2014 Student of the Year

The ATLAS Center supports an annual Student of the Year Program to recognize student achievement. One student from each institution will be selected through a competitive process and the winning students will receive a stipend and support to travel to the CUTC and TRB meetings held in Washington, DC each January.

2014 Student of the Year


Douglas Roehler, MPHearned his Master of Public Health from the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and is currently a first-year doctoral student in the same department. As part of his current research experience, he is part of the Young Driver and Injury Prevention Group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. His research interests include reducing health inequalities generally, and injury prevention specifically, all through a behavioral change lens.

After earning his MPH, Douglas served for two years as a public health contractor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. He focused on global injury prevention issues, mainly global road safety and researched injury prevention in Botswana, China, Cambodia, Thailand, South Africa, Uganda, as well as domestically. His primary role at CDC was to evaluate the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative in Uganda and Cambodia—a motorcycle helmet health intervention; additionally, Douglas was heavily involved in the evaluation of the injury surveillance systems in Cambodia and Thailand.

In the future, he hopes to continue to expand his research agenda beyond injury prevention and focus more on addressing health inequalities. He will continue researching innovative behavioral based interventions to ensure all populations can live, work, and play in a safe and equitable manner.

Student of the Year Runners Up


Joseph B. Bayer is a doctoral candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. He received his Bachelor’s in psychology, history, and neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. His doctoral research focuses on how people self-regulate their social and mobile media behavior.  Joe works closely with the Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), Emotion and Self-Control Lab, and Media Psychology Lab at the University of Michigan, and the Communication Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.

One of the primary goals of this line of inquiry is to understand how new technologies impact health relevant outcomes, with an emphasis on distracted driving. His early research in this domain has been published in Computers in Human Behavior and the upcoming Routledge book Media and Social Life. He has also reviewed a book for Science that compared automotive transportation and mobile communication technology. In doing so, this work has attempted to lay a foundation to bridge communication theory and transportation research.

Joe’s future applied research goals include testing cognitive, social, and technological strategies to help people self-regulate their media use, with the hope of curbing dangerous tendencies like texting while driving. For his dissertation, Joe plans to consider how both cognitive processes (such as habits, impulsivity, mindfulness, etc.) and social processes (such as norms, expectations, network structure, etc.) contribute to the changing nature of interaction in society.


Katelyn Klein is a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan and a graduate student research assistant in the Biosciences group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. She earned B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to her PhD work, she was a research assistant and Marian Sarah Parker Scholar in the Biosciences group at UMTRI and a research assistant in the Biomechanics Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

Katelyn received several scholarships including an Engineering Scholarship of Honor from the College of Engineering at U of M for her four years of undergraduate work and a Biomedical Engineering Departmental Fellowship for her PhD work. She is a member of The Epeians (an engineering leadership honor society), Tau Beta Pi, and the Society of Women Engineers.

Katelyn’s main research interest is injury biomechanics, and her dissertation focuses on the effects of occupant characteristics on lower extremity injuries in frontal motor-vehicle crashes and parametric finite element modeling of human occupants in crashes. Her future plans include defending her dissertation and graduating in December 2014. Katelyn plans to continue work in the injury biomechanics field after she graduates.

Douglas 2 - Student of the Year Douglas and ATLAS Team 1 Douglas and David Eby Katelyn and David Eby KatelynKatelyn and ATLAS Group 1Joseph Joseph and ATLAS Team 1 Joseph and David EbyStudent of Year Group 3 Student of Year Group 2

The ATLAS Center is a collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M) Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and Texas A&M Transportation Institute