Alumni Network

As of September 2020, 578 alumni have graduated from the CMGT major and certificate programs. The Construction & Facilities Management Alumni Network has been in transition over the last year. In an effort to more cohesively bring alumni together, program staff and the former CMGT Alumni board agreed to move forward with future engagement and planning under the supervision and management of CCAPS staff and the Advisory Board as an Alumni Subcommittee. In January 2018, Courtney Barrette was hired as the Director of Engagement and External Relations for the college, helping to bring all alumni engagement and fundraising efforts across the college into alignment with the University’s policies, procedures, and best practices.

Below is an email sent to all Construction and Facilities Management alumni on August 13, 2020, from Peter Hilger that encapsulates the plans for this alumni network moving forward.

 

The Construction & Facilities Management program, now starting its 22nd year, has moved to more formally integrate alumni engagement as a College function supported and guided by our Advisory Board. We believe that an engaged alumni group is essential to the education of our current and future students in many ways.

Up until last year, the Alumni group was run by a dedicated group of volunteers committed to creating opportunities for alumni and current students to engage. However, managing an all-volunteer group takes work, and we felt that most alumni were not engaged in the activities of the group in a meaningful way. The University has enabled a means to better serve specific alumni interest groups—e.g., Construction and Facilities Management—rather than all University alumni as a group. You would rather engage with your classmates, and we want to encourage that.

Paul Kolias (2005) and Gilbert Odonkor (2000), both alumni and members of our Advisory Board, have agreed to help engage the Construction & Facilities Management Alumni Network for the College, along with other dedicated alumni. To that end, the mission is simply:

To engage alumni with each other, our emerging students, the College, and the community of the built environment as a whole.

We see a number of initiatives taking place this fall to kick things off, including:

  • Extending the CCAPS Mentorship program that connects the built environment community with our emerging students
  • Surveying CMGT alumni as a whole to learn the best ways we can engage with you
  • From those survey results, engaging a task force of committed alumni volunteers to craft an annual engagement strategy
  • Identifying leaders to take on specific initiatives, such as a site tour or panel discussion, usually no more than two or three events per year
  • Engaging a group of alumni to meet twice per year for idea generation on future engagement

It is a simple plan. We do not want to overwhelm those who are interested in the idea but may be worried about another “volunteer gig.” As a College, we want to do the heavy lifting of planning, supporting, and executing the engagement ideas generated by you.

Take the short two-minute survey, and help us kick this off.

 

In response to the survey, more than 20 alumni from various graduation years indicated their interest to gather for an Alumni Focus Group meeting to be held on September 30, 2020. Another 12 alumni indicated their interest to be a mentor to current students, and 10 more related interesting and unique projects from across the country that they’d be willing to share in ways yet to be determined.

From the meeting on September 30, we anticipate having a few concrete ideas for alumni engagement opportunities moving forward and identifying a few alumni interested in taking the lead in those with support of CCAPS staff. Due to COVID-19, we are limited in our in-person engagement efforts in the foreseeable future, but will explore all virtual opportunities available for meaningful engagement efforts in the next few months and into 2021.

CCAPS Mentor Program

In August of 2020, Peter Hilger and Courtney Barrette met with our friends in Construct*ium to discuss furthering the involvement of their members in the second year of the formal CCAPS Mentor Program, which now includes all undergraduate program students that meet the requirements. This conversation originated as a way to engage professionals in the field that were interested in mentoring current CMGT students but may not have the venue to do so. 

The CCAPS Mentor Program allows students to:

  • Explore current industry issues and potential career paths
  • Learn how to build a professional network
  • Enhance professional and communication skills
  • Connect knowledge learned in the classroom with future career goals
  • Explore new areas of interest
  • Gain insight on transitioning to the workplace

Student Focus Group

The Student Focus group meetings are typically held every two years in the odd-numbered years. A request was put out to meet to discuss the program; however, we did not receive any RSVPs for the event and it was canceled. We do accept program commentary from any student at any time of the year.

The following unsolicited testimonials have been received from recent graduates:

Summer 2020

"This email is long overdue, but I just wanted to say Thank You. After graduating and looking back there is so much that I have taken away from you and the program that I could not have gotten from anywhere else. I can’t remember how many times that I thought some of the assignments or discussions we were having in class were pointless. Well now that I am here, I see that everything you taught was for a reason and realize I took it for granted. From learning how to salsa dance, to heated debates in capstone, all of it had its purpose and helped me become the professional that I am today and I am grateful for it. So again, Thanks Peter and I hope we can stay in touch."

Spring 2019

"Good morning! I'd like to express my gratitude for all you've done to help this ex-carpenter and older non-traditional student attain a college degree. At this point it's now been 25 years in the making and completely worth the journey it took to get here. I've accepted the position as a project manager here at U-Construction offered to me last week and now with the degree I actually feel that I'm accomplishing the goals I set for myself when I began this entire journey here at the U. What you do is invaluable and I want to take this opportunity to say THANK-YOU for making it a less intimidating process. I also want to say thank-you for your advice on what classes I should have been taking and what to expect from them. This may seem like a small thing to you and I know is part of your job, but in retrospect I could not have done as well as I did without your guidance and knowledge keeping me from overloading myself trying to achieve my goals. So, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU and keep doing the excellent work!

BJ"