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Letter from the Executive Director
Mark J. Riedy, PhD
Perhaps because they had read my April column about how we educate bright real estate students, in the last few weeks two real estate executives have mentioned to me that they expect to hire one or two people in the near future, and did I have any students to recommend? My resounding “yes” was probably louder than it needed to be, but the fact is that I was pleasantly surprised to hear about hiring opportunities, and yes we do have some great students looking for full-time employment.
John Ferber largely is responsible for all career-oriented opportunities for undergraduates, and Lauren Lukens similarly handles graduate students’ career opportunities. Each also helps provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to be mentored and to secure paid and unpaid internships. Please contact either John or Lauren even if you are still in the contemplating phase of potential job creation. They can begin screening candidates for your eventual consideration and respond more effectively and efficiently if you have given them a preliminary heads up.
I encourage readers to ask the opinions of industry colleagues who employ USD students and alumni. With few exceptions, I know you will hear rave reviews. We find that increasing numbers of San Diego-based real estate firms, once they have hired their first USD alum, proceed to hire their second, third and fourth USD graduate in short order.
The two real estate executives who approached me recently to indicate their expectations of hiring soon represent just a trickle of job opportunities, I realize. Yet it is two more than we had a month ago. Job growth overall likely will remain anemic for quite some time in the United States, unfortunately. On the flip side, however, from my days in Accounting 101, I remember the acronym FIFO. That is, first in, first out. The San Diego region shared the dubious distinction of being one of the first in America to experience the collapse in real estate and lending quality. I fully expect it to become one of America’s first markets to escape recession’s grip, not in a robust way, but at least shifting from negative to positive trends over the next 12 months.
As the recovery begins to take shape, please remember USD’s real estate, finance and other business students. Graduation is just around the corner. If FIFO lives, and you hire one or more of our students, I guarantee that you will be glad you did.
Charles Tu, PhD, has been named academic director of the Master of Science in Real Estate program. Tu had served as interim director of the MSRE program since Norm Miller’s departure as a full-time faculty member last year.
Tu joined the university’s School of Business Administration faculty in 2004. Prior to joining USD, he taught real estate and finance courses at George Washington University (GWU) and Cal State Fullerton, where he received an Outstanding Teacher/Scholar award. He received his PhD in business administration from GWU in 1999 and received the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2000. He is LEED AP and ARGUS Software Certified and was voted Teacher of the Year by students in the MSRE program in 2006.
“Charles has done a superb job teaching in the MSRE, MBA and undergraduate programs, and he is deeply committed to an excellent academic experience for our students,” said Associate Dean Steve Standifird, PhD. “I look forward to working with him to make the already strong MSRE program even stronger.”
San Francisco Fed president Janet Yellen has been nominated by President Obama to serve as vice-chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would serve under Board of Governors Chair Ben Bernanke.
Yellen spoke at the University of San Diego in February as part of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Breakfast at the BMC distinguished lecture series.
Undergraduate students (from left to right) Matt Fargotstein, Matt Reibert, Eric Jauch, Chad Black, Russell Condas and Molly Jones, along with faculty advisor John Demas, Esq., pose on the University of Southern California campus after competing in USC’s International Real Estate Case Competition, held April 12-16. The invitation-only event, which is in its fifth year, is limited to 10 universities with leading real estate finance programs. Participating teams compete for cash prizes in oral and written presentations that address a real-world real estate problem posed by leading practitioners in the real estate industry. USD has been invited back to participate in next year’s competition.
Scholarship Recipients Recognized at Luncheon
(From left to right) Pamela Legge of the Burnham Foundation; Doug Ceresia, 2010 president of CCIM; Ben Schwartz, recipient of The Burnham Foundation scholarship; Mark Riedy, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate; Josh Vrotsos ’09, recipient of The Burnham Foundation scholarship; Shari Laughlin of the Burnham Foundation; Lauren Lukens, student and alumni services manager at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate; Mary Ann Yaghdjian ’07 (MSRE), president of the Real Estate Alumni Association; and Fred Caminite, CCIM treasurer, attended USD’s 2010 Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon held April 13 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. The annual luncheon recognizes USD donors for their contributions and connects them with the students who are benefiting from their generosity. For a full list of recent scholarship recipients go here. (Not pictured: Melissa Sharick, recipient of the CCIM Institute scholarship)
MSRE Students Present Case Studies; Network with Industry Professionals
MSRE students in instructor Sherm Harmer’s “Urban and Suburban Development Process” course presented their case studies to a panel of industry professionals and Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) executives April 26. The case studies were focused on a block of land at 15th and Market streets, which is being developed by Lankford and Associates. The group presentations, held at the CCDC offices in downtown San Diego, served as the students’ final examinations for the class. The nine judges included: Frank Alessi, executive vice president and CFO at CCDC; Derek Danziger, vice president of marketing and communications at CCDC; Jeff Graham, vice president of redevelopment at CCDC; Rob Lankford, president and CEO at Lankford & Associates; Fred Maas, chair at CCDC; Peter Hall, former president at CCDC; Brad Richter, assistant vice president of redevelopment at CCDC; Jacob Schwartz, development associate at Urban Housing Partners Inc.; and Frank Wolden, design principal of Carrier Johnson.
