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Meet Our Fall Real Estate Student Scholarship Awardees

The Masters in Real Estate Development program at George Mason University is pleased to announce the following awardees for real estate graduate study scholarships for Fall 2017:

Robert Wulff Legacy Scholarship

Matt Crandell is currently a Project Executive with CBG Building Company working on a multiple building, $83 million dollar mixed-use multi-family development in Columbia, MD.  Matt’s primary responsibilities on the project are financial management, change order management, and contracting.  Matt’s career in general contracting began in 2007 with Forrester Construction.  Upon relocating to Baltimore in 2011, Matt’s general contracting focus shifted to renovation and restoration projects with Southway Builders.  In 2015, Matt accepted an opportunity to join CBG Building Company and be part of a team building two mix-use, multi-family buildings totaling over 532,000 square feet.  Beyond contracting, Matt has continued to expand his knowledge base within the construction industry.  In 2014, Matt obtained his Professional Engineering License from the State of Maryland.  His drive to expand his knowledge of construction has led Matt to George Mason University to pursue an M.S. in Real Estate Development.

Peterson Family Scholarship

Brian McFee is a Project Executive for CBG Building Company, an industry leading multifamily general contractor.  In his current role Brian is responsible for the overall project success of large multifamily construction projects in the DC Metro area.  Brian began his career in construction working for a local general contractor who specializes in complicated and challenging projects.  He shifted to a career as a Construction Manager for an Owner-Operator of commercial and industrial real estate properties.  His unique blend of general contracting and owner experience has provided him the ability to view construction projects with more of a holistic approach, to the benefit of his clients.  Among his more interesting projects have been the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, Maryland for the Howard County Dept. of Parks and Recreation and historic renovation of the Yuma Study Center in Washington DC.

Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) Past Presidents Scholarship

Faris Nsour is a Land Development Project Manager for Brookfield Residential. He has been involved in the entitlement and development of several hundred finished residential lots in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. He monitors all phases of land development and provides financial oversight of development and operational budgets.  Faris also has brownfield development experience in both Virginia and Maryland. This experience includes: voluntary cleanup programs, contaminant capping and dynamic compaction of uncontrolled fill.  Faris holds a BS from James Madison University’s College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

EagleBank Scholarships

Katie Kight is the General Manager for Crystal Gateway Condominium, a twenty-story high rise condominium building located in Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible for all aspects of property operations, including: strategic and fiscal planning, building operations, supervising a support team of 10 staff members, and associated administration. Ms. Kight’s successes as a General Manager build on the skills and proficiencies she developed in her previous role as a Portfolio Manager for multiple homeowner and condominium associations in the Northern Virginia area. As a Portfolio Manager, she prepared monthly and quarterly management reports as well as annual budgets, conducted architectural reviews, and prepared Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for reserve projects. Additionally, Ms. Kight contributed to business development by recruiting new commercial clients. Prior to focusing on community management, Ms. Kight worked for a boutique law firm specializing in community association law, where she conducted legal research and became proficient in the use of multiple counties’ online land records, tax records, and GSI websites.

Lisa Gerben is the Senior Managing Partner and Founder of The Avant Network. She specializes in business development in agribusiness and infrastructure in emerging markets. Ms. Gerben founded The Avant Network in 2011 to concentrate on the international trade of bulk physical commodities. She has since expanded into identifying and cultivating business opportunities that vertically integrate supply chains. Ms. Gerben’s experience includes directing data collection teams; creating financial models and business plans; presenting development opportunities to potential investors; and has negotiating with both national and international government institutions as well as private companies. Most recently, Ms. Gerben and her team have been tasked with attracting suitable real estate investment groups to acquire large amounts of commercial land in Africa and South America. She is pursuing her Masters in Real Estate Development in order to take a larger role in real estate projects by gaining specialized knowledge and expertise that is needed to successfully execute large-scale, international development projects.

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