“Interview with a Construction Professor” Series with Pat Pannell at South Dakota State


sdsu.jpgI am pleased to announce the second interview in the “Interview with a Construction Professor” Series at C-School Blog. The interview will begin with a brief biography of a college construction professor, followed by six standard questions about the professor’s program, and the interview will finish up with recent program statistics.


Professor Pat Pannell at South Dakota State was gracious enough to participate in this series. The following information was provided by Professor Panell on December 1st, 2007:

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator at South Dakota State University’s Construction Management Program (BSCM) in the Engineering Technology and Management Department in the College of Engineering


Educational Background
– BSBA Accounting, University of Arkansas
– MBCN Master of building Construction Univ of Florida
– ABD Construction Education, Colorado State University


Classes Taught
Surveying, Heavy Construction Methods, Heavy Construction Estimating, Basic Estimating, Advanced Building Estimating, Project Management, Site Selection and Feasibility Analysis, Residential Construction. I do not teach all of these now but I have taught them in the past four years.

Construction Education & Construction Management Paradigms


1. What qualities do you see in a top construction student?
Strong Work Ethic, Interest in Construction, Enjoys working with people, Analytical problem solver.


2. What makes your program different from other construction programs?
We have strong interaction with industry, the industry experience level of our faculty is 100%, our facilities are better than most and we concentrate on educating the leaders of tomorrow. We encourage community and industry participation. We promote the attitude that our students are lucky to be in the best industry, in the best country, at the best time in history and they owe the community and industry their participation to make it better than it was before they got into it.


3. What do employers like the most about your students?
They like the work ethic, the responsibility, and the ability to fit into a team.


4. What are students looking for in internships and entry-level jobs?
We encourage the students to interview and research extensively before they commit to a job. The internship is part of that process and they are open to most experiences. They usually do not know what they want exactly until the end of their tenure as a student but our goal is that they make the most informed decision possible so that they will remain at their first job for a respectable time period.


5. What is the most important thing that a high school student should know about your program?
The incoming student should have good study habits, a decent math background, and proficiency in writing. If you are a recluse and do not enjoy interaction with people and solving people related problems this is not for you.


6. How does the construction industry support your program?
The industry companies come to and pay for our job fair twice a year, they participate in our advisory council, they serve as guest speakers, they contribute to our program for needed equipment when necessary, they contribute and support all student activities with contributions and participation, they participate and financially subsidize our internship program.


Accreditations (ACCE, ABET, others?): ACCE

How many students graduated from your program in 2006? 27 but we now have 250 students and that number will be jumping substantially.

What was the average compensation package (starting salary + signing bonus) for students in 2006? $46,000

Thanks go to Professor Pannell and the entire Construction Management Department at South Dakota State University for providing information on the program. If you are a construction professor that would like to be interviewed for this series, please contact me at micnel@gmail.com to indicate interest.


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