Five Students Receive Inaugural NAIOP Diversity CRE Scholarships

Fall 2016

NAIOP has awarded its first Diversity CRE Scholarships to graduate students in commercial real estate who have traditionally been under-represented in the industry.

PREPARING FOR and beginning a career in commercial real estate can be particularly difficult for women and minorities. NAIOP is pleased to announce the recipients of the first NAIOP Diversity CRE Scholarships. The program was established to support graduate and undergraduate students pursuing a degree at a NAIOP university member school that will lead to a career in the commercial real estate industry. Preference was given to students who have traditionally been under-represented in the industry. In addition to a $5,000 scholarship, each beneficiary also received complimentary registration at NAIOP’s 2016 Commercial Real Estate Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A jury of leading industry professionals selected the following five recipients on the basis of their academic achievement, involvement in NAIOP, commitment to a career in commercial real estate and recommendations from their instructors. Several of the scholarship winners have already participated in NAIOP Real Estate Challenges, inter-university case study competitions sponsored by NAIOP chapters in which teams of real estate students prepare and present development proposals for a particular site.

Dorcus Gyamerah, a graduate student at the University of St. Thomas, expects to receive her Master of Science in Real Estate in 2018. Originally from Ghana, she is interested in urban land planning/economic development and real estate development. She hopes to become an effective urban planner or land developer to revitalize areas in the Twin Cities region. Gyamerah participated in the 2014 NAIOP Minnesota Real Estate Challenge as an undergraduate at St. Cloud State University.

The University of St. Thomas, a private, Catholic institution, is the only university in the Twin Cities offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in real estate. The Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business offers an extensive real estate curriculum that provides students with a background in general business and real estate theory and practice.

Cordell Hinton is a student in Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program. His goal is to develop mixed-use, Class A office and industrial projects that are well-designed, create a true sense of place and become significant catalysts for economic development. He hopes to focus on the long-term overall health of the communities in which he operates. As a broker and owner of the Hinton Realty Group in Los Angeles, he is involved in all aspects of the real estate development process.

Auburn University’s Executive MRED program, offered through the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, provides students with an understanding of multiple disciplines relevant to their future careers. The program’s goal is to train a new generation of executives who are highly knowledgeable about sustainable development as well as energy and natural resource efficiency.

Emilie Rottman attends the University of Maryland, where she is pursuing an MRED while working as a project architect at Square 134 Architects. She hopes to use her interest in architecture and real estate development to develop buildings that are thoughtfully articulated and financially feasible. She participated in the NAIOP 2016 Capital Challenge with her UMD colleagues.

UMD’s Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, part of the university’s School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to real estate education. The institute was named for Neomie Colvin, Maryland’s first female commercial real estate broker. It addresses all facets of the industry, from planning to construction, finance and property management.

Michelle Doong is attending the University of Utah’s MRED program while working as a retail specialist with Mountain West Retail Investments. She started her real estate career while she was in middle school, helping her parents with property management and investments. Her long-term professional goal is to start her own commercial real estate brokerage company and eventually develop retail centers.

The MRED program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business is a joint venture between the School of Business and the College of Architecture + Planning. The program is designed for students and professionals from multiple disciplines, ranging from development and urban planning to finance, architecture, engineering and law.

Ana Kalugina attends Cornell University’s Master of Business Administration/Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate program. She is also co-founder of the university’s Real Estate Career Work Group and vice president of career events for its Associate Real Estate Council. Her interest in how the built environment impacts human lives has influenced her real estate career plans. Her long-term goal is to work in sustainable real estate development which, for her, means a combination of affordable housing and green building techniques. 

Cornell offers real estate education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Its undergraduate degree program is offered through the Center for Real Estate and Finance at the School of Hotel Administration. Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate offers a master’s program that enables students to specialize in a concentration such as international real estate, real estate consulting and market analysis, development and sustainability or real estate finance and investment. 

The NAIOP Diversity CRE Scholarship is an effort, in conjunction with NAIOP University Members, to increase diversity in commercial real estate. NAIOP champions diversity through a strategic initiative that also provides resources and case studies on incorporating professionals from traditionally under-represented groups — including young people, women, African Americans, Asians and Hispanics — throughout the industry. The association is unequivocal in its position that commercial real estate companies should take a leading role in encouraging and increasing diversity in the workplace.