IRF Holds 2009 Fellowship Program
This year, IRF announced that the Fellowship Orientation and Executive Leadership Program will be now known as the IRF Road Scholar Program. The Road Scholar Program encompasses the 10-day orientation program, the Executive Leadership workshop, and the IRF career fair.
This year, 25 students from 19 countries participated in the IRF Road Scholar Program, bringing the 59-year program total to 1,180. The Fellows, from universities all over the United States, arrived, some nervous, others eager, and all unsure of what the next 10 days were going to bring.
â€œI was very excited to be a part of this great Program,â€ said Yuqing Zhang, a Chinese fellow attending Texas A&M. â€œMy sponsoring professor was a fellow also and she told me about the many opportunities the program would give me. I knew it was going to be a good experience.â€
Over the course of the 10-day program, the fellows visited with IRF members who can help to shape their careers, gained exposure to many of the public and private organizations that are active in the road industry, and heard first hand from top-level executives what it takes to become leaders who will make a difference in the road industry.
Mike Dreznes, vice president, Barrier Systems Inc., taught the Executive Leadership workshop and impressed upon the fellows the tools and traits one must have to be a successful leader. But Dreznes always says he learns more from the fellows than they learn from him.
â€œI am constantly amazed and impressed by the enthusiasm, creativity, inventiveness, and discipline of these young professionals,â€ said Dreznes. â€œItâ€™s really why I choose to spend so much of my time around young people. It really gives me great hope that the future will indeed be better than the present.â€
Throughout the course of the Road Scholar Program, the fellows visited with:
- Barrier Systems
- Hot Lanes Beltway Project
- Institute of Transportation Engineers
- Louis Berger Group
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- The World Bank
- Turner Fairbanks Research Facility
- U.S. Federal Highway Department
- Wilbur Smith Associates