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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

As you’ll read in more depth elsewhere in this issue, two of our undergraduate real estate students, Kelly Ness and Emily Russak, just received high honors and recognition at the national level.

Kelly will be a senior in the fall and is a member of our Real Estate Society Executive Committee. She was awarded one of a very limited number of nationally competitive $10,000 scholarships by the professional industry group, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). Emily graduated in May 2011 and also served on the Real Estate Society Executive Committee. Emily was selected by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) to be one of just seven students to participate in the organization’s prestigious summer fellowship program, which is based in New York City.

REAA Bowling TournamentWe are genuinely proud of Kelly and Emily for their exceptional academic and leadership records, which led to their selection by these international organizations. We also are certain that they will be terrific representatives of our real estate program. Their success reflects equally on the high quality of USD students overall and in particular on the excellent education provided by faculty in USD’s School of Business Administration, of which the Burnham-Moores Center is a key part. The fact that two of our undergraduate students now have been selected for these exclusive national honors bodes well for the future of our undergraduate program, which entered a new chapter two years ago when the real estate major was launched.

The fact that the undergraduate students selected for these honors are young women also reinforces our commitment to educating women for future leadership roles in the real estate industry. As most professionals who have been in this business for decades know, for a variety of reasons the commercial real estate industry―more so than the residential sector―has long been dominated by men, especially in senior executive positions. Over time, however, increasing numbers of women have been moving into leadership roles. I expect that those numbers will continue to grow with the continued expansion of academic programs in real estate and the opportunities promoted by professional networking associations like CREW. We in the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate are pleased to be able to make a real difference in advancing this socially responsible trend for women in real estate.

Later this year we hope to give even more credence to our commitment in this area by initiating a new annual conference focusing on women real estate leaders. I invite you to help us identify prospective speakers and to forward your speaker and agenda suggestions to me. Lastly, I encourage readers to keep the issue of diversity in general as a top-of-mind priority in your own hiring and promotion decisions.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Real Estate Undergrads Awarded National Honors

Kelly Ness
Kelly Ness

Kelly Ness, who will be a senior at USD this coming fall semester, was recently awarded a $10,000 CREW Network Scholarship. Ness’ application was one of 10 selected from across the country for this highly competitive scholarship.

Ness, who is a double major in real estate and marketing, became aware of the scholarship opportunity after speaking with Burnham-Moores Center faculty and staff, who encouraged her to apply given her outstanding resume, which includes a high GPA, an impressive job history, leadership roles in many of her extracurricular activities, community service, and a long list of awards, scholarships and honors.

Ness was introduced to the real estate profession at a young age; her father is a commercial real estate developer in Riverside County, near where Ness grew up in Canyon Lake, Calif. She also aspires to find a career within commercial development and has held several internships in the real estate field, including a city planning internship for the City of Hemet and her current summer internship at CIRE Partners in La Jolla. Ness plans on continuing her education after she graduates next fall and hopes to enroll in USD’s Master of Science in Real Estate program.

Ness learned that she was selected for the scholarship as she was leaving for her internship at CIRE Partners. “I spent the next 30 minutes calling my parents, professors and the Burnham Moores Center to thank them for giving me an opportunity for this amazing scholarship,” she said.

Emily Russak
Emily Russak ’11 (BBA)

Real estate undergraduate major Emily Russak, who graduated from USD this past May, is one of seven interns selected to work in ICSC’s New York City office for the summer. Russak learned about the internship through USD’s Real Estate Society and was immediately interested in the opportunity to live in New York and work for ICSC right after graduation, despite what the delay would mean for her job search in San Diego or in Los Angeles, closer to her hometown of Pasadena, Calif.

Russak packed her bags and moved to New York on June 9, where she will work full-time until the first week of August on a large data research project that involves contacting major retailers throughout the United States and abroad. The project is designed to create a timely database for ICSC’s members and employees. Russak is hoping that the internship opens doors for her in the real estate industry when she returns to the West Coast.

Russak is enjoying every moment of her time in New York both in and out of the office. She is living with family in Greenwich, Conn., for the summer and has been taking the train to and from Grand Central Station every day to get to work.

“I am acting like a complete tourist on my walks to and from the office, which has been a blast,” said Russak. “I have a very long list of things to do before I go.”

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Burnham-Moores Center Co-Hosts Sustainability Webinar

Close to 300 people took part in a “Valuing Sustainable Real Estate” webinar June 16, co-hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, CB Richard Ellis and the University of Connecticut. The webinar featured panelists Nils Kok, PhD, of the University of California-Berkeley, and James Finlay, vice president and senior commercial real estate appraisal manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Initiative Team. It was moderated by the Burnham-Moores Center’s Norm Miller, PhD, Dave Pogue from CB Richard Ellis and John Clapp, PhD, from the University of Connecticut.

