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College of Continuing Education News

July 2012 Archives

Building for the Future

New facility management track is a one-of-a-kind in the Midwest


The College of Continuing Education's Construction Management Program unveiled its newest degree track this summer: Facility Management (FM).

"The degree will encompass the complete building lifecycle," says Construction Management faculty member and FM project spearhead Peter Hilger. "It's a cradle-to-grave program; meaning that instead of just looking at the planning of a building (architecture), or the construction of it, students in the FM program will look at everything from the purchasing of real estate to the building's inception/design; from construction and maintenance/recommissioning, all the way to demolition."

The degree is the only one of its kind in the Upper Midwest, and fills a demand for management and leadership training from one of the fastest growing career fields today. Says Hilger, "Building technology is changing rapidly and organizations need to update/replace their outdated infrastructure in a cost-efficient way. There's a big movement toward sustainable and energy-efficient structures. And of course, there's the ever-present issue of maintaining existing facilities. And when you pair that with the statistic that an estimated 50 percent of the existing facility managers will be retiring in the next two decades or so...you have a huge job market that is waiting for educated people who can fill in that knowledge gap."

News and Notes

Quick updates about College programming, staff, alumni, and friends

In this issue: CCE receives prestigious DHS grant; BASc programming changes; and the College celebrates 100 years.

Have something you think is newsy or noteworthy? Send us an e-mail.

Running Down a Dream

Nyoka Giles balances record-setting athletic career with academic excellence

If you asked Trinidad native Nyoka Giles 15 years ago where she saw herself in the future, she might have guessed correctly the part about her running collegiately and pursuing a degree that would allow her to help others. The part about doing both in Minnesota--a place that is the (literal) polar opposite of her homeland, though... that wouldn't likely have been her first thought.


"I had never been to Minnesota before. I didn't even know much about it," Giles (BASc, Manufacturing Technology, 2012) says with a smile. "Coach [Bingle] was visiting Trinidad, saw me at practice, and we got to talking...and that was it."

Despite being recruited by other Division I schools in (decidedly warmer) states like Florida and California, Giles came to Minnesota sight unseen. "The U has some of the top academic programs [in the areas] I was interested in studying, which of course played a role. And Coach and I had such a good connection, so here I am."