering at the University of Florida. He came to the U.S. 8 years ago and his family lives in Orlando, Fla.  Tianfa likes swimming, basketball and watching e-sports.