Leading by service
MSOE established the Pieper Family Endowed Chair for Servant-Leadership in 2004, thanks to a major gift from the Suzanne and Richard Pieper Family Foundation. DeAnna Leitzke ’98, ’08 P.E., assistant professor in the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management (CAECM) Department currently holds the chair.
Integrating project-based service learning into the curriculum has really taken off in MSOE’s honors program but it is also being facilitated in departments across campus. “We have always been application-oriented at MSOE,” said Leitzke. “Project-based service opportunities are now recognized as a viable framework for this applied approach to learning.”
When a community partner reaches out to Servant-Leadership with a project opportunity, Leitzke tries to find an existing course with learning outcomes that match project objectives. Servant-Leadership also connects student organizations with service learning and community service opportunities. Recently, students in the Professional Construction Society at MSOE partnered with Tricklebee Café—a pay-what-you-can diner in Milwaukee—to create walking paths. A Construction Methods class also contributed by building stages (on campus) that the business can use for events.
Hunter Ring, a senior in construction management, led the project on site and was responsible for overseeing everything from estimating to scheduling and recruitment of student volunteers. “It was really an invaluable experience that allowed me to develop the skills I will need as a construction manager,” Ring said.