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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark RiedyMark Riedy, PhD

On April 16, at the University of San Diego’s 26th annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon, the Burnham-Moores Center was privileged to be the featured program. This annual event is designed to recognize scholarship recipients and to thank donors as well as those who facilitate the creation of annual and endowed scholarships. Approximately 350 guests attended—a record crowd in the Hahn University Center.

My opening remarks emphasized that if nothing else, the most important take-away I wanted the audience to remember is this: “The need for scholarships is never-ending. The benefit to students is life-changing.” In particular I cited scholarships to be used in the Center’s graduate degree program, the Master of Science in Real Estate, as our most critical scholarship need. We compete for high-quality graduate real estate students with top-tier programs in a global market against universities whose scholarship funds and alumni bases are significantly larger than the BMC’s. Undergraduate real estate majors and minors also rely on their scholarship support, which recognizes, rewards and reinforces their academic and extracurricular achievements. Scholarships provide endorsement value on undergraduate students’ resumes when they apply for jobs. For these reasons, increasing scholarships—annual awards as well as endowed scholarships—is one of our highest strategic priorities.

Bowling TournamentThe first speaker I introduced at the luncheon was Debbie Gianulis, who described why she, her family and her late husband’s former business associates decided to fund an endowed scholarship and target its support to USD real estate students. The James T. Gianulis Memorial Scholarship will pay permanent tribute to Jim’s career and to his wonderful human qualities as a husband, father, friend and colleague. It will provide generous financial support to USD students whose passion for real estate, like Jim’s, is strong and palpable. USD was selected as the university where this scholarship endowment will be created because Jim Gianulis was a member of the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee, which was a source of great pride and fulfillment for him.

Our second speaker at the luncheon was the Fall 2012 recipient of the Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship, Nick Norris. Prior issues of this newsletter have highlighted both the Woodruff Scholarship as a uniquely rewarding honor and the reasons why he was the unanimous choice of the Center’s faculty and staff last fall. Nick's comments were spellbinding and reinforced our earlier observations about the profound impact scholarships can have on students’ careers and lives.

A common misperception I hear is that scholarships are not as important to USD students as they are for students at other universities. In reality, nearly 70 percent of all students attending the University of San Diego receive some type of financial aid. Scholarships are a major and essential part of USD’s financial aid package and always will be. To learn more about establishing new scholarships, please contact me.

An in-depth story about the scholarship luncheon can be found later in this issue, by going here.

Mark Riedy, PhD
Executive Director

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USD Wins Second Place in Argus Competition; Ranks No. 1 in U.S.

Argus Team
USD’s Argus Software University Challenge team (from left to right) Ari Weinstein, Anthony Ly, Nick Norris, Evan Lippow and Matt Bean.

For the second year in a row, a team of Master of Science in Real Estate students has won second place in the annual Argus Software University Challenge. Bested only by York University in Toronto, the USD team once again beat every team in the U.S., a feat USD’s teams have accomplished in each of the four years the Argus competition has been held.

The team of Matt Bean, Evan Lippow, Anthony Ly, Nick Norris and Ari Weinstein was awarded $3,500 for their accomplishment in beating out 20 other teams from across the country and internationally, including U.S. teams from Cornell University, Tufts University, Clemson University, Columbia University, Syracuse University, the University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M University and New York University, among others. Two of the overseas programs in the competition included TU Dortmund University in Germany and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

In the challenge, each team was required to simulate a comprehensive realistic development analysis of a fictitious commercial real estate project by modeling the provided assumptions using Argus software, the industry standard for commercial real estate analysis. The team’s results were submitted in written report form to a panel of academic and industry judges, including Jeffrey Fisher, Vanessa Egan, Ryan Bernard and Edward Galka.

“It was definitely the coolest academic activity I’ve ever participated in,” said team member Anthony Ly. “I really learned a lot about what needs to go into a collaborative project like this.”

Professor Charles Tu, PhD, served as faculty adviser to the team.

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Professor Norm Miller Wins Prestigious ARES Award

Norm Miller
Norm Miller, PhD

While attending the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Real Estate Society (ARES) in April, Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was presented with the Richard Ratcliff Award for his pioneering work on sustainable real estate and for founding the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate. ARES is an association of real estate thought leaders whose members include leading global academic and professional researchers.

The Richard Ratcliff Award recognizes significant innovative research contributions that extend the body of knowledge of the real estate discipline, introduce a new paradigm of reasoning, and “push the envelope” of real estate knowledge. Only eight others have received the Richard Ratcliff Award since the founding of the American Real Estate Society in 1985. Previous recipients include: Stephen Roulac, PhD; Ko Wang, PhD; Jeffrey D. Fisher, PhD; Alastair Adair, PhD; Julian Diaz, PhD; Glenn Mueller, PhD; Art Schwartz, PhD; and Kenneth Lusht, PhD.

