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NOCoE Announces the Six Candidates Selected for the New Fellowship Program for TSMO Professionals


NOCoE Announces the Six Candidates Selected for the New Fellowship Program for TSMO Professionals

As a major component of NOCoE’s Workforce Campaign, the TSMO Fellowship Program will provide these entry and mid-level TSMO professionals with opportunities to increase their knowledge in support of their long-term career growth.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2020 – The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE), has announced the six Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) professionals who have been selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of NOCoE’s new TSMO Fellowship Program. These candidates were chosen for their diverse backgrounds in transportation and aspirations to transfer TSMO knowledge to the rest of the industry.

The Fellowship Program is a direct response to the TSMO transportation industry’s calls for programs to assist the next generation of practitioners. A major element of NOCoE’s Workforce Campaign, the Fellowship Program will help support participants’ short and long-term career goals while building soft skills including interpersonal communications, writing and media interactions, that go beyond technical analysis and basic presentations.

The Fellowship candidates are:

  1. Murad Al Qurishee - Graduate Transportation Associate (GTA), Tennessee DOT
  2. Joshua Byrd - Data Specialist, Virginia DOT
  3. Chester Osborne - Superintendent of Operations Management, Massachusetts DOT
  4. Drew Sorenson - Highway Engineer, Graduate Engineer Development Program, Indiana DOT
  5. Jacob Whitfield - Signal Operations Engineer, Washington State DOT
  6. Austin Yates - TSMO Engineer, Iowa DOT

The Fellowship Program originated from industry requests to develop Individual Development Plans (IDPs) that could be used as part of human resources initiatives to identify TSMO training and development opportunities for staff. The effort began with NOCoE creating a pilot Fellowship Program over a year ago featuring Courtney Sell, region analysis and field assessment engineer from Washington State DOT, who was the first fellow and is also included in this inaugural cohort. Because of her great success and response to the fellowship, NOCoE decided to expand the program.

NOCoE Managing Director Patrick Son said, “This a really fascinating group of people and I couldn’t be more excited to get to know them and help them on their TSMO journey. They are the future of TSMO as well as the ambassadors we need to promote efficiency and safety on our roadways.”

The program will formally begin in June 2020 and will run until May 2021, and will be built around three phases: 

  • Identify and Planto ensure their training and developmental experiences align with their current job and overall career goals
  • Develop and Connect
  • Promote and Celebrate

Son concluded, “We know from talking to TSMO leaders that soft skills are in high demand and are usually what propels careers. This Fellowship Program will build those skills among our participants, increase their knowledge and add value to their existing jobs. Congratulations to all of them on being selected.”

To learn more about the TSMO Fellowship Program, click here.

About the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE)

The mission of NOCoE is to empower the TSMO community to succeed by building its knowledge, skills and abilities. NOCoE supports practitioners who operate the nation’s transportation management systems, by connecting them with best-practices and experts to save lives, time and money. Born of a partnership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), we serve those in state departments of transportation, regional planning organizations, municipalities, local agencies as well as private sector organizations. For more information, please visit


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