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College of Continuing Education News

February 2012 Archives

Little Orphan English

U professor and LearningLife instructor strives to give lost and lonely English words a home

Dictionarypage.jpg"When I die," says Anatoly Liberman, "I would like to have a picture of a heifer inscribed upon my tombstone."

A somewhat peculiar utterance for anyone, but an even stranger one for someone who isn't a farmer, rancher, veterinarian, or in some other way associated with agrarian or bovine-related pursuits.

Liberman is, in fact, a linguist. More specifically (and correctly), he is a philologist--one who studies language in written historical sources; a pursuit that combines literary studies, history, and linguistics. He is also a professor of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota (where he has worked since he emigrated from his native Russia in 1975). And, one day, almost 25 years ago, because of a cow (albeit indirectly), he launched himself headfirst into the massive task of creating an etymological dictionary for the English language, and a bibliography to accompany it.

"It was a chance occasion--I was reading a German book, and there was the word hette (goat). This word, it looked a bit like the word Heiðrún [ed. note: ð is as in th in English this], which is the name of a goat in Scandinavian mythology. It's also a common name in German (spelled Heidrun)--but not in English. At any rate, the origin of the name is not well known. And Heiðrún, the word itself, the origin is not well known.

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Janet Pelto

At age 18, on my first day at new student orientation at the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), it hit me. I had found it. The "it" was what I wanted to do for a career: work with students at a college or university. And, more than 20 years later, this is still true.

During those 20-plus years, I've worked with the new student orientation program, recruited freshmen and transfer students, and served as an academic adviser for undecided freshmen as well as adults returning to school. I've spent the bulk of my professional life as a career counselor, working mostly with adults in mid-career transition, many of whom were considering going back to school.

Now, as the College of Continuing Education's (CCE) Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention, I am excited to bring all of that experience together in this new role and continue to do what I love most: working with students at a college or university. And although while recruiting (or "enrollment management," a term that didn't even exist when I was an admissions counselor in the late '70s) has become a lot more sophisticated; the goal--to help students find a next step that fits them--is still the same.

To assist you in your work with students, we have created a special web page with transfer admission information. And, watch your mailboxes! I'll be sending out a new CCE magnet with the transfer admission website address in the near future.

If you or one of your advisees would like to contact me, I can be reached at pelto001@umn.edu or 612-625-2529. I look forward to working with you and your students, and will be in touch to schedule a visit to your campus.

Ann Johnson, Faculty Director
Peter Hilger, Faculty Member

What Exactly Do Construction and Facility Managers Do?
Construction management (CM), and its newer subspecialty facility management (FM), are great options for students who have a passion for hands-on knowledge of how the built environment is put together, from houses to highways. Though this career usually involves desk work, construction managers also spend a lot of time outdoors. They need to be ready for constant change and comfortable with high levels of personal interaction.

Construction management consists of a wide array of specializations in both the building process itself and of facilities after they are built. A construction manager ensures the successful transformation of design into structure as, for example, a field engineer working in the trenches day in and day out; an office-based project manager; or an estimator or accountant working on a school, a highway, or an apartment building.

A facility manager learns to see the entire life-cycle of a structure and could work as, for example, a systems specialist, a space planner, or a maintenance manager. FMs ensure safe, sustainable facility operation that continually serves constituents, and they are integral to the success of many businesses. Facility management is gaining in importance as more buildings are renovated or repurposed and new buildings are getting more costly, increasing pressure to maintain existing facilities. In addition, many of the existing FM workforce will retire, and there are nowhere near enough professionals in those ranks to replace them.

Construction employment is always sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, but will continue to grow as a result of advances in building technology, materials, and methods, combined with the increasing needs for energy-efficient structures and replacement of portions of the nation's infrastructure. Prospects are best for those with a bachelor's degree plus practical experience. Construction management employers include building contractors, specialty trade contractors, architectural and engineering service firms, and government agencies.

With or without any construction work experience, if a student has an affinity toward the built environment--an interest in the tangible results of specialties like architecture or carpentry--construction management could be an area worth exploring.

