Departmental Highlights from 2009

Undergraduate majors (not including Interior Design) totaled 470 in fall 2009 (for a 5% increase from 449 in fall 2008).  Interior Design became part of the School of Construction (SoC) in fall 2009 (with two faculty positions and approximately 70 students) bringing the total number of majors over 500.  The growth area is the BCT program:  BCT has grown 87% since the formation of the School in 2004 (a rate of 14.4% annually).  The faculty generated 8,559 SCH in 2009-2010 which is a 17.6% increase from the 7,280 SCH generated in 2008-2009 and 35.6% increase from 6,312 SCH in 2007-2008. 

Two proposals that were submitted to IHL for a new master program in Logistics, Trade and Transportation and an associated research center were successful.  The new Master of Science degree program in Logistics, Trade & Transportation was approved in fall 2009.  In conjunction with this degree program, the Center for Logistics, Trade & Transportation was also approved in fall 2009 as the research arm of this venture.

The School won the RFP for the Blackboard eLearning Initiative in fall 2009 to upgrade the online offerings in the Construction Engineering Technology program.  The development of online curriculum within SoC has enabled many students to achieve their education goals while being able to work.   The online program was developed to support those in the military initially but it soon became evident that many students in working situations wanted to attend.  There are now over 90 students in the online BCT program (60% in-state) since approved for online delivery in 2007.  This trend mirrors university trends in increasing numbers of fully online enrolled students.  Construction Engineering Technology (BCT) is the ONLY ACCREDITED ONLINE construction management bachelor degree program in the nation (accredited by both ETAC-ABET and ACCE, and is the only Serviceman Opportunity College for the Navy (SOC-NAV) approved construction management program in the nation.

The faculty have been consistently very active in scholarly and research efforts: in 2009 they had 1 book published, 3 significant monographs, 29 refereed journal/proceeding papers, 45 professional presentations, 54 paper reviews, 35 grant proposals and 2 funded grants.  Several refereed journal articles have been accepted for the upcoming year and there are several textbooks in progress; several grant proposals will be forthcoming in 2010. The School continues to maintain the national proceedings archive and editorship for the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC); this has been very successful for the last six years and has gained much respect from the construction community.

Faculty serve on 15 national, regional, or state-wide committees and 2 hold officer positions in state professional chapters.  Several faculty serve as academic advisors to community college industrial advisory committees thus extending our community connections and supporting the 2+2 curriculum established for all community colleges in Mississippi and several in neighboring states.  In addition, the faculty are very active on university, college, and departmental committees.

Student Constructors won the national award of excellence for a student chapter in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) national construction management competition. Faculty served as advisors for the ABC national student competition; the chapter has won this award for four out of the last five years.  In addition, they won 3rd (2003) and 4th (2007) place nationally in the Construction Management competition.  Student Constructors won the national ABC essay competition in 2007, won the national best chapter award, and were instrumental in helping Joel Smith of Smith Painting & Construction (Hattiesburg) and Mike Rozier of Rozier Construction (Hattiesburg) win the national Outstanding Contractor Supporter Award.

Dr. Tulio Sulbaran won the national ABC Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009; Professor David Marchman also won this prestigious award in 2004.

The Interior Design Program won the prestigious National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Excellence in Education Award.