Several of Miller’s colleagues recognized Miller’s accomplishments and offered their congratulations on him receiving this prestigious award:

“I am pleased that Norm Miller has been recognized for his pioneering efforts to raise the level of research on sustainable real estate. Through his own research as well as being founder and senior editor of the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate we have a much better understanding of how sustainability impacts the performance and value of real estate. This is just one of the many ways that Professor Miller has contributed research, service and education to the real estate academic and professional community.”

- Jeffrey Fisher, professor emeritus at Indiana University and President of the Homer Hoyt Institute

 “Students around the country know Norm Miller as a leading real estate textbook author, while professors are equally impressed with his consistent ability to publish in top-level journals for the past 30+ years. Norm is certainly deserving of this honor. He not only writes authoritative studies on real estate sustainability, but has brought many other researchers to the field as well. Norm’s ability to create research interests among so many other top authors has resulted in an awareness of sustainable real estate that accounts for more total research than any one person could have ever produced.

- Michael J. Seiler, The College of William & Mary

“Dr. Norm Miller is highly regarded for his numerous academic articles, books and other publications on housing, brokerage, mortgage risk, and valuation. The Richard Ratcliff Award, however, recognizes outstanding impact arising from a singular contribution. The singular contribution for which Miller is recognized is “sustainable real estate.” Miller’s research publications on Sustainable Real Estate and his being the founding editor of the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate (JOSRE), pioneered and legitimized sustainable real estate as academically meritorious, rigorous, and relevant to the practitioner and global society. It is for his outstanding singular impact “sustainable real estate” that Miller is recognized by the American Real Estate Society as the 2013, and ninth recipient ever, of the Richard Ratcliff Award.”

- Grant Ian Thrall, PhD, president of the American Real Estate Society

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Burnham-Moores Center Featured at Annual USD Scholarship Luncheon

By Ryan Blystone, Assistant Director, USD Public Affairs

Scholarship Luncheon
Real Estate scholarship winners, donors and individuals helping to facilitate the awarding of scholarships, gathered to enjoy the Burnham-Moores Center’s moment being featured at USD’s annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon on April 16.

“The need for scholarships is never-ending, the benefit to students is life-changing.”

When Mark J. Riedy, executive director for the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC), spoke those words Tuesday afternoon from the podium, the proof of his statement was found wherever he looked in the audience inside the UC Forum rooms.

The University of San Diego hosted its 26th annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon, an event that provides current undergraduate and graduate students the chance to dine with and personally thank donors who’ve graciously provided support for a dream.

“We’re celebrating students and the benefactors who help make a USD education possible,” Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan said.

At USD, nearly 70 percent of all students attend the university through the support of some kind of financial aid, including scholarships.

USD’s real estate program—both the undergraduate major and minor as well as its high-profile Master of Science (MSRE) graduate degree are housed within the School of Business Administration—was spotlighted at this year’s event. Riedy offered his personal insights on the importance of scholarships and then introduced the Center’s two key speakers.

Deborah Gianulis, her family and the local business community are still feeling the impact of the loss of James T. Gianulis, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day 2012. The latter, a native San Diegan and former Army captain was a fixture on the real estate scene—“he was always looking for the next real estate opportunity,” Deborah said. James Gianulis, among his many connections to community organizations, also served on the BMC’s executive committee. When he developed multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, it didn’t stop Gianulis’ passion for real estate and his drive to succeed.

“Physically he was in a wheelchair, but his spirit had no limits,” Riedy said. “Jim was always smiling.”

To celebrate James Gianulis, the Gianulis family is leading an endowment campaign to provide scholarship assistance for future USD real estate students.

Nick Norris
MSRE student Nick Norris speaks to the audience of donors and students at the 26th annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon.

“We hope this scholarship will help a student who has the same passion and high integrity as Jim demonstrated, and who can contribute to the field that he so valued,” Deborah Gianulis said.

The Center’s second speaker exemplifies many wonderful personal traits. Nick Norris, who is graduating next month from the MSRE program, has been a part-time student in the program, balancing academics with his military commitments. He’s done tours of Afghanistan and Iraq as a Navy Lieutenant and as a Navy SEAL. He’s also a husband and new father.

“He’s a leader in the classroom, too,” Riedy said of the inspiring Norris, who has earned four scholarships while pursuing his graduate degree.

Norris spoke admirably of his dedication to military service and how he found out about what he believes can be his post-military career in commercial real estate. He attended a Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation dinner that supports Navy SEALs and sat at the same table with some real estate businessmen. The dinner conversation made such an impression that he told his wife that same night that he may have found what he wants to do next.

