CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Students Headed Back to Alcatraz

Date: 06-20-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Phil Petermann
Alcatraz Preservation Field School
On-Site Public Relations Director

For a second consecutive year, a select group of Concrete Industry Management (CIM) students from California State University, Chico are spending the summer repairing, restoring and preserving historic concrete structures on Alcatraz Island.

The students are working full time as National Park Service (NPS) volunteers and have been supplied with various materials and housing through a cooperative agreement with NPS that will keep CIM students coming back for the next five years.

Along with support from industry partners and BASF Corporation, a leading chemical company and supplier of many of the project's repair materials, the cooperative agreement helps establish the first CIM Preservation Field School after last year’s successful pilot program.

The field school is designed to give students hands-on technical and managerial experience by exposing students to equipment and techniques used in the repair industry and fulfilling an internship requirement necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree in CIM.

This year’s project is lead by CIM Director Tanya Wattenburg Komas, and Project Manager Andrew Billingsley, student leader of last year’s team.

Professor Komas is pleased that the field school is extended until 2015 because of the significant hands-on experience that the students gained last year. Several of them were hired by STRUCTURAL (formerly, Structural Group), a Baltimore-based global contracting firm specializing in repair and specialty construction.

“The value of the educational experience of the field school is tremendous,” said Komas.

Students involved in this year’s field school include Brandon Agles, Steven Aguilar, Kenneth Garcia, Greg Hollingshead, Brian O’Hair, Brian Peart, Phil Petermann and Sofia Salazar.

Visit www.chicostatecim.com and follow @CIMAlcatraz on twitter for updates, pictures and descriptions of the students’ summer-long project. You can also read interesting facts about Alcatraz.

The CIM program is offered at five universities across the nation and provides students knowledge of concrete products, the ready mix industry, repair and decorative techniques, and heavy construction materials used in the concrete industry. Additionally, CIM students take economics, business law, accounting, marketing, finance, information technology and project management courses and earn a minor in business administration.

For further information, you can reach Petermann, the on-site public relations director for the project, by e-mailing him at ppetermann@mail.csuchico.edu.