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e-News June, 2011

e-News June, 2011

| Message From The Chair | Student Activites | Department News | Alumni In Action


Image of Tony SongerGreetings from the Department of Construction Management. We have had an incredible Spring! Great successes at the RENO competition, the 30th Anniversary celebration, student and faculty awards and activities, and the Alumni Golf tourney have kept CM very VERY Busy. The CM Department was also recognized as one of the top 20 CM Departments in the U.S. by

Comings and goings include the return of Rebecca Mirsky to our Faculty and the departure of Tom Woodall to a senior consultant position with Jacobs. Rebecca rejoined us this spring after 1 ½ years in Hawaii. Rebecca will be teaching our statics and mechanics, concrete formwork, equipment operations, and green building courses. She’ll also be leading our preparation for accreditation, which occurs in the spring of 2013. It is great having her back.

Tom has spent the past 6 years on the CM team. His primary responsibilities included teaching our equipment operations class and leading our Reno competition efforts. I know he is excited at the opportunity to get back to project sites. We wish him the best of luck.

As I reflect on the past and look toward the future of the Department, one thing is very clear. It is the common commitment to excellence and the caring relationship among the faculty, staff, alumni and industry that makes BSU CM so very special.

I hope you enjoy the information included in this issue. Please feel free to provide comments and/or content for future issues.

Have a great summer.

Tony Songer



CMA Student Organization

Image of students with their replica of Kamkwamda's windmillImage of students with their replica of Kamkwamba's windmillThe AGC student chapter, Construction Management Association (CMA), was awarded the co-student organization of the year by the ASBSU.

One of CMA’s marquee projects this past semester was a collaboration with the Engineer’s without Borders (EWB) student chapter. CMA and EWB organized and hosted a University wide windmill construction project. The event complimented the University’s required freshman reading of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. CMA and EWB built a replica of Kamkwamba’s windmill as a model and then invited student teams from all over campus to build smaller versions.


Sigma Lambda Chi

Sigma Lambda Chi participated in Boise State University’s “Service Saturday” events on April 16th. Activities started bright and early, and after a light breakfast, the honor society helped hand out fliers about upcoming activities for the Central Bench Neighborhood Association (CBNA). The CBNA is working to revive one of Boise’s oldest communities, and SLC delivered over 300 fliers to Central Bench residents to help the efforts!

Thanks to SLC and Steve Christ, Safety Director for the Idaho Associated General Contractors, ten Boise State CM students are newly First Aid, AED, and CPR certified. Feedback from these classes was great; everyone really enjoyed them. They said Steve did a great job. It was a very enlightening class and everyone who took it was glad they got certified.

On March 24, Sigma Lambda Chi hosted the first installment of ‘Contractor Night’. The purpose of Contractor Night is to allow the SLC members a chance to get face-to-face with the local contractors and ask questions about the local construction industry and about these specific companies. It also gives the contractors a chance to meet SLC members in an informal setting, to get to know one another, and network to set the students up for future careers. This year Contractor Night kicked off by welcoming ESI Construction. Jan-Erik Peterson of ESI came in and talked about his history in the industry and how he became one of the Construction Directors at ESI. The meeting occurred in the Student Union Building in a very informal, table and chair setting over catered dinner. This first installment turned out to be a success for both the Sigma Lambda Chi members and ESI. If you are interested in your company being involved in an upcoming Contractor Night please contact Bill Mincks at



RENO Competition

Image of team that placed at the ASC student competition with trophy Image of team that placed at the ASC student competition Image of team that placed at the ASC student competition with check

The 2011 ASC Region 6&7 and open student competition held Feb 16-19 in Reno NV was another great event in the life of BSU CM. 1100 students from 43 Universities participated in the competition. BSU CM had over 80 Faculty, staff, and students participated in this years competition. 10 teams, yes 10!, competed in problem areas to include; BIM, Commercial, Concrete Solutions, Design-Build, Heavy Civil, LEED, Marine, Multi-Family, Pre-construction, and Risk. The hard work and commitment by students, industry coaches, advisors, and staff support paid off as BSU brought home 1st place in Heavy Civil, 2nd place in Design-Build, and 2nd place in Multi-family.

Please visit: Reno Competition 2011 blog to see a great summary of the Reno event.


Builders Mechanical
Idaho Youth Education Recycling Program
MarCon, Inc.
McMillen, LLC
Staker Parson Co. – Idaho Sand & Gravel
URS Energy and Construction

Idaho Associated General Contractors
Knife River Corporation
Central Paving Company, Inc.
Coleman Homes, LLC
Ozman Construction
Petra, Inc.
Starr Corporation
Traylor Brothers
Cloverdale Plumbing
River Bank
Rosendin Electric, Inc.
Rudolph and Sletton
The Russell Corporation
Western Construction, Inc.

William and Carol Deasy
Patrick and Bobbie Allaire
Smilie and Virginia Anderson
Casey Cline
Ivan and Elizabeth Custer
Timothy Jones
Paul and C. Barton Marlow
Torry and Kim McAlvain
Bill Mincks
Kelly and Ann Newton
Ryan Tabuchi
Thomas Woodall

30th Anniversary Celebration

Image of honorees at 30th anniversary celebrationOn April 16th, the Boise State University Department of Construction Management (CM) celebrated three decades of growth and achievement. The anniversary event celebrated the past and shared a vision of the future.

