The Roger Tate Is Smiling Award
To be presented at the
23rd National Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference
September 30 - October 3, 2018
July 15, 2018
The Transportation Research Board’s Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee established the “Roger Tate Is Smiling Award” to honor individuals who, like Roger, have records of passionate, innovative, and unswerving commitment to improving transportation services in rural America.
Roger Frederick Tate, Jr. began working for the Federal Transit Administration in 1982 and rose to the position of Director of the Office of Research Management. Until his untimely death in 1996, he kept the needs of rural transit before U.S. Department of Transportation leadership and others who could, and did, make a difference in funding, education and training, legislation, and administrative action. His vision did not stop with public transportation, but stretched to the host of human service programs that require transportation to fulfill their promise, such as Medicaid, job training, senior care, and Head Start, to name only a few.
Roger can be considered both a pioneer for and founding father of the National Rural Transit Assistance Program and the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility. When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, he recognized the need to help transit systems understand its implications and opportunities. He played a key role in the formation of Project ACTION which reaches out to transit properties and communities to train and educate customers and transit providers about their rights and responsibilities. In all of these diverse arenas for action, he surely and subtly made things happen. He did not need to be on center stage. Often declining public speaking roles, he preferred to be doing good, not taking bows.
Roger was also a willing mentor to many: to newcomers to the transportation profession, to young people who were at risk of making bad decisions during their teen years, and to adults who were considering taking their life instead of living it to its potential.
Roger gave many people reason to smile and many rural transit programs a future. His legacy, the focus of this award, is to recognize persons in rural transportation who also have given many people reason to smile and who have improved the future of rural transit programs.
To be eligible to receive the Roger Tate Is Smiling Award, a person must be involved in public, intercity bus, or human services transportation in rural communities in planning, administration, operations, education and training, or research and demonstrations. Involvement can be at the local, state, or federal/national level in public or private sectors.
Qualifications for the award the person demonstrates are:
- A passionate commitment to improving rural transportation opportunities and operations.
- The ability to recognize needs and problems and come up with innovative ideas and solutions.
- A record of at least one major contribution to improved or expanded rural transit services or programs.
- The skill to positively influence federal, state and/or local leaders to support rural transit programs through legislation, agreements, education, training.
- A dedication to mentor and advise others.
- The capacity to lead, regardless of public recognition.
THE NOMINATION PROCESS
No specific nomination format is required, but nominations should, at a minimum, include a description of how the nominee meets or exceeds each of the qualifications mentioned above. Specific examples are very helpful and supporting materials from the nominator or others are welcome. Please provide a name, title, and complete contact information for the nominee.Provide the name and contact information of the individual submitting the nomination.
Nominations may be submitted to a designated contact person on the Transportation Research Board’s Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee by any person or group involved in rural public, intercity bus, or human services transportation. For 2018, nominations should be submitted by email to Jon Burkhardt at this address: JonBurkhardt@comcast.net.
Nominations for 2018 due no later than July 15, 2018.
The Roger Tate Is Smiling Award selection committee will be established bi-annually by TRB’s Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee. Committee members nominated for the award may not serve on the selection committee. A representative of TRB will review the nominations received by the deadline and will advise the Committee if any members of the selection committee have been nominated.