Student Success: Two WTI students join Professional Staff

When WTI hires and mentors great students, it is a win-win for the organization and for aspiring young professionals. WTI’s two most recent hires both started as part-time student employees while pursuing their undergraduate degrees at Montana State University.

New staff members Dani Hess (Left) and Kelley Hall (Right) ride bikes outside WTI offices in Bozeman, MT
New staff members Dani Hess (Left) and Kelley Hall (Right) ride bikes outside WTI offices in Bozeman, MT

Kelley Hall has been part of the WTI family since 2014. She started as a Student Administrative Assistant, staffing the front desk and helping out in the Business Office.  She progressively added more responsibilities, including assistance on various projects.  After graduating from MSU with a B.A. in Political Science, she joined WTI as a Research Assistant. She currently serves as a Project Assistant in the Road Ecology program, focusing on the Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Data Coordination project for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  In addition, she serves as a Research Associate for the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC), managing technology transfer activities and providing support to several projects on traffic safety culture, seat belt use, and underage drinking.

A native of Sheridan, Wyoming, Kelley moved to Bozeman in 2012 as an MSU freshman.  In addition to juggling her many responsibilities at WTI, she loves outdoor sports (both summer and winter) and photography.  Somehow, she has even found time to begin classes toward a Master’s in Public Administration!

Danielle (Dani) Hess was recently named a Project Assistant for mobility projects with the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center and the Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility.  Dani first joined WTI in February 2016 as a student assistant in the Mobility program, helping with community outreach for the Bozeman Commuter project and other local initiatives.  In early May, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Community Health (with Highest Honors!) from MSU and was promoted to a full-time WTI employee. She will now be able to continue her work on the Transportation Demand Management project with the City of Bozeman and the “pop-up” traffic calming projects on local roads.

Dani grew up in Helena, Montana, and has lived in Bozeman for the last five years.  When she is not encouraging people to walk, bike, or take the bus to work, you will probably find her enjoying the outdoors, most likely on her mountain bike.  This summer, she is looking forward to coaching kids with Bozeman Youth Cycling’s summer mountain biking program.

International Audience Attends CHSC Inaugural Symposium on Positive Culture

At the end of June, the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) hosted its first research symposium on the role of positive culture in promoting safe and healthy behaviors. Nearly 50 participants from across the country, and even from as far as American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, gathered in Bozeman, Montana for three days to learn about the latest best practices and research relating to transforming culture.

While CHSC staff, including Nic Ward, Jay Otto, Katie Dively, Kari Finley, Kelly Green, Annmarie McMahill, Jamie Arpin and Tara Kuipers, facilitated the symposium sessions, all participants were encouraged to actively participate and share knowledge. “Our attendees included health practitioners, safety professionals, prevention specialists, and advocates,” said Director Nic Ward; “we hope they gained a stronger understanding of what positive culture can do, and especially some communication skills and leadership strategies to integrate these principles into their daily work.”

More information about the Symposium is available on the CHSC website. Also, watch interviews with Nic Ward and Katie Dively that were featured in a news story on ABC Fox Montana.

CHSC Webinar: Leadership, Communication, and Integration – PCF Skills.

The Center for Health and Safety Culture will be hosting a free webinar to teach skills that advance prevention efforts. Three critical skills include prevention leadership, communication, and the integration of prevention strategies. Strong leaders create conditions in which people choose to be healthier and safer. Communication helps correct misperceptions, address cultural factors, and tell a new story about the community. Integration of efforts seeks to align and leverage strategies for greater impact. This webinar will provide an overview of each of these essential prevention skills.

If you were unable to attend this webinar CHSC hosts and training archive page where you can view recordings of previous trainings.

https://chsculture.org/outreach-events/webinars/

Center for Health & Safety Culture announces Symposium

The Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC) has announced the dates for its inaugural symposium.  From June 20-22, 2018, CHSC will host a symposium in Bozeman, Montana focused on “Exploring How Positive Culture Improves Health and Safety.” Attendees will learn about current research and best practices in transforming culture, by engaging in group discussion, listening to presentations in multiple formats, and creating knowledge together.  Additional information is available on the symposium website.

