HeadlinesAugust 23, 2010
- A community of excellence
- Dobson reflects on year in D.C. as Jefferson Science Fellow
- Student Success reorganizes to streamline services, announces new leaders
- KU Hospital announces $50 million expansion
- Professor Profile: The dangers of texting and driving
- Special parking plans made, extra buses to be deployed for Thursday, Oct. 14 football game
- CReSIS to receive $17.9 million from National Science Foundation to continue research
- Bhalla, Anant take leadership posts at KU Cancer Center, help advance quest for NCI designation
- Advocacy Corps matches KU experts with community organizations
- Hannoum, Kennedy land Fulbright awards to perform research overseas
- KU lands $8.9 million grant to enhance foreign language education
- Limited number of basketball tickets available for faculty, staff
- This academic year is last to start on Thursday
- Coca-Cola Scholarships awarded to children of faculty, staff
- Oread Books becomes Jayhawk Ink
- KU researchers find vocal cues for autism in children with newly developed technology
- Professor lands grant to study storing excess renewable energy
- Writers, journalist, KU scholar highlight 2010-11 Hall Center lecture series
- Internal Audit launches new site, works to help KU prevent fraud
- University leaders gather at KU to discuss keeping research vital in trying times
- KU's Silver City clinic extends health care to low-income communities
- Staffer earns prestigious fellowship for transportation research
- Summer food drive collects nearly 4,000 pounds of food for community
- Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies marks 50th anniversary
- Graduate teaching assistant, student to appear on 'Jeopardy!'
Staffer earns prestigious fellowship for transportation research
Heckler lands one of 56 Eisenhower awards
During the workday, Ariel Heckler helps with KU’s outreach activities and takes care of day-to-day operations as a project coordinator at the Transportation Research Institute. But when the day is done, she doesn't simply clock out, she asks questions such as “How can departments of transportation be more transparent and engage the public?”
Such questions, the core of her research as a graduate student, helped Heckler earn a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship. She won one of only 56 fellowships awarded nationally by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The fellowship carries a $5,000 stipend for one year.
Heckler, who has worked with the Transportation Research Institute since 2006, is pursuing a master’s in urban planning. She’s hoping to learn through her research how transportation policy makers can better share their information and plans with the public that is affected by them.
“People don’t always recognize the true value of transportation in their daily lives,” Heckler said. “Mobility is vital and we depend on it every day, but I think we take it for granted a little.”
She’ll examine if better transparency of information will lead to a public more engaged in transportation issues, such as gas taxes that pay to maintain public roadways. She’ll present her research findings at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January in Washington, D.C.
Bob Honea, director of the Transportation Research Institute, said Heckler excels at her work and her academic prowess only adds to her capabilities.
“I knew Ariel was an exceptional person the first day I met her,” said Honea. “She has continually revealed talents I didn’t even know to ask about when we interviewed her for the administrative position. I am certain she will be an academic star in whatever field of research she chooses.”
In addition to her own research, Heckler helps spread the word about transportation research happening at KU. One of her projects this summer was preparing for a trade show in Kansas City in which the research of David Darwin, the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, and Caroline Bennett, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, was presented.
Heckler said working daily with respected researchers has helped immensely in her own academic pursuits.
“I have a much better understanding of the research process thanks to all of them,” she said. “Having that inside perspective has been really beneficial. We’re trying to put KU on the map in terms of transportation infrastructure research. We have a remarkable amount of talent in that area.”