Date: March 2, 2007
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Professor Earns Outstanding Educator Award
WESTVILLE – Purdue University North Central faculty member Martha Garcia-Saenz, associate professor Building Construction Management Technology was recently presented with the 2006 Outstanding Educator Award presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) during the recent International Builders' Show in Orlando.
This award recognizes and encourages high quality standards in teaching construction education. Educators are recognized for their voluntary extracurricular activities, construction industry activities, their construction experience and professional activities. Nominations are made by fellow faculty members, students and construction professionals. Garcia-Saenz was nominated by students in the PNC Construction Club.
A PNC faculty member since 1999, Garcia-Saenz worked in the construction industry for more than 20 years at all management levels in her native Colombia, prior to becoming a teacher.
She was the owner’s representative in the construction of what had been the tallest building in Bogotá, Colombia when it was built in the mid-1970s. She participated in a project to moving the Cudecom Building - eight stories high weighing 7,000 tons - which was relocated 95 feet from its original location in Bogota. This building was in the Guinness Book of World Records for almost 30 years as the heaviest building ever moved successfully. As a project manager, she worked in the construction of many multi-family buildings, commercial buildings, factories and office buildings.
After relocating to the United States, she taught Spanish at Purdue University in West Lafayette, worked a for an architectural firm and studied to earn her master’s degree in Civil Engineering at Purdue. Upon graduation, she accepted her teaching position at PNC.
Garcia-Saenz was instrumental in establishing a PNC chapter of Women in Engineering and Technology. The idea came as a result of a female student approached her with the news that she was dropping out of the Building Construction Management program because she did not enjoy being the only female in the construction classes. Garcia-Saenz said that she understood the dilemma and launched the group with Academic Advisor Madonna Tritle in an effort to retain female students. This is the only retention program in the Engineering Technology Division for female students.
She was cosponsor of the PNC Construction Club since coming to PNC and two years ago assumed the responsibility as sponsor.
In nominating her for the award, her students wrote, “She always is available for questions and assistance for the students, the members of the club and the competition team. She always is very active and encourages students to be active and participate in many activities around campus. PNC students are fortunate to have her as a faculty member. She brings the international perspective view of the construction industry and her extensive experience to the classroom. Students nominated her for this award because of her knowledge, dedication, and inspiration in the construction field.”
Garcia-Saenz has authored, presented and published a number of refereed research papers on a variety of subjects. She participated as speaker in the PNC Faculty Research Series, the PNC Women in Engineering and Technology program and the PNC Women’s Association.