Student Leadership

Bonnie Fan

Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow

Bonnie’s interest in urban life, transit, and technology began brewing during her time as an Economics major at the University of Chicago.  She saw the developmental and infrastructure challenges of the  South  Side’s  lower  income and non- white neighborhoods, and also began taking an interest in the entrepreneurship world, particularly with regards to Chicago’s unique bootstrap community and openness to new social solutions. After getting her degree, Bonnie joined the Chicago Transit Authority’s Performance Management team. During this time, she worked with new data systems for service optimization and manpower management and created a new data team as a data scientist.  She would like to continue to investigate new methods of mobility, including through computer vision and other machine learning applications to transportation systems data, the challenges and realms of autonomous vehicles, or the worlds opened up through clever uses of sensors.  Bonnie sees the Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Data Analytics Track giving her an opportunity to solidify a foundation in both policy and data with application to new mobility technology and its solutions and impact on transportation.    

Carlee Benhart

Women in Transportation fellow

Carlee developed an interest in smart transportation, urban infrastructure, and transportation equity during her time studying Regional Planning at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While pursuing her degree, she undertook internships with the Indiana County (PA) Office of Planning and Development where she worked as the Indiana County WalkWorks community liaison to address the challenges of introducing alternative transportation infrastructure, and with Quaker Valley Council of Governments in Allegheny County, where she served as manager of an pilot online geographic information systems implementation for the rollout of a new municipal property and structure condition assessment. After graduating, Carlee maintained her professional relationship with the Quaker Valley Council of Governments to work on the Route 65 Corridor Study Multi-Municipal Project as a research intern.

She would like to incorporate a synthesis of technical and social science methods to improve the equity of all types of mobility. Upon completion of graduate school, Carlee hopes to work to improve the accessibility and integration of a spectrum of transportation modes with humans and the built environment. She is excited for the opportunity to hone her knowledge and skills in Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Public Policy and Management program, and to continue her academic career in transportation planning and smart mobility as a Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow.


Allanté Whitmore

Mobility21 Diversity Fellow

Allante Whitmore is a Ph.D. Candidate for Civil and Environmental Engineering at CMU. Originally from Detroit, Allante received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, and her Master’s degree in the same field from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to CMU, Allante was a supervisor for the McNair Scholars program in Detroit, where she worked with first generation or underrepresented undergraduate students preparing them for doctoral studies through research. As Mobility21’s first Diversity Fellow, Allante is excited to learn more about connected and automated vehicles, particularly through the lens of public policy. Read more about Allanté’s story.

Rachel Simms

Photo of Rachel Simms

Rachel’s passion for equitable transportation began during her time in the Peace Corps where she was able to witness how infrastructure (or lack thereof) can alter the course of an individual’s life – from education, to health, to employment.  She holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obsipo and is pursuing her master’s degree in Public Policy and Management through Carnegie Mellon’s accelerated D.C. track.  She is passionate about responsible urban development and sees equitable transportation as being a crucial component.  She currently works with Novogradac Consulting in Washington D.C., specializing in community development tax credits.  Rachel is excited to research, learn, and discuss with others how public transportation can become innovative, efficient, and accessible to all.


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