What Makes the CCE Program So Unique?
The Construction Management program at the College of Continuing Education is the only program in the Midwest that encompasses the entire construction life cycle: residential and commercial building, highway/heavy and civil works, and residential and commercial facility management. The late afternoon or evening classes permit students to combine work and study, and the program is centrally located in a large metro area, with connections to many construction and facility industry constituents. Courses are taught by professionals who serve as engineers, construction managers, attorneys, and risk managers by day. They introduce students to real-life construction projects and the issues that accompany them. Study options include an advanced-standing bachelor's degree, and an 18-credit certificate and minor. The CM internship program, required for the major, has a great track record of placing students into positions with our industry constituents.

The CM program also provides unique interrelationships with many other disciplines, and the hundreds of U of M buildings and facilities are available to expose students to real-life design and construction scenarios. A great example of cross-University collaboration is the 2009 Solar Decathlon, an annual international contest that challenges college students to create houses completely off the power grid, which are then displayed on the Washington Mall for 10 days of 10 contests (hence decathlon). Combining the talents of CM students and those from other University departments, the U of M entered for the first time with its ICON House, and came away with two first place finishes in engineering and lighting, and fifth place overall. The CM team was responsible for design teamwork, developing the construction details, constructing the house on the St. Paul campus, deconstructing and transporting the house in large sections over the road to D.C., and re-assembling the house on the National Mall--a true design/build project delivery.

To see a video of the ICON House and for more information about the program, visit the Construction Management home page.

See the Career and Internships web page to learn about the career paths of some recent CM graduates.

ann_johnson.jpg Ann Johnson, faculty director
Ms. Johnson is the faculty director of the Construction Management degree program, where she manages the development and delivery of curricula. She is a professional engineer (PE) registered in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has also served as a teaching specialist in the Civil Engineering Department for the last 13 years, teaching CADD, highway design, AutoCAD, and surveying. In addition, she teaches courses in highway design and construction materials for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Aggregate Ready Mix Association. She began her career as an engineer in the Airports Department at HNTB Corporation, and supervised the reconstruction of the Benson Municipal Airport and projects at the St. Paul Downtown Airport. She then worked at Braun Intertec as a senior engineer in the Pavements Division. She has served as the specific pavement section coordinator for the FHWA Long Term Pavement Performance Project in the North Central Region. She holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, and an M.S. in civil engineering with a pavement emphasis from the University of Minnesota.

peter_hilger.JPG Peter Hilger, faculty member
An architect by training, a builder by passion, and a teacher at heart, Peter Hilger has served the Construction Management program since its inception in 1994, and he received the CCE Distinguished Educator Award in 2009. In the classroom, Peter brings his construction and business experience to bear with an approach that challenges students to think beyond the facts and figures, communicate thoughtfully, and support decisions with sound reasoning and rationale. He counsels faculty and administration on strategic planning and program development, serves on the College of Continuing Education Academic Advisory Council, and informally advises students on career matters. Peter uses "constructive creativity" for the Design/Build delivery of public/private educational, commercial and industrial projects, as well as consulting on development planning, zoning approvals and expert testimony in his current firm, Rylaur, LLC. He received a B.S. in architecture from Georgia Tech in 1978, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1980. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Megan Seltz, academic adviser
Megan is the academic adviser for all Construction Management students. She is always happy to talk with students about admission, course transferability, prerequisite courses, major requirements, and general University information. Prospective students should submit a Request for a Planning Chart and then schedule an in-person or phone appointment with Megan to discuss earning a degree in Construction Management.

Commercial and Residential Construction
The construction industry is expected to grow in 2012, according to a recent survey conducted by HIS Global Insights, an international forecasting company, and state labor market experts agree. This is welcome news, considering how hard these two industries have been in the recent past. Contributing to this is a new state tax credit to help finance the rehabilitation of historic buildings. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota estimates that this tax credit alone will be responsible for approximately 1,800 new construction jobs in the next few years.

Facility Management
If you are a facility manager, you're in luck. There are more facility management jobs than there are graduates. In fact, there are up to five openings per graduate, according to reports at the recent International Facility Management Association conference. Not only are there more openings than graduates, within the next 10 years, anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of the current facility managers will be retiring. In Minnesota, the average salary for a beginning facility manager (FM) (Level 1 FM) with a bachelor's degree is $65,505, and ranges from $50,500 to $76,500, as per A. Peter Hilger, AIA, Faculty, FM Program Leader and Internship Adviser.

Highway Heavy and Civil Works
Highway heavy and civil works pertains to the construction of roads, streets, and bridges. Even though some consider this to be one of Minnesota's two seasons, before August 1, 2007, few of us probably gave much thought to this industry. The collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River instantly brought the importance of this industry into the minds of millions. And, according to Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development, the industry is expected to show modest grow, both short- and long-term.

