June 22, 2011
Construction management students spent time away from campus last academic year using their skills and expertise as part of an innovated program for Construction Management students.
CM Cares allows students to practice construction management and leadership skills while serving the community by through building projects that benefit people with disabilities, non-profit organizations and local elementary schools.
“The CM Cares class has been amazing not only because we get to learn about leadership from the construction industry leaders but we get to give back to our community. The most important thing I learned from the project is how to use my skills as a construction management major in creative ways to serve someone else,” said Brett Goodell, a construction management major who was a senior last spring.
Students in the program were involved with several projects including the construction of a bedroom addition, handicapped accessible restroom and care giver bed area adjacent to the bedroom for a young boy with spinal muscular atrophy and his family in Fort Collins. The project is called Noah’s Project. Another main project, the Amaro Project, involved the completion of a two bedroom addition to the one-bedroom home of a grandmother who is raising four kids, two of whom have special needs. CM Cares is also completing three other projects including office space renovations for two non-profit organizations and the design of a net-zero greenhouse for Bennett Elementary School.
“The volunteer projects we participated in were extremely beneficial. They helped us take the leadership techniques we were learning in class and test them in the real world. It amazed me how the ’soft skills’ we learned in class helped us in our volunteer construction projects,” said Magdalena Smith, a construction management major who also was a senior last spring.
The leadership course component of CM Cares involves a small group of undergraduate students who select community service projects that require construction expertise. These students then recruit volunteers to help work on and complete these projects. There are currently 22 undergraduate leaders in the course with a varying number of student volunteers who assist them.
“My favorite part about the organization is that the students are so excited,” said Kristin Haller, assistant to the construction management department head. “They want to make their projects happen and they have so much energy.”
Students apply and are selected for the leadership course. CM Cares students also organize several fundraisers to help finance projects.
“We hope to teach our students to become service leaders,” said Haller.
More information about CM Cares can be found at http://www.cm.cahs.colostate.edu/cm_cares.
Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg