Jenny Benitez, who graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, was recently named the Pacific Southwestern Region Undergraduate Student of the Year.
During her time as an undergraduate, Benitez focused on the port industry, a major concern for Long Beach, home to one of the busiest container ports in the world and the second-busiest port in the U.S. behind neighboring Port of Los Angeles. As a research assistant at the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT), Benitez lent a hand on a wide range of projects on topics ranging from automation and workforce development to inland waterways and socioeconomic impact of ports. She also penned a number of articles for CITT’s editorial team, diving into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intermodal education programs and automating cargo handling equipment.
Her work at CITT persuaded Benitez to pursue a career in the transportation sector upon graduation. After watching the pandemic’s impact on supply chains, she grew curious about the relationship between economics and logistics. She followed this curiosity while writing a white paper on the pandemic’s impact on postsecondary supply chains and logistics educational programs.
Benitez currently works as a research assistant at the real estate and economic development firm RSG, and hopes to ultimately work as a transport economist.