Below is just a sampling of what B.A.Sc. in Construction Management students can take this spring. A complete list is available online.

CMgt 4471: Sustainability for Construction Managers
Impact of building industries past, present, and projected on the environment: sustainable building initiatives; environmental principles and practices throughout pre-con, construction, close-out and operations; impact on the construction manager's role, procurement methods, contracts, estimating and scheduling, and team structure; adoption issues facing green construction; current technologies and future movements. Real-world knowledge will be applied through case studies, guest lectures, and team projects. (2 credits; prerequisites: none)

CMgt 4542: Building Energy Systems
Conceptual understanding of functions of building mechanical systems and their integration with other building components through case studies. Residential and commercial HVAC systems, alternative energy sources, energy efficiency, structural implications of mechanical systems, indoor air quality, and environmental control strategies. (3 credits; prerequisites: CMgt 3001, junior or senior)

ABus 4041: Dynamics of Leadership (online)
Successful leadership via flexible approach. Knowledge, skills, and abilities that leaders develop from eight leadership strategies: academic, bureaucratic, eclectic, economic, fellowship, military, political, social. Ways to lead diverse populations in a global environment. (3 credits; prerequisites: 45 credits completed)

ABus 4151: Innovation for Leaders and Organizations (online)
Innovation as cornerstone of knowledge economy. History of innovation process, importance to individuals/organizations. Strategies to foster innovation. Responsibilities in innovation skill-building/leadership. (3 credits; prerequisites: 45 credits completed)

Cutting-edge Training

College of Continuing Education launches new Integrated Behavioral Health Graduate Degree Program
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This fall, the College will admit its first cohort in the new 60-credit Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health (MPS-IBH) program. The degree prepares students to hold dual licenses as addictions counselors (LADC) and as mental health counselors (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor/LPCC).

The MPS-IBH will build on the existing Addiction Studies Certificate, with some of the required course work being drawn from the certificate's curriculum. The professional degree is a rigorous, comprehensive pre-service education and clinical application program and includes an 880-hour internship as a requirement for completion.

Says program director Julie Rohovit, "Right now, counselors are typically trained in either mental health or substance abuse disorders. There are very few graduate training programs in the country that address co-occurring disorders in any significant or sustained manner. Some folks may add sequential training to fill in the gaps in their education, but rarely are they getting any sort of integrated education."

Alter Ego

Multidisciplinary Studies student Keith Pederson brings a fresh face to public health education
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"Just an old lady trying to make a change," is the mantra of a one Mrs. Margie Pederson--a.k.a. Mama P., Mrs. Pederson, and Margie.

The blonde afro bedecked, '70s-era schoolmarmish be-togged alter ego of Multidisciplinary Studies student Keith Pederson, Mrs. Pederson is one of the driving forces behind Keith's degree plan, which focuses on new media and GLBT history and studies.

"I work in the field of public health education, specifically on HIV education. Mrs. Pederson came about back when I was working with the Minnesota AIDS Project doing outreach for younger men. It was volunteer night, and all of these guys were over to make safer sex kits, and we fed them this horrible frozen pizza.

"I realized that we really should be valuing these volunteers more, so the next time, I took the afternoon to make up a huge pile of tater-tot hot dish, and served it up...and lo and behold, Margie was born."

Real College Radio

KUOM celebrates 100 years of putting the r-a-d in radio
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From farm reports and football games broadcast in Morse code to education for homebound kids during the polio epidemic; from Garrison Keillor's radio roots to being one of the reasons Rolling Stone magazine thinks the U of M rocks... Radio K (KUOM), the award-winning student-run radio station of the University of Minnesota has covered a lot of (widely varied) ground in its 100-year history.

Radio broadcasting at the University of Minnesota began as an experiment in 1912 (and although transmissions were officially suspended during WWI, football games were broadcast in Morse code in 1915). By 1920, programming had resumed, and on January 13, 1922, the U received the first official radio broadcasting license issued for the state of Minnesota (AM 770, call sign WLB; changed to KUOM in 1945). As of today, the station is the 10th oldest still on the air, beating out WHA at the University of Wisconsin Madison by a few hours, and makes Radio K the oldest licensed non-commercial broadcast station in the country.