He looked at the education opportunities, spoke with Riedy and came away convinced that USD’s program was right for him.

“I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made. I’ve learned a lot through this program,” Norris said. “I’m very thankful.”

Norris’ closing words echoed the sentiment of the more than 160 USD students from all educational disciplines who attended the luncheon. Many more will follow.

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USD Teams Take Part in NAIOP, USC Case Competitions

USD’s NAIOP University Challenge team (from left to right) Katherine Tisch, Tyler Hanson, team captain Jameson Johnson, Jared Angell, Brandon Arner and Samantha Barry, stand behind the Lego model of the group’s recommended mixed-use project, “Persea.”

On April 25-26, a team of USD students took part in the Third Annual NAIOP University Challenge case competition, held at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. USD’s team was made up of: Jared Angell; Brandon Arner; Samantha Barry; Tyler Hanson; and captain Jameson Johnson, all seniors; and Katherine Tisch, a junior. Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, served as faculty adviser and Commercial Real Estate Director John Ferber was the industry liaison to the team.

USD competed against San Diego State University and the University of California-San Diego, who won this year’s competition. Students were asked to provide their recommendations on the highest and best use for a piece of property located on the block bounded by Market Street, 11th Avenue, G Street and Park Blvd in downtown San Diego.

The USD team recommended that a mixed-use project be built on the site, with condominiums including some affordable housing units, a Trader Joes and office space. The group also proposed that the historical building on the premises be restored as a café. The team determined this would be the best use to capitalize on the property’s location in the nearby I.D.E.A. District, its close proximity to several colleges downtown and the low number of condominium projects in the pipeline in the area.

USC Team
USD’s University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition team (from left to right) faculty advisor John Demas, Taylor Turner, Erica Taylor, Pilar Ruiz, Michelle Bates, Jonathan Fuller and team captain Adrian Hochstrasser in front of Tommy Trojan on the USC campus.

A team of USD students also participated in the University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition, held April 18-19 on USC’s campus. The team of undergraduate students—Michelle Bates, team captain Adrian Hochstrasser, Jonathan Fuller, Pilar Ruiz, Erica Taylor and Taylor Turner—competed against teams from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USC, the University of Texas-Austin, Villanova University, National University of Singapore, New York University, Ohio State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder. The University of Colorado-Boulder won this year’s competition. Instructor John Demas, Esq., served as faculty adviser to the team.

This was the fourth year that a USD team competed in the invitation-only event, which asks students to address a real-world real estate problem posed by leading practitioners in the real estate industry, and asked students to prepare oral and written presentations. The cases were judged by a panel of top real estate leaders in Southern California. Last year USD’s team took third place in the competition.

“The USC competition was without a doubt the most rewarding experience I have had in my undergraduate career,” said team member Pilar Ruiz. “It has prepared for what is to come in the professional world like no other academic endeavor I have undertaken.”

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Burnham Foundation Scholarship Recipients Meet Malin Burnham

(From left to right) Gregor Connors, Malin Burnham and Evan Lippow at the May 7 scholarship presentation.

On May 7, MSRE students Gregor Connors and Evan Lippow met with Malin Burnham, president of The Burnham Foundation, at Cushman & Wakefield’s downtown office to receive their Burnham Foundation Scholarships. At the meeting, each student was awarded a $4,000 scholarship from the foundation, and heard from Shari Laughlin and Pamela Legge of The Burnham Foundation and Burnham himself on why they were selected for the honor among all other candidates. The mixture of education, work experience and volunteer work on Connors’ resume was highlighted, as was Lippow’s determination to find his passion and improve his skill set for his family’s business. Burnham also spoke about the importance of mentoring, which he believes is a lifelong process, then emphasized the importance of being involved with the community to make San Diego an even better place for generations to come.

Malin Burnham established The Burnham Foundation, a private, non-profit, public benefit corporation, in 1980 and has since supported a wide range of community, education, health, arts and research organizations.

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BMC Day at Petco Park Event Sells Out Despite Rain

(From left to right) Sean Zanganeh ’08 (BBA), Sean Zanganeh Real Estate; Nitsa Jensen, Bobby Graham Real Estate; Caleb McKinley ’02 (BBA), The ConAm Group of Companies; Mark Riedy, PhD, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate; Cameron Vance, The ConAm Group of Companies; Matt Reams ’06 (BBA), Pacifica Companies;  Amber Reams ’06 (BBA), Cohn Reznick; Kas Gallucci ’07 (BBA), Law Office of Ronald A. Marron; and Derek Jensen ‘07 (MSRE), Pacifica Companies, cheered on the San Diego Padres as they beat the Miami Marlins 5-0 at the sold-out BMC Day at Petco Park event May 6. About 80 students, alumni, Policy Advisory Board committee members, faculty, staff, BMC supporters and their guests attended the game and the tailgate party on the Western Metal Rooftop.
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MSRE Students Meet ConAm Executives

ConAm president and CEO, Brad Forrester, speaks to MSRE students over lunch in his company’s Kearny Mesa office building on April 26.

