Desjardins Scholarship

Scholarship Background

In December of 1999, the Thomas E. Desjardins Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by the New England Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (NEITE), and to date, over $87,000 has been raised to honor Tom’s memory and support this scholarship program.

About Thomas E. Desjardins

Tom Desjardins was an active member of the section and was well-liked by his peers.  He loved his family, his friends, and the engineering profession.  Tom’s heart was as big as his smile, and he possessed a passion and a competitive spirit that were infectious.  Tom grew up in Westminster, Massachusetts, where he captained both the football and baseball teams at Oakmont High.  He graduated from Northeastern University in 1990 and immediately started working full time in the Boston office of Vollmer Associates.  His passing at such an early age left our members and families with a void that was hard to fill.

The idea of coupling Tom’s love of sports with support for engineering students led to the establishment of the Thomas E. Desjardins Memorial Scholarship Fund.  The primary source of support for the Desjardins scholarships derives from the annual summer golf tournament, which has become a New England Section tradition.  It is followed in September by the awarding of two scholarships to qualified transportation engineering students from the region.

Tom’s family provides prodigious support for these endeavors.  In the spring Ron, Caroline, Shirley, and Pat make the trip from Western Massachusetts to join us at the annual golf tournament and in the fall to attend the annual meeting and meet the scholarship recipients.  Members of the section are grateful for these opportunities to share fond memories as mentors and colleagues and to hear stories from Tom’s family about his life growing up in Westminster.


The Scholarship Recipients

Over the past 17 years, 29 scholarships have been presented to dedicated and deserving engineering students.  Each year, we award a scholarship to one undergraduate and one graduate student in the field of transportation engineering.

  • 2016, Alyssa Ryan (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2016, Francis Tainter (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2015, Francis Tainter (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2015, Jing Ding (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2014, Joel Schaffer (Northeastern University)
  • 2014, Cole Fitzpatrick (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2013, Timothy G. Noordewier (University of Vermont)
  • 2013, David G. Champoux (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2012, Sarah Casey (Northeastern University)
  • 2012, Ian McKinnon (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2011, Radhameris Gomez (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2011, Alexander Lovejoy (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2010, Steven Tupper (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2010, Justin Curewitz (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
  • 2009, Karen Sentoff (University of Vermont)
  • 2009, Erica Swansen (Northeastern University)
  • 2008, Samuel W. Gregorio (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2008, Deanna Peabody (Univerisity of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2007, Arianna Mickee (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2007, Alex Normandin (University of New Hampshire)
  • 2006, Maaza Mekuria (Northeastern University)
  • 2006, Eric Jackson (University of Connecticut)
  • 2005, David Hurwitz (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • 2005, Nick Scenna (Merrimack College)
  • 2004, Michael Seluga (Northeastern University)
  • 2003, Emily Knapp (Northeastern University)
  • 2002, Michelle Langone (Northeastern University)
  • 2001, Jeff Gaeta (Northeastern University)
  • 2000, Michael A. Knodler, Jr. (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Annual Golf Tournament

Golf was one of Tom’s avocations. The New England Section felt that hosting an annual golf tournament was the most fitting way to pay tribute to him while helping to build the scholarship fund. The tournament is held annually in May or June and attracts nearly 100 golfers. Funds are also raised through donations.