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We Are


Our Origin Story

"The Construction Management Student Organization was established at the start of the Fall 2007 semester which was also the start of the Construction Management program. During the spring semester of 2007, before starting the program, I was teaching a pilot course with six students who would enter the Construction Management program that fall. I was contacted by Tom Wanner who was the Executive Director of the MCA of Cleveland, about starting a student chapter. I invited him to come and talk to the six students who would be entering the program in the fall. He came along with Mike Gallagher and Jim Neihouser. They explained why they wanted to start the student chapter to help the mechanical companies in the Cleveland area recruit our future Construction Management students into their industry.  

Fast forward to the fall of 2007 and the start of the Construction Management Program. The MCAA holds a fall event for the national MCAA student chapters. It just so happened to be hosted in Cleveland that year! We took all the students in the program (13) to the event. The students were introduced to our first MCAA competition project and thus began our participation in student competitions! The MCA of Cleveland has been very generous to our Construction Management Student Organization over the years by helping pay for the trips to the annual MCAA Conference in March each year.  

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Joe Karpinski

Founding Advisor of the Construction Management Student Organization

The first year of being a MCAA Student Chapter, I applied for an Emerging Chapter Grant of $1500. I was awarded the grant and was going to award three students $500 each. I met with the very first President of the Construction Management Student Chapter, Neil Konesky, to decide who we should award the scholarships to. He suggested that we buy CM textbooks and begin loaning them out to our student chapter members. Thus began our CMSO Loaner Textbook Program. Since that very first year, we have continued to add to the book inventory and now provide books for all CMGT courses to all members of the CMSO.  

In 2020, we began competing in the NAHB Student Competition and then, a few years later the ABC Competition. At that point, we changed from being an MCA of Cleveland Student Chapter only, to the current Construction Management Student Organization which is the umbrella organization that all the other competitions and national construction organizations fall under. 

Starting the student chapter and then moving to the CMSO was the best thing that could have happened to our Construction Management Program. It gave the students so many outside of the classroom opportunities and has enhanced the student’s construction management education overall.


Each year the CMSO continues to get better and better! Each President and Board takes what they learned from their predecessors and elevates everything to the next level. I highly recommend joining the Construction Management Student Organization. It is an extension of classroom learning and provides so many opportunities to learn more about your future career as a construction manager or other practicing leader. The students who join and take advantage of all the CMSO offers gain a much better preparation for their careers by learning how important community service is, gaining real world experience working on student competitions, networking with construction industry professionals and attending the two annual CMSO Career Fairs that keep growing as the days go by. The added bonuses of CMSO gear and free loaner textbooks for all CMGT courses come as a nice bonus if I do say so myself.  Take advantage of all the CMSO offers and join if you have not already done so. Your destiny is determined by your own efforts. Expanding your knowledge with friends in the organization is the best way to grow your future self."

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