In March, Alan Wulkan, managing partner for HDR|InfraConsult, donated $50,000 to fund a new scholarship that will be known as the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) Business Member/Janie Wulkan Memorial Scholarship, in honor of his wife who died last summer.
“At our Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) meeting last January, I learned the BMBG, who had three funded scholarships in our program, had not done anything as far as the name or how to recognize somebody with the third scholarship,” explained Wulkan. “It then occurred to me that I had a unique opportunity, if the BMBG was interested, of matching that $50,000, because Janie loved the BMBG. We never missed a meeting, and frankly, she was as much a part of the BMBG as I was.”
The end result is the APTF’s first-ever $100,000 endowed scholarship. Wulkan explained, since it is in his wife’s name, the recipients of the scholarship will be women.
“I have always been committed to trying to open our industry up to women, minorities and others who have not traditionally had management or upper level opportunities in our transit industry,” he said. “What we are targeting this toward are women who are going to school to study in some field that could lead to a career in public transit. It’s one small step, but it’s something I have always felt strongly about.”
The mission of the APTF, the charitable affiliate of the American Public Transportation Association, is to increase and retain the number of young professionals entering the public transportation field as a career to sustain growth and improvement throughout the industry. The foundation does this by providing scholarships, fellowships, transit education, and research programs for students and professionals involved in or entering the public transportation field as a career.
Since its inception, APTF has awarded more than 65 scholarships.