Safety Center Webinar: Achieving Safety Results by Addressing Behavioral Issues.

Rural transportation agencies are increasingly addressing safety in their planning areas and often adopt their state’s zero deaths concept to frame their transportation safety activities. To achieve this vision, planners identify not only infrastructure solutions, but also behavioral concerns, such as distraction, impairment, and unbelted drivers/occupants as major issues in rural regions. This free webinar by the National Center for Rural Road Safety will provide participants with information and resources on the role they can play to drive down fatalities and serious injuries through collaboration across the 4E’s, behavioral funding sources, and education campaigns. The webinar will be held Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. (Mountain Time). An expanded description and registration information is available here.
If you missed the opportunity to attend this or other previous Safety Center webinars, please visit the Archive page which lists all trainings and provides links to recordings of the webinar, presentation slides and other materials. https://ruralsafetycenter.org/training-education/safety-center-trainings/archived-safety-center-trainings/

MDT Highlights WTI Research in Fall Newsletter

Western Transportation Institute (WTI) research is prominently featured in Solutions, the research newsletter of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). Three projects that WTI researchers completed on behalf of MDT are highlighted in the current issue:

  • The lead story is an in-depth discussion of “Exploring Traffic Safety Citizenship,” research led by Jay Otto, Kari Finley, and Nic Ward of the Center for Health and Safety Culture.  Traffic safety citizenship is an approach to safety that aims to encourage everyone to behave in ways that support the safety of one another (such as reminding others to wear seat belts).  The goal of this project was to understand which aspects of culture help to predict engagement in these behaviors.
  • Identifying Disparities in Definitions of Heavy Trucks” summarized research by Yiyi Wang, Karalyn Clouser and graduate student Fahmid Hossain to clarify the myriad of state and federal regulations that affect truck drivers, trucking companies, and enforcement agencies. The team developed a useful handbook with charts and photographs to identify the types of vehicles and conditions that fall under specific regulatory guidelines.
  • For “Assessment of the Road Weather Information System (RWIS),” Levi Ewan and Ahmed Al-Kaisy conducted an in-depth review of MDT’s 73 RWIS stations to improve and guide future planning and operations efforts.  The findings addressed data and software needs, benefits and costs, and implementation guidelines.

Read the full MDT newsletter click here.

CHSC to Host First Symposium in 2018

The Center for Health and Safety Culture has  announced the dates for its inaugural symposium.  From June 20-22, 2018, CHSC will host a symposium in Bozeman, Montana focused on “Exploring How Positive Culture Improves Health and Safety.” Attendees will learn about current research and best practices in transforming culture, by engaging in group discussion, listening to presentations in multiple formats, and creating knowledge together.  Additional information is available on the symposium website.

 

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis: Research Published

Researchers from the Center for Health and Safety Culture have published a study in Transportation Research regarding driving under the influence of cannabis. “Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis (CUIC)” was authored by Nic Ward, Jay Otto, William Schell, Kari Finley and their research partners. In addition to identifying predictors, the article identifies strategies to address cultural perceptions about driving after using cannabis that may be effective in reducing these driving behaviors.

Citation: Ward, N., Otto, J., Schell, W., Finley, K., Kelley-Baker, T., and Lacey, J. (2017). Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. Volume 49 (August): pp 215-225.

Katie Dively Presents at National Prevention Conference

Katie Dively of the Center for Health and Safety Culture was invited to speak at the 30th National Prevention Conference in Anaheim, CA on September 12, 2017.  She presented the results of a recent CHSC study aimed at understanding safety citizenship and proposed strategies for increasing prosocial behaviors.  “Safety Citizenship” promotes the concept of instilling a sense of responsibility in everyone for enhancing the safety of others.