Master of Science in Real Estate students visited ConAm’s offices in Kearny Mesa April 26 and listened to presentations from several of the company’s senior-level executives. The company’s president and CEO, Brad Forrester, a member of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee, as well as Rob Singh, senior vice president-Investment Group; Bob Svatos, senior vice president and CFO; and Cameron Vance, acquisitions officer, spoke to the students during their visit.

While the company is best known for its property management business, the students also learned about other sides of ConAm’s business, including development, investments and acquisitions. The executives offered their insight as to what they look for when they hire new employees and gave the students candid career advice while applauding their passion for commercial real estate.

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Grad Students Present Redevelopment Plans to Judges, USD Administrators

Sherms Class
Master of Science in Real Estate students in Adjunct Professor Sherm Harmer’s “Urban and Suburban Development” class presented their redevelopment plans to a packed room including a panel of industry judges and high-level university administrator guests on campus April 29. The teams offered redevelopment options for the Morena District adjacent to the University of San Diego campus to judges: Pam Gilkey, Morena Business Association; David Malmuth IDEA District Founder; Ann Navarra, USD Trustee; Jerry and Mark Navarra, Morena Business Association; Sam Patella, Urban Commercial Real Estate; Jacob Schwartz, Urban Housing Partners; and Kimberly Weber, Morena Business Association. (Above) Sherm Harmer welcomes the judges and USD guests before the students team presentations.
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MSRE Student Analyzes NYU Professor’s Study at RERI Conference

Tony Konstant

On May 2, MSRE student Tony Konstant had the rare opportunity for a graduate student to analyze a study conducted by a New York University professor during a session at the Real Estate Research Institute’s (RERI) Annual Conference held at DePaul University in Chicago May 1-2. In fact, Konstant was the only non-PhD to discuss a paper at the high-level research conference, which is attended by top research directors and academics from around the U.S.

The study Konstant discussed, titled “Is There a Link Between Energy Performance and Asset Value? Evidence from New York City’s Benchmarking Data,” was authored and researched by Constantine Kontokosta, PhD, deputy director of the New York University Center for Urban Science and Process. During his analysis, Konstant also offered several energy efficiency-related suggestions for inclusion in Kontokosta’s study.

“Tony was well prepared and did a great job representing us,” said Professor Norm Miller, PhD, who made the entire experience possible for Konstant.

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Recent Undergrad Alums Speak to Real Estate Society

The Real Estate Society meeting on April 25 featured recent USD undergraduate alums (from left to right): Cowy Jehangir ’12 (BBA), former real estate investment and financial analyst at Darnell Capital Management; Kelly Ness ’12 (BBA), associate at Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate; and Chris Lisle ’12 (BBA), investment analyst at The London Group. The meeting, which was the last of the academic year, attracted a large turnout of undergraduate students who came to hear about the alums’ experiences during their first year at their new jobs, how they landed their positions and other career-related advice for students about to graduate.
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Center Professors Speak to National Audiences

Vivek Sah, PhD

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, were presenters at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Real Estate Society, held April 10-13 on the Big Island of Hawaii. Miller spoke on two panels at the conference, one on integrating research into the classroom and one on the “State of the Art for Housing Market Analysis,” a session he also chaired. Sah presented his co-authored paper titled, “Distance Premium from School: Evidence from Single Family Home Sales.” The study questions whether proximity to schools affects home prices. Director of the MSRE Program and Professor Charles Tu, PhD, also attended the conference and participated in the doctoral session. As mentioned in a previous article, during the conference Miller was presented with the Richard Ratcliff Award for his pioneering work on sustainable real estate and for founding the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate.

On April 24, Miller spoke on a podcast for Institutional Real Estate Inc., where he discussed office space and workplace trends. Go here, to listen to the podcast. He also spoke on a May 13 Johnson Capital teleconference on the same topic.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the April 12, April 19, April 26 and May 3 editions of the U-T San Diego’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

Alan Gin, PhD, was featured in the U-T San Diego, The Daily Transcript, the San Diego Business Journal, KPBS and 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.

The Burnham-Moores Center’s Journal of Sustainable Real Estate and research from the latest edition was mentioned in a May 3 article in the Wall Street Journal.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

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 Annie Grand at 619-260-7619.

MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013

Application Deadline for Fall 2013 MSRE Program

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars

STARTS TUESDay, June 4, 2013

Development Feasibility


TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

Real Estate Process Seminar