Latest News

Letter from the Executive Director

Mark RiedyMark Riedy, PhD

During the Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon in April, the BMC’s Woodruff Scholarship winner Nick Norris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, made an emotional appeal for America to do more for our men and women returning from military service and combat overseas. Subsequent discussions with Norris and several Marines, each of whom was transitioning or already had transitioned out of military service, highlighted major obstacles for transitioning veterans looking for careers in real estate or real estate-oriented financial services.

Several of the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee members and I are exploring how the BMC and volunteer real estate professionals can help veterans overcome those career challenges. In that vein, readers can be most helpful to us if you can send me any of the following information:

Bowling Tournament1) Are you a relatively recent transitioned or transitioning veteran?
A. If so, when and from which branch of service? May we have your up-to-date contact information?
B. Would you be willing to get involved as a mentor if we begin a mentoring program for veterans or in some other way?

2) Do you know relatively recent transitioned veterans or veterans currently in the process of transitioning and interested in real estate careers?
A. May I have their contact information and branch of service?
B. Would you be willing to contact them and ask if I can call them directly?

3) Are you aware of any real estate-oriented trade groups, foundations or firms currently exploring or implementing programs to help identify transitioning veterans and connecting them with real estate firms or executives for career opportunities?
A. If so, please give me enough information that we can follow up directly.
B. Are you or is a colleague involved with that initiative?

4) Fall of 2013 might be great timing and a productive use of resources to enroll in the Center’s graduate real estate degree (MSRE) program. Space still is available. If you know a transitioning veteran who might possibly be interested in earning an MSRE degree as an effective way of entering the real estate industry, please encourage them to contact me, at or 619-260-4872.

It is premature to say at this time exactly what the BMC might be able to do in this general area. Stay tuned for future developments as the BMC and several of our industry supporters work at defining a role that the Center and the industry can play in helping veterans with their transition into civilian jobs in the real estate and real estate finance fields.

We would like to begin taking our first steps to help veterans in the near future, so your prompt response will be appreciated greatly.

Mark Riedy, PhD
Executive Director

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Class of 2013 Graduates

Class of 2013
MSRE Class of 2013

CongratsOn May 25, the ninth Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) cohort marked the completion of their real estate studies at the University of San Diego graduation commencement ceremony for masters and doctoral students held on campus in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The commencement speaker was Scott Sherman, PhD, executive director of the award-winning nonprofit organization Transformative Action Institute, whose work on nonviolent social change projects has been praised by such Nobel Peace Prize Laureates as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and the late Mother Teresa. After the ceremony, graduates and their families and friends attended a reception hosted by the School of Business Administration at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

The day before commencement, the students attended their final Capstone Course class before attending a private luncheon celebration with their classmates and Burnham-Moores Center faculty and staff on the Olin Hall Patio. School of Business Administration Dean David Pyke, PhD, the students and faculty shared their sentiments about the program and received a congratulatory gift from the Center. The day following commencement, students and their friends and families joined the Center’s professors, staff and special guests at a graduation party at Professor Norm Miller’s home.

On May 26, real estate majors and minors attended the graduation ceremony on campus in the Jenny Craig Pavilion for University of San Diego School of Business Administration students. Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S., was the commencement speaker at the undergraduate ceremony.

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Appraisal Institute Scholarship Awarded to Undergrad Student

Michelle Bates

Undergraduate student Michelle Bates was the only San Diego recipient of this year’s Appraisal Institute scholarship. She received $500 cash for the scholarship, plus she can attend all of the San Diego Chapter of the Appraisal Institute’s educational classes for free for one year, which is roughly $4,000 for the classes she plans to take. To apply for the scholarship, Bates submitted a letter of recommendation from real estate Professor John Demas, Esq., provided her official transcripts, and wrote two pages about what she has done while attending USD and what she expects to do in the future. Bates recently participated in the University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition as a member of USD’s team.

“When I found out I was selected for the scholarship,” said Bates, “I was very appreciative for the opportunity to take the Appraisal Institute classes that are required for my career without taking on any additional costs.”

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MSRE Students Complete Intensive Capstone Course

MSRE student Chris Menkov during his final class presentation on May 23.

For their final course before graduating from the MSRE program, graduate students had to complete Professor Norm Miller’s intensive seven-day “Real Estate Capstone” class. The course is designed to help students refine their problem-solving, career and business planning skills and integrates the lessons learned from all prior coursework with life experiences. 

During the course, students heard from a number of leaders in the industry including: Jeff Burges, president and founder of BURGES Property + Company; Barbara Cambon, director, BioMed Realty Trust Inc.; Gina Champion-Cain, president and CEO, American National Investments ’94 (MBA); Philip Cudaback, owner, Lahaina Architects; Pete Garcia, principal, I.D.E.A Partner;  Kevin Hughes, senior vice president-Wealth Management, UBS; Lorne Polger, senior managing director and co-founder, Pathfinder Partners LLC; Jacob Schwartz ’02 (BBA), president-Development, Urban Housing Partners Inc.; Mitch Siegler, senior managing director and co-founder, Pathfinder Partners LLC; Nick Walsh ’10 (MSRE), investment manager, Gabhart Investments Inc.; and Jim Young, founder and CEO, Realcomm Conference Group. Speakers addressed topics on leadership and provided general advice for the young professionals.

