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Transportation Institute Named Honorees at Awards Banquet

Posted: Oct 15, 2012

The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute held its annual awards banquet Oct. 11 at the Fargo Holiday Inn. Tracee Sutton, Gary Berreth and Jim Moench were recognized for their contributions to the region's transportation industry. Five scholarships also were presented to NDSU students.

Sutton, legislative director for U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, received the Agrey Award, the institute's highest award. For more than 16 years, Sutton served on the legislative staff for members of the North Dakota congressional delegation. As a staff member for Congressman Earl Pomeroy, Sutton was instrumental in the 1998 highway reauthorization bill and helped secure funding for the Four Bears Bridge, the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, and various highway and airport improvement projects. In 2002, Sutton joined Conrad's staff. She advised the senator on the most recent highway reauthorization bills that provided significant resources for highways and transit in North Dakota. Currently she is Conrad's legislative director, overseeing a 12-person legislative staff.

Berreth received the institute's Lifetime Achievement Award. Berreth retired as assistant chief engineer from the North Dakota Department of Transportation in 2005 after 37 years in the department. He helped lead the department in adopting technology in a variety of areas to improve operations, products and services. He advocated transportation planning, integrating it into the department's project selection and design processes. Upon his retirement, Berreth spent the next six years with the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, serving as director of the North Dakota Local Technical Assistance Program where he advocated the use of technology to meet the training needs of state and local transportation agencies and established the institute as a leader in delivering information and training to all levels of government, tribal agencies and the private sector for workforce development.

Moench received the Chairman's Award. Moench's most recent position was with the North Dakota Disabilities Advocacy Consortium, a coalition of 25 diverse disability organizations. During his more than eight years in the position, Moench coordinated joint legislative and policy activities for 25 diverse disability organizations in the state. A primary focus was enhancing mobility for disabled individuals. Moench served as chair of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute's Advisory Board from 1987 to 1997. During his tenure as chair, the institute increased its budget and launched several initiatives that are now established programs within the institute. These include the Advanced Traffic Analysis Center, establishment of the institute as a regional center within the U.S. Department of Transportation's University Transportation Center Program, and the development of institute's video-conferencing network. Those developments helped set the stage for the institute's success and dynamic growth in subsequent years. Moench also had distinguished careers with the North Dakota Farmers Union and North Dakota National Guard. His military career spanned 31 years, beginning with active duty in the U.S. Army and culminating with his appointment as Deputy Commander of the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1997.

The Institute also presented five scholarships to undergraduates at the event.

Stacy Engelmeyer, Melrose, Minn., and Taylor Krolak, Buffalo, Minn., both seniors in civil engineering, each received the $1,500 Transportation Engineering Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes academic achievement and promotes the education of transportation students at NDSU. The Mountain-Plains Consortium through the University Transportation Centers program of the U.S. Department of Transportation provides funding for the scholarship.

Levi Hall, a senior majoring in agribusiness from Berthold, N.D., and Tanner Rohloff, a junior majoring in agricultural economics from Morris, Minn., each received the $1,500 Paul E.R. Abrahamson Transportation Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes outstanding students at NDSU with an interest in the transportation and logistics of agricultural products. The Mountain-Plains Consortium through the University Transportation Centers program of the U.S. Department of Transportation also provides funding for these scholarships.

Danielle Franssen, a senior in civil engineering from Cottage Grove, Minn., received the $2,000 Charles E. Herman Scholarship, which recognizes academic achievement and promotes education of transportation students with a preference to women and minorities at NDSU. The Charles E. Herman Scholarship Endowment Fund at the NDSU Development Foundation provides funding for the scholarship.

For more information, go to www.ugpti.org/awards/.

Published in NDSU's staff newsletter
It's Happening at State
October 15, 2012

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