WTS South Carolina Celebrates Awards and Scholarship Recipients

Women in transportation celebration

WTS South Carolina Celebrates Awards and Scholarship Recipients

Columbia, SC – WTS South Carolina, the state-based branch of WTS International focused on the development of women in the transportation sector, recently held its annual awards and scholarship ceremony on April 25. The event recognized several extraordinary members and partners active in the sector.

Honoring Dedication and Leadership

The “Woman of the Year Award” was bestowed upon Christy Hall for her steadfast devotion to the transportation field and to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), where she served as Secretary of Transportation since 2015. In an industry predominantly represented by men, Hall has played a key role in displaying to other women that they can also lead. She served in various roles, from design, project management, construction management, road and bridge maintenance, deputy secretary for finance & administration, and engineering before concluding her career as SCDOT Secretary.

The “Member of the Year Award” was given to Joy Riley, a founding member of WTS SC, as well as its former president. Riley continually supports the WTS SC leadership team and promotes the organization within her professional network.

Recognizing Supportive Employers and Future Leaders

The “Employer of the Year Award” was earned by Three Oaks Engineering for its commitment to providing structured career progression options and maintaining a healthy work-life balance for employees. As a women-owned business, the organization upholds gender balance, with women comprising 50% of staff members across its three branches.

The “Transportation YOU High School Scholarship” was awarded to Mallorie Barbee, a senior at Dutch Fork High School. Barbee has exhibited a strong affinity for science and engineering, serving as a Science Olympiad in Bridge Design and Chemistry, a STEM Program Leader, and a member of the Young Women in Engineering. Barbee plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering at the University of South Carolina.

Awarding Scholarships for Professional and Academic Excellence

The “Jannet Walker-Ford Leadership Legacy Scholarship” was presented to Pamela Bynoe-Reed, Director of Marketing and Community Affairs for the Central Midlands Transit Authority (COMET). Bynoe-Reed is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business and actively serves the Columbia community.

Lauren Villegas-Villegas received the “Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship” while pursuing a Doctorate in Civil Engineering, specializing in structures, at the University of South Carolina. Her research primarily focuses on using unconventional yet sustainable construction materials and resilient designs.

Looking Ahead

In the words of Petrina Butler, the 2024 WTS South Carolina President, the organization is enthusiastic about recognizing women contributing phenomenally to the transportation sector. Financially supporting women in higher education and crediting those making strides in the industry aligns well with the WTS mission. The organization aims to grow the number of scholarship applications and award nominations in the upcoming years. More details about WTS South Carolina can be found on their website.

WTS South Carolina Celebrates Awards and Scholarship Recipients

Author: HERE Irmo

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