Construction Management and Sustainability Scholars Program


Applications for 2023-24 are now open. Please read these Application Instructions first. Then, apply using this Application Form. Deadline to apply is January 22, 2024 (5.00 PM EST).


The Construction Management and Sustainability Scholars Program (CMSSP) seeks to spark innovative solutions to critical construction management and sustainability problems by leveraging multi-disciplinary perspectives. Through participation in the program, scholars develop leadership skills to empower impactful careers serving society. Scholars demonstrate a passion for participatory engagement with communities to help solve problems of social and environmental injustice.

The CMSSP is made possible through a generous gift made by Dan and Sheryl Tishman through the Northlight Foundation, which invests at the intersection of human and environmental landscapes to advance equitable and enduring solutions for environmental and human health (

Students are encouraged to email any questions they may have about the program to [email protected]   

Structure of the Program

CMSSP scholars complete three primary experiential learning components through their participation in the program:

  • Summer internship with a nonprofit, think tank organization, or other entity with a focus on sustainability and construction management. The objective is to provide the scholars with opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in sustainable design and construction practices that go beyond the traditional construction management domain. As an alternative to an internship, Scholars can partner with organizations who want to adopt sustainability principles. Scholars work with a cohort of faculty experts from different disciplines to develop recommendations, best practices, or evaluative technical reports concerning problems encountered by the organization and the community they serve.
  • Thematic annual national or international trip. Scholars observe the impact of climate change on communities and understand challenges overcome and innovative solutions found. Scholars listen to and network with experts and community members.  
  • Annual construction management and sustainability conference. Scholars lead and organize an annual conference focused on sustainability, social justice, and environmental equality. The on-campus conference, which is open to students globally, features student presentations, guest speakers, workshops, and hands-on activities.

In addition, the Scholars develop key interpersonal and professional skills through interaction and collaboration with faculty, staff, peer scholars, and various external industry and community stakeholders. These tangential experiences complement the program’s primary experiential learning focus.


Scholars receive up to $7,500.00 in tuition remission for successfully completing the program requirements. Scholarship funds will be credited on the student’s tuition statement. Ancillary program expenses (e.g., airfare and travel accommodations for the thematic trip, and conference expenses) are paid directly by the university, separate from the scholarship amounts awarded to the student. The CMSSP does not provide housing, living, travel, or relocation stipends.


All Junior class (>55 credit hours) undergraduate civil and environmental engineering majors are eligible for the program. CEE 265 (Sustainable Engineering Principles) is a program prerequisite; CEE 331 (Construction Management) is a program co-requisite.

Pedagogical Focus

The CMSSP is an experiential self-directed learning program, where scholars steer their educational journey within the framework of the three primary experiences. Scholars have latitude to define the scope and objectives of these experiences to suit their learning goals. While the faculty leaders provide necessary guidance, mentoring, resources, and support, the scholars act and direct the program. This learner-centric approach fosters problem-solving, creative thinking, and teamwork skills while cultivating students’ ability to understand and conceptualize solutions to problems beyond the academic setting. Scholars substantiate their learnings in a series of short reflection papers submitted throughout their scholarship. Upon successful completion of all program elements, scholars are awarded a certificate as formal recognition of their achievements. (The certificate is awarded by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as a non-transcript credential.)

Scholars are encouraged to further their formal study of construction management and sustainability topics by enrolling in various aligned electives during their Senior year, such as: CEE 435 (Building Information Modeling), CEE 537 (Construction of Buildings), CEE 555 (Sustainability of Civil Infrastructure Systems), and CEE 574 (Materials Selection for Sustainable Design).


Admission to the program is competitive and selective. The program seeks applicants whose interests align with the purpose and objectives of the program. Preference will be given to students with a demonstrated interest in sustainability and construction management.

Faculty Advisors

Carol Menassa, Ph.D., F. ASCE, [email protected] – Program Director
David Kelly, Ph.D., P.E., [email protected] – Associate Program Director
Vineet Kamat, Ph.D., F. ASCE, NAC [email protected] – Associate Program Director

Advisory Board  

An external advisory board, composed of at least four members, including alumni, will be in place for the 2023-2024 cohort. The board will review program outcomes, provide recommendations and advice, facilitate interactions, and provide outreach to potential partner organizations.

External Partners

External partners include corporations, non-profits, government agencies, and other organizations with a focus on sustainability, education, and the built environment. Scholars may suggest external partners with whom they have existing relationships, or work with faculty, staff, and advisory board members to identify and connect with suitable organizations with which to complete their sustainability ambassadorship and/or internship.


The objective of the internship is for the scholars to gain some experience in sustainable design and construction practices that go beyond traditional construction management domain boundaries. Scholars will be invited to complete an internship of at least 160 hours with an organization focused on the built environment, sustainability, or associated environmental and social issues. Examples include various agencies within federal, state, and municipal governments, corporations, international intergovernmental organizations (e.g., UN, World Bank, and WHO), non-government organizations, and non-profit organizations. 

Scholars may choose to participate in internships with CMSSP external partners or complete a student-identified internship experience. Scholars opting for a student-identified internship experience are required to share the goals and requirements of the CMSSP with their internship sponsor and work with them and the faculty council to identify some relevant experiences or duties related to sustainability and the environment that the scholar will complete during their internship. Internships may be paid or unpaid.

As an alternative, Scholars can partner with organizations who want to adopt sustainability principles. Scholars work with a cohort of faculty experts from different disciplines to develop recommendations, best practices, or evaluative technical reports concerning problems encountered by the organization and the community they serve.

Related Links to Supplemental Information

Tishman Construction Management Program 
Northlight Foundation 

Faculty Advisor Profiles:

Carol Menassa, Ph.D., F. ASCE 
David Kelly, Ph.D., P.E. 
Vineet Kamat, Ph.D., F. ASCE, NAC