Congratulations to ITS Berkeley Executive Assistant to the Director Helen Bassham and Transportation Sustainability Research Center Research and Development Engineering Elliot Martin for receiving Vice Chancellor of Research Spot Awards!
Bassham is recognized for her efforts and accomplishments over the past seven years serving the former ITS Berkeley Director Alexandre Bayen. Bassham exemplifies the best in all of the Achieve Together criteria:
- Expert in her job and continues to learn and grow all the time.
- Goals are always a moving target and yet manages to meet them all.
- Collaborates with colleagues within the Institute, contacts elsewhere on campus, and external partners.
- Active participation and input in weekly ITS management team meetings leads to collaborative solutions.
- Collegial and supportive attitude helps other staff with their work and sense of community.
- Proactively shares knowledge and mentors others.
- Constantly looking for ways to simplify and seeks out innovative and efficient solutions.
In addition, Bassham has supported implementation of the ITS anti-racism action plan and other diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the Institute. She has shown an extreme care to see processes through and to ensure their thoroughness. In her approach to scheduling meetings, preparing for events, editing documents, etc., she leaves absolutely no room for ambiguity, going the extra mile to check with people in person, by phone, by email, etc. securing confirmation, and ensuring quality control by leaving folks enough time to verify the work is done well.
“I have been amazed at how smoothly she has made things work for the ITS leadership, always making sure that things would fall in place,” says Bayen. “Helen is one of the souls of ITS, her immense accumulated knowledge has shaped the institute over the years, as one of the central hubs of our operations. She deserves a significant acknowledgement of all the energy she has put in the institute for all of us.”
Dr. Elliot Martin served as the technical lead for the evaluation of the Federal Transit Agency’s (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Program. The MOD Sandbox was a series of 11 pilot projects funded by the FTA to test innovations for improving mobility within selected public transit systems across the country. He played a central role in the technical design and implementation of the MOD Sandbox Evaluations. He proposed the original hypotheses, designed the data structures, developed surveys, and led the analysis of many data different types across the projects.
Martin engaged with each of the participating public transit agencies on evaluation planning, data design, and data collection. He also led supporting staff and students on the analysis and writeup that contributed to each evaluation report. This led to collaborative opportunities with several staff members and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in research. The evaluation results have enabled the FTA and the broader public to better understand the impacts and lessons learned from each of the projects.
Furthermore, the structure and procedures that were developed for the MOD Sandbox evaluations have been used as a model for subsequent federal and state evaluations exploring the impact of the latest generation of pilot projects testing innovations within California and across the country.
“The continued work of Dr. Martin on these and other evaluations will serve to expand our public knowledge of project performance as well as open new opportunities for students and staff to contribute to research,” says TSRC Co-director Susan Shaheen.