MSU Construction Management’s George Berghorn receives Outstanding Educator Award

On Feb. 20, 2019, George Berghorn, assistant professor of construction management, received the Outstanding Educator Award for junior faculty from the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter at the International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas.

Image of George Berghorn receiving his award.
George Berghorn, assistant professor of construction management, receiving his Outstanding Educator Award for junior faculty from the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter.

On Feb. 20, 2019, George Berghorn, PhD, assistant professor of construction management, received the Outstanding Educator Award for junior faculty from the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapter at the International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas.

This prestigious award recognizes and encourages high-quality standards in construction education. Educators are recognized for their voluntary extracurricular activities, activities within construction industry organizations, as well as their construction experience and personal activities.

Nominations are made by fellow faculty members, students, construction professionals or by their local Home Builders Association. Berghorn was nominated by Matt Syal, PhD, professor of construction management.

“Dr. George Berghorn is a great asset to the Construction Management program. This award speaks for his successful teaching and research performance, and work with the competition team,” Syal said.

Berghorn is the faculty advisor for both the commercial and residential construction management competition teams at Michigan State University, as well as the advisor for the MSU Student Builders and Contractors Association.

In his role with the student association, Berghorn said he acts as a sounding board for ideas with the student executive board.

“We meet to discuss their ideas, how those align with the club’s goals, and how to navigate the often complex inner workings of a large university in order to bring their ideas to life,” he said.

As the advisor for the competition teams, Berghorn works closely with the team members as they work their way through the complex project.

“The advisor role is very much like that of a softball or football coach. We identify strengths and improvement areas, and I work with the team to boost those items that need more work,” he said.

“That often means leveraging industry resources, working one-on-one to review or extend information learned in a previous class, and refining verbal presentation skills. It’s a rewarding role, because regardless of the team’s finish at competition, the experience gives students an extra edge in their preparation to enter the construction industry after graduation.”

The Construction Management Residential Construction Competition team won 1st place at this same event, and the student association received 2nd place in the Outstanding Student Chapter Awards.

“Of course it is nice to be recognized, but I’m lucky to have a job that I truly love. As a Spartan and an alumnus of the Construction Management program, it means a lot to be able to give back to my program and the construction industry,” Berghorn said.

“While the award is the outward recognition of my work, I certainly have not achieved this by myself. I have had some strong coaches and mentors among my family, friends and colleagues, and an even longer list of those who have provided me with endless encouragement,” he said.

Berghorn continues, “Along with that, I am fortunate to teach and do research with some of the best construction management students in the country, so really, this award represents all of the people who have had a positive influence on my teaching career.”

Berghorn has been a professor in MSU’s School of Planning, Design and Construction since August 2015, after receiving his PhD in construction management at Michigan State in 2014.

His research focuses on mass timber construction, Domicology, deconstruction and material re-use, building science and energy efficiency and construction education.

Berghorn also worked closely with students and other faculty on the Sparty’s Cabin build project, where he coached students in a hands-on, real-world construction environment.


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