Friends at TCI...
are you? This is Arthur from Northwestern University.
(For those of you who don't remember me, I should
say that I am so sad...)
has been almost a year since we enjoyed our cruise
trip. I hope everything goes well with you!
have been great so far, my parents came from China
to visit the U.S. for the first time, and I finally
received my Ph.D. degree! It has been a fruitful journey
over the past five years. Besides my Ph.D. work, I
have earned one M.S in Civil Engineering, and one
M.A. in Economics from Kellogg School of Management.
My initiatives to do 3 summer internships (Northwest
Airlines, CSX Corporation, and Roland Berger Strategy
Consultants) during my Ph.D study finally lead me
to my current job - Associate at Booz & Company
in Chicago Office.
best of all, for the past several years, I have you
guys. It was very fortunate of me to know you back
in 2008. I remembered that --
dumped me the very first time that we should have
met in 2008 for some crazy wife thing...
first day I saw him in person, he beat me t in a
is such a wonderful person who picked me up and
sent me off in Chattanooga, and great hawaii hola
shirt on cruise! I should say the police in SC is
not very nice as the only one ticket I got in my
life is in SC and the reason is that I drove 45
miles/hr in the middle of nowhere while the speed
limit is 30!
should say I hate Nathan, even though this guy is
handsome and awesome most of the time, for arranging
the golf game in that ridiculously weird course
to make me look so bad in front of Bill, and it
was raining so hard!
was a great moment to celebrate Anita's birthday
in Chattanooga's museum! Denny, Katie and Caci are
always willing to clean up my mess. Again, even
though I got a Ph.D., I still can't figure out how
Denny can create such a beautiful daughter, and
I should say now I have some confidence to have
an adorable daughter myself!!
felt so bad that I did not go to Denver to receive
my award, Wendy! Next time I am going there for
snowboarding, I am gonna call you for sure!
the end, I love you both, Mary and Gay, my charming
friends! New Orleans is a super awesome place, beignets,
jambalaya, gumbo, Po' boys and Italian Muffuletta
sandwiches, errrr, no wonder you are brilliant!
I just want to take this opportunity to say thank
you for all your help during my exploration of U.S.
culture. Even though my family are far away in China,
I feel TCI is as my second family and I will never
forget the meaningful discussions and joyful moments
we had together! I will miss you guys a lot!
is such a pity that I will start working and will
not be able to join you guys in Savannah in Mid-September,
however, the friendship lasts forever and please do
pass my regards to our friends and keep in touch,
OK? I am going to work in Chicago, my email address
will remain the same, and if you ever come to Chicago,
call me at 312-504-6177 for a drink!"
Arthur Zhang, Ph.D.
TCI Scholar: 2008, 209, 2010
Bill, the Scholarship Committee, & all our Friends
wanted to send you my sincere thanks for your generosity
in awarding me the TCI Valedictorian Scholarship Award
at the 87th annual conference in Chattanooga last
week. It is through your kindness and selflessness
that blind individuals like me can lead productive
and happy lives and achieve their dreams.
heard tidbits of my story and how I lost my eyesight,
but allow me to provide a little more information
to help you understand who you are helping through
your generous scholarship. I was sighted until 1998
when I endured a horrific airplane crash as a passenger
that forever changed my life. On June 1, 1998, I was
a 26-year-old pilot with 1,600 flight hours - flying
everyday, living my dream in aviation, was one week
away from interviewing with USAirways for a pilot
position, with a bright future ahead of me. The pilot
of our aircraft that day and the negligence that caused
my accident took away my future as a pilot - everything
I worked so hard for. I was dead-on-arrival at the
hospital when airlifted from the crash site, in a
coma for 20 days, the doctors found my left eye behind
my cheek bone, my right eye sustained severe optic
nerve damage and a fully developed catarac, my nose
was torn off, the roof of my mouth had to be re-attached,
my jaw was broken in 4 places, my left side was paralized,
both lungs were collapsed, I had 14 broken bones -
9 of which were in my face, a badly broken right leg
and ankle that now contains a metal rod and several
screws, and a brain injury I wouldn't wish on my worst
enemy. My face was re-built with bone from my hip
and titanium plates. Since the accident, I take 1500mg
of anti-seizure medicine a day to prevent seizures
(my last was in 2004). I have no memory of the last
six months of 1998. My life as I knew it was over
and I had to make some difficult life decisions.
biggest decision I made was to go on with life and
not give up. I was not going to sit in my parents'
home and feel sorry for myself. I began a long road
of recovery and rehabilitation. Through love and support
of family and friends and an unwavering strong Christian
faith, I overcame the worst time in my life.
2000, I became the first and only blind Advanced Ground
Instructor (AGI) I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree
in History from the University of North Carolina.
I was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina and lived
there before moving to Charlotte in 2001 to obtain
my undergraduate degree.
2005, I moved with my guide dog to Daytona Beach,
Florida to pursue my Graduate degree. In 2007, I became
the first blind graduate of Embry-Riddle Areonautical
University in their 84-year history. Aviation is a
sight-dominated industry and no other blind person
ever attended ERAU, the world's largest flight school.
I proudly earned my Master of Science in Aeronautics
degree with specializations in Aviation Safety and
Aviation Operations - and I did so with a perfect
4.0 GPA. I am now half-way complete with my PhD in
Business Administration with a specialization in Aeronautical
Safety. My current GPA is 3.96. I hope that you can
see that I am deeply devoted to my education and I
work extremely hard every day in my studies. I hope
that you are happy that I was selected to receive
this very special scholarship and I want to make you
all proud. My goal for the future is to obtain a full
time position in the aviation industry. Possibly with
the FAA, the NTSB, NASA - somewhere that I can contribute
to aviation safety and show people how the blind can
do what sighted people can do...just differently!
you again from the bottom of my heart. Without the
kindness and generosity of folks like you to help
me, I could not continue my education. My sole income
until I become employed is $599/month Social Security
Disability. Your scholarship will be applied towards
my tuition expense in my PhD program.
you allowing me to pursue my dreams and may God
richly bless you as He has blessed me! Nancy, Jet
and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all in Chattanooga
and I hope our paths cross again soon!"
Hyde and Jet (& Nancy)
years ago this summer I received my first TCI scholarship
and invitation to the annual TCI conference. After
leaving TCI conference in Houston in 2005, I knew
I started a long and rewarding relationship with TCI.
At that time I realized that the TCI scholarship is
so much more than a check for school.
has offered me a tremendous amount of professional
support. I have been included in the annual conferences
five times (2004-2008) and had access to TCI's discussion
f orums, weekly transportation news updates, and mentoring
program. Intellectually and financially, TCI has supported
me in gaining the knowledge in the area of supply
chain management and logistics that prepared me for
the rest of my life. TCI has been investing in my
future, and in future of many other TCI scholarship
recipients like me.
involved with TCI and its extensive international
transportation business network was one of the best
things that c ould ever happen to me. Thank you."
MS in Supply Chain Management
Broad College of Business
Michigan State University
TCI Scholarship is not offered through my university
nor it is publicized through the regular scholarship
listings students regularly use. It is, however, readily
accessible through Internet - if one searches the
right thing. What difference does that make? All of
it, and here's why.
When I first found out about the TCI Scholarship,
I was quite close to the point of dropping out of
university for the reason of not having enough means.
I was a low income single mom with straight A+ marks
in engineering - an ideal candidate for many of my
university's and national scholarships, as well as
government financial loans - all of which, with one
exception, I have failed to receive after three years
of applying for them (as of Summer of 2008) Why, I
am not sure, but it is the result that matters.
After losing faith in the official, university-promoted
ways to finance for my studies, I had to turn to my
only other option: the private scholarships offered
by non-government organizations. TCI is one of those
organizations. In their application, they mean what
they say and one does not need to search for hidden
agendas. They say that they want to support students
in the field of transportation - and this is precisely
what they do. As a result, their funds go to those
students that need it the most, the ones who have,
for one reason or another, been turned backs on.
What did the scholarship do for me? I don't need big
words to describe it, because it is self-evident.
It paid my entire Fall 2008 tuition.It allowed me
to stay in school. It gave me the much-needed refueling
to continue fighting for my degree. It supported my
faith that I am doing the right thing. It allowed
me to meet many wonderful people, all in my field.
It gave me a mentor in transportation. In sum, it
Today, I am proud to say that I have been much more
successful in my quest for finding financing for my
4th year of university. It is not a stretch to say
that this happened because I was supported at the
right time, by the right organization.
Now that I stated all the things that the TCI scholarship
was for me, it is time to say what it was not. It
was not extra money to pay for a skiing trip at Christmas
time. It was not an extra monthly payment for a new
ride. It was not spent on beer and parties. It did
not buy new shoes and purses so that I can look cool
at the University. None of the scholarships should
be used like that, but unfortunately some are. TCI's
scholarship is not.
I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with the
fact that the scholarship committee seems to be making
the most honest effort to support the right people,
and to put those money to its best use."
SK Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
Engineering Standards Branch
one of the TCI Scholarship has provided me with opportunities
to meet and network with dedicated, extraordinary
transportation professionals. My TCI mentor - Henri
Duhot - and everybody I met during the TCI conferences
have shared invaluable practical experiences with
me. I can't trade what I learned and what I am still
B. Keskin, Ph.D.
Information Systems, Statistics and
College of Commerce and Business Administration
The University of Alabama