Car Pride, Bus Shame: 2017 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Joanna Moody and Rafael Pereira

Formed in memory of Lee Schipper, founder of EMBARQ, the scholarship is awarded annually to advance the field of sustainable mobility. Photo by Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil/ Flickr

The Lee Schipper family and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities are pleased to announce that Joanna Moody and Rafael Pereira have been selected to receive the 2017 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship.

Joanna Moody will explore “car pride” and attitudes toward sustainable transportation to better understand personal choice of transport modes. She aims to measure how people attribute their social status and personal image to car ownership and other transportation choices to inform future sustainable transportation planning and policymaking.

Rafael Pereira’s research will investigate the impact of transport investments on existing inequalities in public access to economic opportunities. Pereira will focus his research on Rio de Janeiro and develop a model to evaluate access to educational, health and employment opportunities that can be applied to other cities in developing countries.

Meet the Recipients

The Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship was established in 2012 to celebrate the EMBARQ founder and recognized researcher Lee Schipper’s vision and contributions to the fields of sustainable transport and energy efficiency. The scholarship awards two extraordinary candidates up to $10,000 to advance transformative research in efficient and sustainable transport.

Winning proposals will advance the field through contributions to data collection, problem diagnosis, policy analysis and comparative analysis. The scholarship is international in nature and open to researchers and students of all fields.

“This support will allow me to expand data collection on ‘car pride,’ ‘bus shame’ and other modal biases in two cities in Latin America, allowing for greater regional breadth in comparing strength, direction and distribution of modal biases in global metropolitan areas,” said Moody. “By sharing my results, I hope to help policymakers and academics shape sustainable transportation initiatives and campaigns to encourage users to adopt active, multi-modal travel lifestyles.”

Pereira’s work will focus on Rio. “The award will greatly contribute to my research by allowing me to harness the capabilities of GPS data to evaluate how transport investments related to recent sports mega-events have reshaped inequalities in people’s access to opportunity,” said Pereira.

“We are extraordinarily excited to award scholarships to two such outstanding researchers,” said Holger Dalkmann on behalf of the scholarship board. “Both Ms. Moody’s and Mr. Pereira’s research have the potential to adjust how we think about developing sustainable transit systems and how we can effectively encourage shifts in public behavior to take full advantage of such systems.”

A Vision Continued

The 2017 scholarship received a total of 61 applications, representing 19 different countries. After the review committee carefully evaluated the applicants, nine finalists were selected to submit full research proposals. From this group of nine, two finalists, Moody and Pereira, were selected to be interviewed.

Moody and Pereira will present the findings of their research in January 2018, at the annual Transforming Transportation conference in Washington, DC. Their final research reports will also be made available in the spring of 2018.

In addition to this year’s two awardees, Kelly Blynn, Diana Ramirez-Rios, Prateek Bansal, Rumana Islam Sarker, Jamey Volker and Lindsay Blair Howe have been designated as honorable mentions, in recognition of their top-tier proposals.

Lee Schipper dedicated his professional life to the efficient use of energy in mobility. He was an international physicist, researcher and musician who co-founded EMBARQ in 2002. Under his direction, EMBARQ expanded into Mexico, China, India and beyond, as he pushed to incorporate data-driven solutions to meet transport challenges. EMBARQ become a signature initiative of WRI in 2014.

He Schipper inspired and shaped the thinking of a generation of students and professionals, and was widely recognized for challenging conventional wisdoms within the field of sustainable transport. This scholarship not only celebrates his unique vision, but also helps propel those who are carrying on his work.

For more information about Lee Schipper and how to donate to the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship, please visit

Matthew Kessler-Cleary is the Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy and Global Policy of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

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