The Center will co-host its next sustainability webinar on Sept. 9 with CB Richard Ellis. The featured speaker will be Tim Runde, MAI, LEED AP. For questions about the free webinar, contact Diane Gustafson at 619-260-2379.

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Second Continuing Education Course Receives DRE Approval

USD’s “Real Estate Finance and Underwriting” course‚ a continuing education class offered by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and the University’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education, has received formal credit approval from the California Department of Real Estate. Those attending all four sessions will receive 12 hours of credit from the DRE. The course will be taught by Dan Phelan‚ president and CEO of Pacific Southwest Realty Services, and will be offered on Sept. 6‚ 13‚ 20 and 27. This is the second course to be approved for credit by the DRE. The first course approved for DRE credit was “Property and Asset Management,” which starts Aug. 2.

For more information on the 2011 schedule of the University’s real estate continuing education program, go here. For information on early registration discounts, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano at (619) 260-5986.

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Charles Tu Takes Part in Real Estate Program Directors Meeting

Charles Tu
Charles Tu, PhD

Charles Tu, Daniel F. Mulvihill Professor and academic director of the MSRE program, represented the Burnham-Moores Center at the Real Estate Program Directors and Chairs meeting hosted by the University of Denver June 10.  The meeting is a forum for real estate programs across the country to share experiences, discuss best practices and learn from each other.

Schools participating in this year’s meeting include DePaul University, Indiana University, Lehigh University, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Portland State University, the University of St. Thomas, the University of Texas-Arlington, USD and the host, the University of Denver.

Attendees discussed various topics related to academic programs and real estate centers, such as: specializations; course offerings and delivery; industry impact on enrollment; internationalization of the student body; extracurricular activities; and industry outreach.

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Alums Gather on Campus for Casual Thursday Event

Casual Thursday
(From left to right) REAA board members in attendance at the event included: Ryan Fiddler ’08 (BBA), Kevin Meissner ’06 (BBA), Scott Darnell ’05 (MSRE), Victoria Crown ’06 (BBA/BA), ’08 (MSRE), ’09 (MBA), Mary Ann Yaghdjian ’07 (MSRE) and Brett Kondrick ’08 (BBA).

The Real Estate Alumni Association (REAA) brought its Casual Thursday real estate networking event to USD’s campus June 23. The free quarterly event included a happy hour on the patio of O’Tooles Lounge and a raffle for a ticket to REAA’s Annual Bowling Tournament Fundraiser July 14, which was won by Matt Orth ’10 (BBA).

Casual Thursday events are designed to give USD alumni working in the real estate industry the opportunity to reconnect with former classmates, expand their networks and learn about innovative real estate projects in the San Diego region.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Associate Professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the June 4, June 10, June 18 and June 24 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “EconoMeter.” The June 18 story also was mentioned in a June 22 San Diego Union-Tribune opinion letter.

Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD, was quoted in a June 16 San Diego Union-Tribune article on recent levels of notices of default and foreclosures in San Diego County. The story was also picked up by

The June 16 “Valuing Sustainable Real Estate” webinar, which was co-hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, was covered in a San Diego Union-Tribune article. The following sites also picked up the story:,,, and

Norm Miller, PhD, was interviewed June 21 for an upcoming article on sustainable real estate in Mother Jones magazine.

Alan Gin and the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center, were mentioned in several outlets following the May release. Articles appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the North County Times and the San Diego Business Journal.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

THURSDay, JULY 14, 2011

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Annual Bowling Tournament Fundraiser

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for its annual bowling tournament, sponsored by Mutual of Omaha Bank, to raise money for scholarships. Food and Beverage sponsors include: ConAm and Darnell Capital Management. Lane sponsors include: Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial, Dwyer-Curlett, Fairfield Residential, PMB Real Estate Services, Sudberry Properties Inc. and Wells Fargo.

  • 6 - 8:30 p.m.
  • East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St., San Diego, 92101
  • $50.00 per player; includes bowling, shoe rental, appetizers and two drink tickets
  • To register, go here.
  • For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Annie Grand at


12th Annual Residential Real Estate Conference: Outlook 2012

  • 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Hahn University Center, University of San Diego campus
  • Featuring keynote speaker Doug Duncan, PhD, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae
  • For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars


Property and Asset Management


ThURsDay, NOV. 10, 2011

Update on Tax Considerations in Real Estate