On April 23, BioMed Realty Trust Inc. hosted a networking luncheon for MSRE students at the company’s offices in Rancho Bernardo. The graduate students in attendance
heard presentations from several of the company’s senior-level executives including: Chris Elmendorf, director of acquisitions and leasing; Greg Lubushkin, vice president and chief accounting officer; Tracy Murphy, senior associate of acquisition and leasing; Kevin Simonsen, vice president of real estate counsel; and Denis Sullivan, senior director of finance. The executives provided the students with information on the history, current and future state of their company and the industry.
USD Takes Part in Real Estate Coalition Board Event
On April 30, officers from the Real Estate Societies at Point Loma Nazarene, San Diego State University, the University of California-San Diego and the University of San Diego met for the first annual Real Estate Coalition board mixer held at the Firehouse American Eatery in Pacific Beach. The event was organized to promote collaboration among area real estate programs to better advance real estate education, student networking and industry outreach. The universities plan to jointly participate in the Academic Year Kick-Off co-sponsored by ULI on Oct. 7 and a NAIOP real estate challenge in the 2011 spring semester. For more information about USD’s university outreach efforts, contact Lauren Lukens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Entrepreneurs Council Co-Hosts Networking Mixer
On April 9, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Policy Advisory Board co-hosted a career panel and networking reception for undergraduate seniors and MSRE students at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. During the career panel, the YEC members discussed their positions and companies and how they got to where they are today. They also gave the students advice on job searching and especially stressed the importance of networking.
Restaurateur David Cohn, president and founder of the Cohn Restaurant Group, and Mary Ann Yaghdjian '07 (MSRE), president of USD’s Real Estate Alumni Association, took time out during the quarterly USD Real Estate Alumni Market Watch Event held April 8 at The La Jolla Strip Club. Cohn provided those in attendance insight into the newest property in his successful restaurant family.
Real Estate Society Wraps Up Another Successful Year
Over 40 students attended the final Real Estate Society meeting of the 2009-10 academic year held on campus April 29. Real Estate Society members heard from a panel of professionals working in the REO sector of commercial real estate including: Jason Hull, managing director and receiver of Trigild; John Pagliuso ’84 (BBA), ’86 (MBA), vice president of Commercial ORE at Wells Fargo; and Christina Roush ’86 (BBA), managing director at CB Richard Ellis. Real Estate Society industry outreach co-chair Melissa Sharick served as moderator for the discussion, prompting the panelists to discuss how investors find distressed properties for sale, how the rules and duties have changed in today’s market, and their strategies and expectations moving forward. The panelists also gave the members job-searching advice.
(From left to right) MSRE students Sean Jones, RJ Scott, Ryan Kucich, Evan Falivene, Nick Walsh, Sunny Patel and USD alum Andy Pollin '98 (MBA), cheered on the San Diego Padres as they took on the Colorado Rockies at the Annual Real Estate Society end-of-the-year celebration May 5 at Petco Park. More than 70 Real Estate Society members, alumni, faculty and guests attended the game and the pre-game Cinco de Mayo tailgate party at the Upper Deck Pavilion, which was hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center.
John Demas a Finalist for School of Business Teaching Award
John Demas, Esq., is a finalist in the School of Business Administration’s “Outstanding Undergraduate Business Educator” award. Demas teaches “Principles of Real Estate” and “Legal Aspects of Real Estate” in the university’s business school.
The award is based on student input—through paper ballots—as well as on teaching evaluations and other evidence, including leadership in promoting teaching excellence, working with student groups, developing new courses and a host of other possible contributions. The SBA’s Teaching Excellence Committee will make the final selection of the winner, which will be announced May 12. The award winner receives a $5,000 stipend.
Demas has an MBA from New Mexico State University and a J.D. from the University of Denver. He has been teaching at USD since 2004 and most recently served as faculty advisor to a team of undergraduate students who competed in the University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition.
On April 9, USD’s Real Estate Society toured a 22,000 square-foot mixed-use project located at 32nd Street and University Avenue in North Park. The site, which is being developed by The Bergman Companies, is currently 95 percent leased and will house the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and a U.S. Bank branch, among other businesses. While on the tour, Ron May ’07 (MSRE) (third from left), development manager of The Bergman Companies, and Mike Kalscheur (far right), principal of SD Investors, provided insight on the project to Real Estate Society members and MSRE students (from left to right) David Arscott and Evan Falivene.
BMC Professors Present at National Industry Conferences
Norm Miller, PhD, distinguished research professor, and Charles Tu, PhD, associate professor, presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Real Estate Society, held April 14-17 in Naples, Fla. Miller was the chair of two sessions on sustainable real estate and was a panelist on two sessions, “Teaching Market Analysis Roundtable” and “Commercial Real Estate Trends, Cap and Trade Real Estate: What’s the Connection?” He also presented four of his co-authored papers at the conference, including: “How Big is the U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market Now and How Large Will It Be in 2011?,” “Prices of U.S. Commercial Real Estate since 1995: CoStar/PPR Repeat-Sales Index,” “Foreclosure Contagion and REO vs. Non-REO Sales,” and “Is There Seasonality in Home Prices? Evidence from CBSAs,” which he co-authored with Vivek Sah, PhD, assistant professor at USD. Tu presented his co-authored paper, “Market Acceptance of Smart Growth Development,” at the conference.
Miller also participated in several sessions at NAIOP’s National Forums Symposium in San Francisco. The conference was attended by NAIOP National Forum members, the NAIOP Corporate Board of Directors and NAIOP Corporate Committee members.
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate creates exceptional value for the real estate professionals of today and tomorrow through personalized education and career services, industry support, research, and the promotion of socially responsible leadership.
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