California Department of Transportation


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The Research Connection


Ms. Donna Maurillo
Ms. Donna Maurillo
Communications and Special Projects Director

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM, Ms. Donna Maurillo presented "The Garrett Morgan Program."

Ms. Donna Maurillo is currently the Communications and Special Projects Director at the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI). She joined MTI in December 2007 to oversee the Institute’s communications and special projects. Her tasks include promoting MTI’s surface transportation policy research and managing any non-grant research projects. She also manages MTI’s annual report, Web site, and collateral publications, along with the Garrett Morgan Symposium.

Donna has a lifelong career in public relations, having been employed by several PR agencies and high technology companies in the Silicon Valley. Before that, she consulted in corporate communications for 20 years, and she was part of the team that launched the political career of former California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson.

She earned her BA degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she delivered the commencement address. Currently, she is taking courses to earn her Master of Science degree in Transportation Management.

Donna is a magazine writer and photographer, as well as a food columnist and travel correspondent for a daily newspaper. She resides in Scotts Valley, California.

Topic Description: "The Garrett Morgan Program"

The purpose of the Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation for the 21st Century Program is to harness kids’ imaginations and get them interested in math and science, perhaps leading to careers in transportation. MTI has created a program which is a complementary element of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program.
Here’s how it works: Each year members of the MTI Board of Trustees sponsor middle school classes for a sustainable transportation study unit. The curriculum is developed by faculty at San José State University’s College of Education, and it includes a class or team project. The sponsoring agency contacts the school or teacher, arranges delivery of the workbooks, and provides the videoconference facility. Then the students and teachers create a sustainable transportation project based on what they’ve learned. The project is presented at a national videoconference competition featuring the U.S. Transportation Secretary and other transportation leaders.

Please click here for the presentation slides.