Tuskegee University makes history at design & construction competition—meet the winners

Tuskegee University
The students made history by winning the competition! (Stefan Smith, Tuskegee University Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing)

Tuskegee University adds another accolade to their growing list. The University’s Department of Construction Science National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Student Chapter took home top prize at a recent industry competition. They are the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to ever win the national competition—read on for full details.

The Tuskegee University team makes history

Tuskegee University’s NAHB Student Chapter made history as the first HBCU to win first place in the Four-Year College Production Home Builder category of the NAHB Student Competition.

Students on the team spent an entire semester preparing by working through real-world construction management problems, under the guidance of coach Dr. Charner Rodgers and assistant Mariah Stewart.

“This win is so emotional for me. Being the first HBCU to win in February during Black History Month is very special. Tuskegee has let the world of residential construction know that African Americans are not only capable of being great project managers, schedulers, estimators, etc., but are willing and ready to be in this industry as knowledgeable key players.”

—Dr. Charner Rodgers, Associate Professor and Senior Program Coordinator, Industry Relations and Recruitment, Tuskegee University

About the competition

This year, the NAHB Student Competition was hosted in Orlando, Florida as part of the 2022 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS). The Tuskegee University team faced off against 45 other teams from different programs across the country.

The 10-member team was tasked with creating a development plan for a 120-acre parcel in North Texas, and then presenting it to a panel of judges made up of industry experts. In addition to sharing their work, students had an opportunity to network and learn from industry pros during the event.

“Being able to represent our university at an international level was an unimaginable feeling of achievement. The hours spent with the team and our advisor were priceless lessons of dedication and perseverance. This opportunity has established many connections and relationships that allow myself and my teammates to have confidence as we begin our careers.”

—Alex Jones, fifth-year architecture major and two-time recipient, Student of the Year Award

Not their first time making history

This isn’t the first time Tuskegee University has made history at the event. They competed in the NAHB Student Competition for the first time in 2020, and were the first all-female African American team to ever participate. They took home the “Rookie of the Year” award and placed seventh.

Stay tuned for next year, when the IBS heads west to Las Vegas, January 31 – February 2, 2023.

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Madison Croxson
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