Alyssa is using state-of-the-art transportation research technology at UMass Amherst to find ways to make the roads safer for everyone.
I'm from Waddington, New York. It's pretty far north. I knew no one from home coming into UMass. I still felt at home within the first year, which is pretty impressive. The UMass College of Engineering really welcomes students, and I felt like I wasn't a number at any point in my college career. They do a really good job of bringing in female engineering professors into the civil engineering curriculum, because it is so male dominated. And I think that makes a really big difference. So even if my class is 20% female, I have someone to go to to talk about that. I got involved with transportation engineering my first year and got close with a professor, Dr. Michael Knodler. I got to do research with graduate students, and I met other professionals through networking events, through the Institute of Transportation Engineers, a professional society I joined. And that has significantly impacted my entire future. So I do research currently in more rural transportation areas. We're studying an intersection that has an auxiliary thru lane. So if I'm a driver driving up to that intersection, I have the option to either stay in the left lane or go into the right lane. So we're putting this scenario into the driving simulator on campus, which is this one car inside of a room with a huge screen in front of it that offers sound and a real driving experience, to study exactly how participants would behave, given this scenario. UMass really gives you a lot of hands-on experiences and pushes you to get internships. And that's what you need to move on after college, because ultimately, college is to get you to the rest of your life and to where you want to be. And that's exactly what UMass will do for you. I'm Alyssa Ryan, class of 2018. I stand for women and engineering, and I stand for UMass.