Teaching Portfolio

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PARSE Teaching Portfolio PDF

Construction Management & Construction Engineering Technology courses for Freshman to Seniors

Below is information relating to my background, classes taught, methodologies, samples from student projects, and more. I run classes on Blackboard (via Blackboard Collaborate during pandemic remote teaching). If you have any questions, please contact me at amsowder at citytech.cuny.edu.

Biography

Anne Marie Sowder is an Assistant Professor at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) in the Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology (CMCE). Anne Marie is a builder, researcher, and construction educator with specializations in construction management and urban resilience. She has earned degrees in Building Construction (B.S., University of Florida), Construction Management (M.S., University of Florida) and Sustainable Urban Development (MSc, University of Oxford) and is currently a PhD Candidate in Design Construction and Planning – CM Specialty at the University of Florida, where she is also a Rinker Fellow. She has worked 15 years on a portfolio of Construction Management services including agency interface, client-side management, construction administration, contract writing and award, hiring, project estimating and budgeting, scheduling, team development, and training. Her research interests include construction history, construction techniques, storm resilient building, and the use of technology to explore these topics.

Prof. Sowder teaches courses in the Construction Management specialization, primarily courses that aren’t taught by other full-time faculty. She teaches topics including Construction Management, budgeting, scheduling, project delivery, safety, sustainability, cost control, quality assurance, construction technology, and ethics. Courses for which she is the only full-time faculty instructor include CMCE 1221, CMCE 1224, CMCE 2321, CMCE 2421, and CMCE 4471. In the Construction Management track, she is the only full-time faculty instructor for four required classes taught in the first four semesters and the only full-time instructor teaching two of our senior-level technical electives.

Anne Marie Sowder, Assistant Professor

Prof. Sowder stresses student engagement and collaboration in the classroom, with special emphasis on what are sometimes called soft skills or executive skills – team leadership, conflict resolution, effective communication and presentation. Her classroom delivery is consistently well reviewed by students and peers. Her engagement with students includes outreach to high schools as well as graduate programs in an effort to help students to see the construction professions as full of limitless potential. She maintains regular contact with student graduates as part of their ongoing career counseling and to maintain industry ties.

Teaching Responsibilities

Prof. Sowder teaches in the Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering technology (CMCE). One of the college’s four original departments in 1947 (then the Structural Technology Department), CMCE has since clarified and expanded its offerings, including degree programs in Construction Management Technology unique in the City University of New York system. The department now offers an ABET-accredited Construction Engineering Technology Bachelor of Technology degree (CET).

CMCE currently offers the following programs:

  1. In the Civil Engineering Technology associate degree program (CE AAS), our focus is on the fundamental concepts and technical skills required to create a wide range of career paths in the civil engineering profession. We balance practical knowledge with theory and encourage a lifetime of learning and leadership. Students are made aware of their ethical, social, and legal responsibilities as practicing professionals in this people serving profession.
  2. In the Construction Management associate degree program (CM AAS), we prepare students for success within the professional practice of construction management. This preparation includes an understanding of the design, engineering, business, and technical principles and practices used in the construction industry. As future leaders in the construction industry, students are made aware of their ethical, social, and legal responsibilities as practicing professionals.
  3. In the Construction Engineering Technology bachelor degree program CET BTech), students are trained to enter a professional field which requires designing, planning, construction, and management of infrastructure. Construction engineers are a hybrid between civil engineers and construction managers. Coursework focuses on the design as well as the construction management of highways, bridges, airports, railroads, buildings, dams and utilities. This allows our graduates to understand both the design processes as well as the building requirements needed to design and build today’s infrastructure, particularly in New York City.
  4. Students in Construction Management Certificate are usually students from other programs or working professionals who are seeking a credential that reflects education in Construction Management.

Prof. Sowder has taught classes through all delivery methods including in-person, hybrid, and online. She has received training and certification in hybrid instruction.

Keep reading below for a list of courses taught and other responsibilities.

Teaching List

I have taught or am still teaching the following courses:

  1. CMCE 1220 Construction Management I (2 credits)
  2. CMCE 1221 Construction Management I (3 credits)
  3. CMCE 1224 Materials & Methods II (2 credits)
  4. CMCE 2320 Construction Management II (2 credits)
  5. CMCE 2321 Construction Management II (3 credits)
  6. CMCE 2420 Construction Management III
  1. CMCE 2421 Construction Management III (3 credits)
  2. CMCE 2457 Construction Techniques in Civil Engineering (2 credits)
  3. CMCE 4401/3 Special Topics/Professional Practice (pilot)
  4. CMCE 4471 Quality Assurance (3 credits)
  5. CMCE 4800 Senior Capstone (5 credits)

Course Syllabi can be found here. Teaching Philosophy can be found here.

