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PSU Construction program recognized by AGC with scholarships, at national conference

Each year, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Education & Research Foundation provides scholarships to students in the field nationwide. This year, 126 scholarships were given out; nine recipients were in Kansas, six of whom were from Pittsburg State University’s program. 

Joe Levens Jr., associate professor in the School of Construction, said he was excited about the number of PSU students to be recognized with scholarships this year. 

“…To have six recognized this year, I was excited about it because number one, it’s good for the students; and number two, (it) gives the program some recognition that we have quality students that are capable of winning these types of scholarships,” Levens said. 

Tucker Tribble, sophomore in construction, received the William S. & Shirley C. McIntyre Scholarship. 

“It’s a good feeling,” Tribble said. “(I) put in a lot of time and effort into school and the application for the scholarship… I definitely felt relieved a little bit that I would have some help with school. It’ll give me a head start for when I graduate and have to start paying school off.”  

Tribble received the news that he had been awarded one of the scholarships via an email from Levens, who he said helped with his application. 

“The School of Construction helped me out quite a bit; Joe Levens wrote a letter of recommendation for me,” Tribble said. “They helped out answering some questions and why I want to continue the field of construction.” 

Tribble found out about the scholarship as a member of the AGC student chapter at Pitt State where Levens serves as the advisor. 

“We kind of lay it out in the meetings for the year so you know when scholarships are due..,” Levens said. “We receive news about numerous scholarships, from various sources, which we tell the students about.” 

The construction program was also recognized at a national level when 20 students and three faculty members attended the AGCA’s annual convention in Las Vegas last month. Of those that attended, two students were chosen to serve as student panelists. 

Tyler Korte, senior in construction engineering technology, served as a panelist for the “Building the Future: Gen Z’s Perspective on Recruiting Talent” discussion and Kristen Van Hoosen, senior in construction management, served as a student panelist during the Institute of Technology panel discussion on the use of technology in the future. 

“I was excited (to speak),” Korte said. “I’d done similar panels before, but not on a national stage.” 

The two student panelists were hand-picked by Levens to serve as the panelists after he was asked if he had any students to nominate, which Levens said speaks highly of the program. 

“They could have gone to any school across the nation, DI schools, but they came to us for the possibility of having some students,” Levens said. “That helps recognize we have a quality program that they (AGC) asked us for help.” 

Korte said the experience was “a little more nerve-wracking at first,” but got much easier and was beneficial as a construction student. 

“It gave me different perspectives on other schools and what other kids from across the country look for,” Korte said. “It was kind of neat to meet people outside of who we normally interact with and learn about them and how their programs work, as well as to interact with higher-ups of big companies.” 

Levens said the opportunity for PSU students to represent Pitt State and the School of Construction reflects the quality of education they receive. 

“…We’re not a large program but we’re not a small program either, so to compete against the thousands of construction management students speaks well for our program and the quality of the students that are attracted to our program,” Levens said. “…So, they know when they come here, they’re going to get a quality education and they’re going to get good career opportunities when it comes to graduate also.”

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