Graduate students gain experience through TPEC activities

June 21, 2023

TPEC researchers guide and mentor Humphrey School students—who then take their degrees and knowledge to the workforce. Two May 2023 graduates share their experiences below:

Maya Sheikh accepts award
 Maya Sheikh accepts her WTS-Minnesota scholarship.
  • Maya Sheikh completed a dual Master of Urban and Regional Planning (with a self-designed concentration in urban planning and health equity) and Public Health degree. She was awarded a WTS-MN Graduate Scholarship in April.

    “TPEC research and activities definitely helped me strengthen my interest in understanding the intersection of health and the design of our spaces and transportation networks,” Sheikh says. “Working alongside such dedicated researchers in the field at the U has been an excellent learning experience.”

    Sheikh supported research led by Adeel Lari and Frank Douma on the equity impacts of teleworking in the Twin Cities metro during the pandemic. “It's been a great experience to investigate such important topics,” she says. “Being able to understand how research questions and directions are formed, conduct interviews, perform data analyses, and go through the publication process (hopefully) has been so rewarding!”

    Sheikh also supported outreach to the TPEC Advisory Board. “Being able to see how leaders, experts, policymakers, and researchers in the field inform current and future research projects has been a neat peek behind the curtain,” she shares. “Working with the board is a good reminder that both the big picture and the fine details of each research project have big impacts in Minnesota.”

    Sheikh is continuing her work for TPEC this summer. “I hope to continue learning and working in the field of public health and transportation in Minnesota,” she adds. “If being on the TPEC team has taught me anything, it is that even leaders and experts in the field continue learning and growing.”

Mattie the graduate and fiance
Mattie Anders and fiancé at commencement in May.
  • Mattie Anders completed a Master of Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy degree with a Business Management minor.

    “TPEC brought tangible perspective into my studies at a policy school,” Anders says. “Researching and studying transportation infrastructure and economic stability phenomena in Minnesota not only shed light on how important it is to us, but it also gave me a snapshot into what the future may look like and why. My work with Tom Horan on medical device industry clusters helped us understand how private industry can drastically influence the greater good in our state, and how it relies on both hard and soft infrastructure to do so.”

    Anders was also working as an environmental planner at a civil engineering firm for the last two-plus years. “I will continue to work on projects that involve sustainable solutions in our built environment,” she says.