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2015 Scholar

EMBARQ, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’ sustainable urban mobility initiative, and the Lee Schipper family are pleased to announce Gwen Kash has been selected to receive the fourth annual Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship. 

Established in 2012, the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship celebrates EMBARQ founder Dr. Lee Schipper’s vision and contributions to sustainable transport and energy. Last year’s recipients – Erik Vergel-Tovar and Madeline Brozen – studied the relationship between BRT ridership and the built environment and the design of complete streets, respectively. 

The 2015 scholarship received a total of 73 applications from 15 countries. After careful review from an evaluation committee, 10 finalists were selected to submit detailed proposals and timelines. The evaluation committee selected Gwen Kash from the pool of finalists, who was then approved by the Scholarship Board, composed of Sam Zimmerman from the World Bank, Nancy Kete from the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. S. Sundar from the Energy and Resources Institute, Judith Pollock from the Shell Foundation, Holger Dalkmann from EMBARQ, and Ramon Munoz-Raskin on behalf of the Schipper family.  

Kash’s research will focus on quality of service in Latin American bus systems 
Kash will be examining the social sustainability of Latin American bus reforms, focusing on TransMilenio in Bogotá and Soacha, Colombia, Bus Sariri in El Alto, Bolivia, and PumaKatari in La Paz, Bolivia.  In particular, she will be analyzing issues related to quality of service—like crowding and crime—that affect many formal and informal transit systems.  She hopes that her research will help support cities worldwide implement and operate transport systems that are environmentally stable and materially improve the daily lives of individual users. Read more about Kash’s work on TheCityFix. 

“I am so, so honored to have been chosen to represent Dr. Schipper’s legacy,” Kash said. “Because of Dr. Schipper and his colleagues, we have made enormous strides in the environmental sustainability of transport systems around the world.  However, with some of the greenest systems facing crises due to user dissatisfaction, it’s important to address the importance of social sustainability and how we can better balance system-wide goals with users’ everyday needs.  The sustainable transport community is doing so much good, and we can do better.  I hope I can help make that happen.” 

The Lee Schipper Legacy 
Lee Schipper dedicated his professional life to the efficient use of energy in mobility. The forward-thinking challenges to conventional wisdom he contributed to the field of energy efficiency were priceless. This scholarship not only celebrates his unique vision, but also helps propel those who are carrying on his work. By supporting individuals who are continuing Lee’s work to enrich international policy dialogue in the fields of sustainable transport and energy efficiency, we can ensure that the effort toward creating a more sustainable future keeps, and gains, momentum. The announcement of the 2015 scholarship comes just after the four-year anniversary of Lee’s passing. 

About the Scholarship 
The scholarship awards two extraordinary candidates up to USD 10,000 each to advance transformative research in efficient and sustainable transport. Winning proposals will advance the field through iconoclastic contributions to data collection, problem diagnosis through data evaluation, policy analysis stemming through this evaluation and a comparative analysis across disciplines and international boundaries. The scholarship is international in nature, and is open to researchers and students of all national origins and fields. 

About Dr. Lee Schipper 
Dr. Lee Schipper was an international physicist, researcher and musician who co-founded EMBARQ in 2002. Under his direction, EMBARQ expanded into Mexico, China, India, and beyond as he pushed to incorporate data driven solutions to meet transport challenges. Dr. Schipper passed away in 2011. His influence reached across the globe as he participated in panels, studies, acted as an advisor and consultant, and served on the board of several institutions. He inspired and shaped the thinking of a generation of students and professionals, and was widely recognized for challenging conventional wisdoms within the field of sustainable transport. In addition to his work, Dr. Schipper was known for his energy, charm, endless curiosity and interests ranging from history to art to music. The scholarship was created by the Schipper Family and EMBARQ, sustainable urban mobility by WRI, with cooperation from leading scholars and policy makers, and is made possible by donations from individual donors as well as an instrumental grant from the Shell Foundation.