30 distinguished contributors to the CM program were honored for the significant contributions to the Department, Community, and Profession. Honorees included;

Wesley W. Bettis
Charles B. Bloom
Todd A. Bloom
BSU Construction Management Alumni Chapter
BSU Construction Management Association
Central Paving Co.
David O. Cram
Norman F. Dahm
Anna M. Ellis
Marvin C. Gabert
Peter W. Griesmyer
Korey D. Hall
Dr. Robert Hamilton
David L. Holman
Ray Hoobing
Idaho Association of General Contractors of America
Idaho Sand & Gravel Company
Kreizenbeck Constructors
Jennifer A. Lanzetti
MarCon, Inc.
Joshua C. Martin
McAlvain Construction Co.
Monte C. McClure
Tom L. MacGregor
Dr. Rebecca Mirsky
Morrison Knudsen Company
Neil W. Nelson
Robert J. Ovard
Cheryl Schrader
Kevin C. Sommer
Mark van Gulik

Thank you to Todd Bloom (chair of the CM Industry Advisory Board) for hand making each of the awards pictured above.

The vision for the future included ongoing initiatives to develop a graduate program in Construction Management and a new educational facility called IDAHO GREEN. The graduate program and facility will have a focus on leadership and sustainability in the built environment.

Additionally, the Marv C. Gabert Student Leadership Fund was created to honor Marv Gabert, a professor and chair of the Department of Construction Management for 27 years.

Please contact Tony Songer for information on the graduate program, Idaho Green, or Marv C. Gabert Student Leadership Fund.


May Graduation

Image of CM graduatesImage of Kristin Schmidt receiving awardImage of Spring 2011 CM graduatesThe Department of Construction Management held it’s Spring graduation ceremony May 13th. Kristin Schmidt was named outstanding graduate. Tucker Robb received the College of Engineering’s excellence in service award. 11 Seniors were presented the Sigma Lamda Chi regalia. They include; Mary Bevan, Casey Gaughan, Jeff McCoy, Ryan Mitchell, Jarrod Penttila, Tucker Robb, Kristin Schmidt, Marty Taylor, Thomas Waters, Tim Welch, Adam Zavas.

The Construction Management Alumni Association presented graduating seniors the traditional orange, personalized BSU CM hardhat. Josh Martin (07) and Mike Kimball (09) made the presentations. As is tradition, the hardhats were easy to see during the University graduation on the 14th. This included Dean Amy Moll wearing her CM hardhat while presenting diplomas to our grads. Congratulations to all our graduates.


Faculty Awards

Assistant Professor Kirsten Davis
received the Provost’s advising award for the College of Engineering.

Assistant Professor Casey Cline
received the Association of Students outstanding student club advisor award.


Faculty Publications

Rebecca Mirsky
Primary Factors Influencing Green Building in Cities in the Pacific Northwest (with Susan Mason and Tony Marker), Public Works Management & Policy (2011)

New Regulations Can Stimulate Improvements In Efficiency And Sustainability For The U.S Cement Industry, 47th ASC Annual International Conference Proceedings (2011)

Tony Songer
Organization Management in Construction, Spon Press, New York, NY, (with Paul Chinowsky, University of Colorado, editors (2011)

Corporate Social Responsibility: a Strategic and Systematic Solution to Global Poverty (with Steve Darr) First International Conference on Engineering Project Organizations (Nov. 2010)

Procurement – Competition Requirements of Design/Build, Construction Manager at Risk and other Contracts that may have Indeterminate Prices at Award (with Mike Garvin and Mike Loulakis) Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (2011)



BSU CM Alumni Back on Campus

Image of Clay CoburnClay Coburn, a 1985 BSU Construction Management graduate, is currently the Precast Yard Engineering Manager for URS (formerly Morrison-Knudsen) on the $880 million Olmsted Dam Project. The 2,700-foot long concrete dam is part of an overall project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to replace two deteriorating lock and dams on the nation’s busiest stretch of commercial navigation in the inland waterways. The dam is located 30 miles upstream from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The dam is being constructed using an innovative ‘in-the-wet’ method that consists of precasting the world’s largest concrete shells at the on-site plant. The shells, which are 125 feet wide, 116 feet long, and 30 feet tall, are then lifted by a super gantry and moved to the river’s edge. A catamaran barge then lifts the shells and transports them up the river where they are lowered onto their respective pipe pile foundations. Once the shells are in place, tremie concrete is pumped under water into the area under the precast shells to provide the mass concrete for the dam. View a video showing this one-of-a-kind operation.

Large infrastructure projects have been a way of life for Clay since he left BSU. He started working for MK in 1986 in their Boise Headquarters performing take-offs, estimating and scheduling for a variety of field projects. He was soon assigned as the Area Field Engineer on the $517 million Ft. Drum Military Base Expansion Project in Upstate New York. The base is home to the elite Tenth Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. He was later promoted to Project Engineer, then Project Manager on a series of minimum, medium and maximum security correctional facilities in Connecticut, New York and Virginia. He continued as a Project Manager on the $200 million multiple schools construction and renovation program in Northwest Ohio for the Ohio Schools Facility Commission. These projects were the training ground for the most challenging project of his career at Olmsted.

Alumni, please send us information on your activities!

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