Ph.D. student David Ederer will experience a week-long immersion in transportation policymaking this spring at the Eno Center for Transportation Future Leaders Development Conference.
Ederer is among 20 of the nation’s top graduate students invited to participate in the Washington D.C. conference and learn directly from federal officials, business leaders and congressional staffers.
“There are few opportunities to get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the policy process, and I'm looking forward to it,” said Ederer, a second-year doctoral student studying with Kari Watkins. “Ideally, research and policymaking go hand-in-hand. They often don’t. Good policy should be based on good research. I’m hoping that the conference can help bridge that gap by helping [me] understand how and why decisions are made.”
Ederer also won the Dr. Thomas D. Larson Fellowship — a scholarship that will pay for his attendance at the leadership conference and recognizes Ederer’s commitment to improving the transportation field, according to an announcement from the center.
The 2018 class of Eno fellows includes students from 17 universities and one company. Ederer is the latest Georgia Tech transportation scholar selected to attend the conference, joining a group of current and former School of Civil and Environmental Engineering students stretching back almost a decade.
“I'm flattered to be included among the prior winners just at Georgia Tech,” he said. “The students and faculty who have completed the fellowship are people that I admire and aspire to be like.”
He said some of those Eno “alumni” have given him good advice leading up to the May conference: “Be ready to listen and ask questions. There are many smart, engaging people from which I will want to soak up as much information as possible. They’ve also said to arrive well rested since the days are usually pretty busy.”