Meet Our Rock-Star Interns!

The one thing that Lee Roy Selmon asked of his Expressway authority was to find a way to help and mentor the young people at the University of South Florida.  To that end, we came up with the Selmon STEM Scholarship program (S3). Each year, we give book scholarships to freshman, sophomore, junior and senior Engineering students and provide materials for and sponsor middle and high school students in the USF Engineering Expo Bridge Building Competition. We also offer paid internship opportunities for juniors and seniors majoring in engineering.

To find our interns, we attend the University of South Florida’s career fair to meet with students that are interested in the field of transportation and urban planning. We want students that are looking to learn more about our industry and, by being an intern at our company, to take their book learning into real-world applications.  These internship opportunities increase their educational opportunities and provide invaluable exposure to transportation careers.

Right now, we have two USF seniors who are working here at THEA as interns. They work with the THEA staff for at least 20 hours per week on a variety of projects, attend meetings, help us plan events, and are such a pleasure to be around.

Here are our two rock-star interns that are bravely and wholeheartedly diving into the exciting world of transportation here at THEA:

 

Judith Villegas

Judith is majoring in Electrical Engineering from the School of Electrical Engineering at the University of South Florida. She has been an intern with us since May 2017 and will be graduating this Spring.

Judith said she was drawn to THEA because of our community investment and involvement. Judith has been involved with projects that are socially focused like the Deputy John Kotfila Memorial Dog Park and has helped in the planning process for more pocket parks along the Selmon Greenway.

“The best thing about interning at THEA is the variety of the projects that they are involved in,” said Judith. “I have been able to work on engineering, transportation, business, and community improvement projects that have shown me the various sides of the transportation industry.”

Her most exciting project? She says working on the THEA Connected Vehicles (CV) Pilot Project and  traveling with our CV team to a conference in Montreal! Being one of only three test sites in the country for this innovative technology, Judith has gotten a unique experience by being involved in a project that could change the future of driving.

Thanks to Judith for all her hard work on every task she is given!

Carlos Armijo

Carlos is majoring in Civil Engineering from the School of Engineering at the University of South Florida and is set to graduate this year.

The first week Carlos was hired as a THEA intern was the same week as the 2017 SAE Automated Vehicle Event. Carlos got to be a part of public opinion event. a public event a first for the Expressway Authority.  He was able to see how people reacted to self-driving vehicles, got to talk with the engineers in charge of those vehicles, and actually ride in one too. It was an exciting way to begin his internship and Carlos has been involved in all kinds of projects since then.

“There is never a dull day at THEA,” says Carlos. “There are always so many projects going on that everyone pitches in!. The team here works like a family. Everyone is so nice and helpful and have provided me great mentorship during my time here.”

Carlos’ internship has given him a firsthand look at the project management process – from planning to operation and has allowed him to meet numerous professionals in the field.

 

We appreciate Judith and Carlos’ hard work and their contributions to the THEA team. We will miss them when they graduate this year but hope our mentorship has provided them a level of learning that only enriches the education they are getting as students at USF.

For more information on our Internship Program, visit https://www.tampa-xway.com/giving-back/

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