On May 21, the students also had the rare opportunity to collaborate with students from the NewSchool of Architecture and present their concept ideas on a project that could fit into the I.D.E.A. District. The project was a net near zero hotel with a wave machine, wind tunnel and rock climbing wall all combined for a major sporting gear company. To view the presentations, go here.

For their final presentation on May 23, each student developed a business plan focused on either adding value to an existing firm or starting a new business. Industry leaders Charlie Abdi ’83 (BBA), principal of Finest City Realty Advisors; Dennis Cruzan, principal of Cruzan/Monroe Investments; and Ian Gill, president of Highland Partnership Inc. attended the presentations and provided constructive insights.

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Incoming, Prospective MSRE Students Attend Welcome Reception

Welcome Reception
(From left to right) Prospective MSRE student Wendy Messenger discusses the program with alum Carey Algaze ’12 (MSRE/MBA), at the welcome reception on campus May 9.

On May 9, incoming and perspective students for the Fall 2013 cohort of USD’s Master of Science in Real Estate degree program attended a welcome reception at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice on campus. During the reception, the group met Center faculty and staff as well as alums Carey Algaze ’12 (MSRE/MBA), Daniel Buoye’12 (MSRE), and current part-time student Gregor Connors, who answered questions about the program and offered insights.

A few openings remain in the Fall 2013 MSRE class, which begins Aug. 26. The program takes 10 months to complete on a full-time basis or 22 months on a part-time basis. To be eligible, students must have a GMAT score of at least 550, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and with rare exception a minimum of two years of real estate experience. For more information on entrance requirements and scholarship opportunities, contact Ines Kraft at 619-260-4150. For more information on the program, go here.

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Mark Riedy Moderates Panel at ULI’s Spring Meeting

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, moderated a panel at the 2013 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Spring Meeting on May 16 in downtown San Diego. The panel discussed new strategies for urban infill apartment developments that attract echo, baby boomers and the interest of institutional capital providers during their session, titled “Is Micro the New Macro?” The three-day conference, which took place from May 15-17 at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, drew roughly 3,500 industry leaders from a variety of real estate sectors.

Representatives of the Burnham-Moores Center were also in attendance at the event, where they were graciously given an exhibit table by ULI to help promote the MSRE program and the Center’s services.

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Vivek Sah Receives Award from SBA

Vivek Sah, PhD

Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, received the School of Business Administration’s Beyond the Call Award for Spring semester 2013 for his exemplary contributions to the management and coordination of the SBA’s faculty development trip to India in January, Sah’s home country. Sah received a lengthy nomination for the award from the trip’s coordinators, which was given to him at the SBA’s annual end of year party held May 14 on the Olin Hall patio.

His nominees noted that Sah went “beyond the call” by making the “initial connections with his alma mater, the Institute of Management Technology, which hosted our practicum last January, provided support for our company visits on this development program and treated us very well during our stay in India. He continued to serve as a reference to help develop the program and insisted on managing all of the logistics which allowed us more control and saved us money.”

Sah began working at the Center in 2009.

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BMC Takes Part in ICSC’s RECon Convention

Communications Manager Diane Gustafson (pictured above, right) speaks to a visitor at the Burnham-Moores Center’s booth in University Square at ICSC’s RECon Convention, held May 19-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. RECon is the global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for over 30,000 retail real estate professionals and over 1,000 exhibitors from around the world. Master of Science in Real Estate students Inna Panchuck and Hao Wen were also able to attend the four-day conference.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in a May 15 U-T San Diego article on home prices in San Diego County.

Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the May 17, May 26 and May 31 editions of the U-T San Diego’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, was quoted in a May 27 San Diego Business Journal story on the local commercial real estate recovery.

An article on office space trends co-authored by Norm Miller, PhD, appeared in the current issue of Commercial Investment Real Estate’s CIRE Magazine. His research on the same topic was also cited in a recent Jones Lang LaSalle presentation at the Worktech 2013 Conference.

Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in an article in the current issue of The Saturday Evening Post on investing in real estate.

Alan Gin, PhD, was featured in the U-T San Diego and the San Diego Business Journal following his most recent release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center.

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THURSDay, June 13, 2013

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Annual Bowling Tournament and Scholarship Fundraiser

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for its annual bowling tournament fundraiser. Proceeds fund real estate scholarships.

  • 6 - 9 p.m.
  • East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St., San Diego, 92101
  • $50 per player. Includes bowling, shoe rental, appetizers and two drink tickets
  • To register, go here.
  • For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Diane Gustafson at 619-260-2379.

MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013

Application Deadline for Fall 2013 MSRE Program

  • To apply or for more information, contact Ines Kraft, PhD, at 619-260-4150 or go here.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

Real Estate Process Seminar



Managing the Entitlement Process