MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – John M. Mason Jr., former Penn State Harrisburg chancellor and an alumnus of the college, is the 2023 recipient of the W.N. Carey Jr. Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the National Academies Transportation Research Board (TRB). Mason is being recognized for his more than 40 years of service to TRB and for his commitment to creating knowledge through research.
The Carey Award — named in honor of W.N. Carey Jr., TRB’s executive director from 1967 to 1980 — recognizes individuals who have given leadership and distinguished service to TRB. The award will be presented on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, during the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Mason began serving as chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg in 2018. He stepped down from the post in October 2023 and is now a special adviser to the interim chancellor until his retirement at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.
Mason began his volunteer service to TRB in 1982 on the former Standing Committee on Geometric Design, which he later chaired and was ultimately recognized with Emeritus Member status in 2001. During the past 40 years, Mason has been a member, vice-chair, or chair of 10 standing technical committees or task forces as well as being a chair or member of more than 20 National Cooperative Highway Research Program panels. He has also served on several policy study committees, including in 1997 as a member of the committee that produced guidance to state and local government on appropriate methods of setting speed limits and related enforcement strategies.
Mason has received numerous awards and recognitions in his more than 50 years in transportation engineering and research profession including the Penn State Harrisburg Alumni Achievement Award from the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. He is also the recipient of the Institute of Transportation Engineers' Wilbur S. Smith Distinguished Transportation Educator Award for outstanding achievements in the education and mentoring of students in the field of transportation, and the Theodore M. Matson Award for contributions through research, adaptation to practice and the advancement of the profession via training and administration. Mason was named a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's National Research Council in 2011.
Mason received his associate degree in engineering from The Pennsylvania State University-Allentown, a bachelor’s degree in transportation from Penn State Harrisburg, a master’s degree in transportation engineering from Villanova University, and doctorate in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.