Construction Management students build Spring Break service opportunities

Calendar Icon Mar 26, 2009      Person Bust Icon By Carole Wilbeck | Engineering     RSS Feed  RSS Submit a Story

A UNL construction management student helps renovate facilities for neighbors in need.
A UNL construction management student helps renovate facilities for neighbors in need.

Nebraska Engineering students gave several Spring Break days to help build and renovate facilities for eastern Nebraska neighbors in need, through service learning projects.

For the past five years, students in the CET4200 "Personnel & Construction Management" class at Nebraska Engineering's Omaha location have supported "7 Days of Service," organized by UNO's Service Learning Academy. According to Stu Bernstein, professor of construction management, students are expected to commit two days of work, but many willingly give more.

This year Bernstein's 17 students practiced their construction management skills, leading work parties comprised of volunteers from several Omaha high schools. Their sites included Habitat for Humanity houses (three in Council Bluffs and three in Omaha), and renovations at Salvation Army locations: Camp Eppley, Stepping Stones Day Care, and Stevens Square, a homeless shelter, where they built a garage for storage.

"It's great learning because we help develop the projects," said Bernstein, "and then it's quite a challenge on-site because our CM students have to decide how to assign tasks based on who shows up to volunteer."

"Our students get to show the younger students skills, like hanging drywall and painting ceilings, and they're also demonstrating leadership," Bernstein said. "They set a good example, and the high school students really look up to them. It's a positive experience for all involved."

Construction Management student participants included: Rodney Bogh, Michael Bowman, Jason Craig, Brett Elsasser, Cheikh Gueye, Christopher Holeka, Lance Hooper, Koudous Kabassi, Mark Mechaley, Timothy Neneman, Christopher Otto, Timothy Ratliff, Marc Rood, Jesus Sanchez, Andrew Tabor, John Tomasek, and Kyle Whitfield.

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