Welcome back to the SafeTREC Spotlight Series where we highlight a SafeTREC team member and share their stories, work and interest in the transportation and safety research realm. In today's post, meet Katherine Gosselin, Research Analyst.
Can you share a little bit about yourself and your role at SafeTREC?
I moved to the Bay Area from Hartford, CT in August 2019 to do my M.S. in Transportation Engineering at UC Berkeley shortly after completing my B.S.E. in Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut. I began working at SafeTREC in January 2020 as a Graduate Student Researcher and upon graduating in May 2020, I was thrilled to be able to stay at SafeTREC as Policy and Program Analyst.
What sparked your interest in transportation safety research?
I failed my driver’s license exam not once, but twice, in high school and was not interested in trying again for some time after. Luckily for my twin sister, I was out of the running for access to the family car for a while. So, I started walking and biking as a means of transportation instead. And when I was out walking and biking, in a culture and built environment that prioritized driving, I became very aware of my own vulnerability as a road user. Despite that vulnerability and despite finally passing my driver’s license exam sometime later, I grew to love walking and biking as my primary mode of transportation. This personal interest developed into an academic interest as I progressed in my civil engineering degree and I soon became fairly involved with all things transportation at UConn. But it really was not until after I volunteered with the Center for Latino Progress Transport Hartford Academy doing safety data analysis that I found my passion for traffic safety. I choose not to drive to this day, and the joys and challenges associated with that continue to motivate me to study how walking and biking can be safer and more accessible for all.
What current projects are you working on at SafeTREC?
Mainly I am a part of a team developing traffic safety vlogs. As a team, we generally start by brainstorming traffic safety topics to dive deeper into, conduct background research, and outline the videos. Then we start filming, interviewing experts, editing video and audio, and finally publish them to the SafeTREC YouTube channel. I had very little experience with video creation going into this project and so it has been really fun (and challenging) working through the creative process and learning how to use video editing software.
What issues are you particularly interested or passionate about?
I am interested in transportation and how it relates to the environment, to social justice, and to people’s quality of life, particularly in the context of technological innovation. History shows that progress has consequences, often unjust ones. So, I am a firm believer that the proper measure of progress is not advancement or innovation alone, but rather how innovation enriches society. I am very interested in researching transportation innovations through the lens of their ability to enrich society.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have been quite the hobby hopper in the pandemic. My latest project has been learning to quilt. More consistently, I have really enjoyed walking to the local basketball courts to shoot (and miss) some hoops.
This Spotlight interview was conducted in collaboration with UC Berkeley SafeTREC. The opinions and perspectives expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of SafeTREC.