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Center for Transportation Studies

New internship program with MnDOT this summer

Sam Lamichhane, a MnDOT summer intern from Howard University, demonstrating pavement-testing technology with his supervisor Bernard Izevbekha of MnDOT

Sam Lamichhane, a MnDOT summer intern from Howard University, demonstrating pavement-testing technology with his supervisor Bernard Izevbekhai of MnDOT

The ITS Institute, the Center for Transportation Studies, Howard University, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) are partnering to offer undergraduate students from the University of Minnesota and Howard University an eight-week Summer Transportation Internship Program at MnDOT. Participants from both schools are part of a small cohort of students that will be involved in the program together.

The program provides an opportunity for underrepresented populations to gain valuable professional experience and skills that will complement their academic pursuits. Through the program, students will gain practical knowledge within a state DOT, learning about its operations and working on transportation-focused projects. In addition to their project involvement, the internship experience will be enriched by technical field trips, social and community programs, and related activities.

Out of 34 applicants, four students were selected:

  • Sam Lamichhane, majoring in structural and transportation engineering at Howard University, was placed with the Office of Materials.
  • Chelsey Palmateer, majoring in civil engineering at the U of M, was placed with the Metro District’s Office of Planning, Program Management, and Transit.
  • Autumn McDowell, majoring in urban studies at the U of M, was placed in the Office of Statewide Multimodal Planning.
  • Yusuf Abdi, majoring in electrical engineering at the U of M, was placed in the Office of Electronic Communications.

The program began in June, and the first week alone was a hit with the students.

“I had a great week,” Palmateer said. “I’ve already been to several meetings and they have been very interesting.”

“I am learning new things everyday, and going out in the field to see the field work is just great,” said Lamichhane. “I am enjoying and learning new things at my work place.”