Course Coordination

Prof. Sowder serves or has served as Course Coordinator for the following courses:

  1. CMCE 1220 Construction Management I (2014-2015)
  2. CMCE 1221 Construction Management I (2016-present)
  3. CMCE 2320 Construction Management II (2014-2015)
  4. CMCE 2321 Construction Management II (2016-present)
  5. CMCE 2420 Construction Management III (2014-2015)
  6. CMCE 2421 Construction Management III (2016-present)
  7. CMCE 2457 Construction Techniques in Civil Engineering (2016-present)
  8. CMCE 3520 Construction Management for Civil Engineering Technologists (2016-present)
  9. CMCE 4800 Senior Capstone (2016-present)

As Course Coordinator, she is responsible for Coordinating with adjuncts for each course to ensure uniformity across the sections, continuously working through the Department’s curriculum and materials to ensure continuous improvement, and striving towards alignment with other similar programs and the unique needs of New York City-area professionals.

Teaching Philosophy

Educators in New York City are uniquely placed to use their surroundings as a teaching tool. Students are most successful when they can make connections between learned material and what they already know; by seeing the way the world around them works through the lens of instruction. Further, contextualizing learning through shared experience helps educators see their blind spots and map concepts more effectively to students who are active participants in the classroom experience. Sharing a classroom with traditional students fresh from high school and seasoned workers with their own experiences allows for great discussions and two-way learning. I thrive in that environment.

My teaching philosophy can be summarized through the following goals:

BUILDING CONFIDENCE. I encourage students to draw confidently from their experiences in work and life to make connections to class content. Wide ranging activities provide plenty of low impact opportunities to practice and engage. Comprehensive projects emulate high-stakes performance environments.

BUILDING SKILLS. Analysis, coordination, cooperation, problem-solving, and flexible thinking – all are skills that students can hone while gaining mastery of the management, budgeting, scheduling, technology literacy, and trade skills, specific to our industry.

BUILDING CONTEXT. I work with the resources available to us in New York City – the buildings, professionals, projects, communities, and cultural institutions. Students observe creative works, professional best practices, and ethical behaviors modeled in the world around them.

A PDF of my Teaching Philosophy can be found here.

Awards and Recognition

As evidence of her ongoing contributions to teaching, learning, and our industry, Pro. Sowder has received the following awards and recognitions:

  1. Rinker Fellowship. Rinker Scholar. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Recipient. 2018 – 2022 Fellowship award covers tuition for PhD studies and $30,000 stipend for related research.
  2. SGA Awards, AGC Student Chapter. City Tech, Brooklyn, NY. Club Recipient (Chapter Advisor). May 25, 2018 Club Award from SGA, a tribute to the leadership and service of the Apollo Slate, honoring Student Government members, clubs, and those who have helped students get the job done.
  3. AGC Student Chapter Award of Recognition for Faculty Advisor. Received at the AEC Industry Mentor Dinner hosted by CMCE and AGC. May 15, 2018 – Award of Recognition.
  4. Awarded New Chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi, the International Construction Honor Society. January 2018- New Chapter awarded based on application, department credentials, participation in ASC (Associated School of Construction – I am the Faculty Advisor for this work), and ABET credentials.
  5. Recipient of Design-Build Educator Workshop Scholarship. August 7-10, 2017. Hosted by the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) and the University of Denver. Scholarship covered travel, hotel, and meals as well as one week of training.
  6. Named National Chair representing New York, United States Green Building Council (USBGC) Green Schools. Spring 2014.

Student Research and Publications

As evidence of her ongoing contributions to student mentoring, output from undergraduate student researchers and honors students can be found below.

CUNY Research Scholars Faculty Mentor: Supervised undergraduate research in the CRSP program.

  1. “Selection of Materials and Techniques for Construction Under Extreme Heat Conditions.” Harold Saquicela, Participant in the 25th Semi-Annual Honors and Research Scholars Poster Presentation (2016)

Faculty Mentor, Emerging Scholars Program: The Emerging Scholars Program provides a $500 stipend for a student researcher assisting you with your research or other scholarly endeavors. The purpose of the program is to help students develop a close relationship with a faculty member and promote a practical understanding of material learned in courses. As a faculty mentor, responsible for meeting with students on a weekly basis and monitoring their project progress. Assist in Abstract and Final Poster Preparation. Students participate in the Semi Annual Poster Presentation at City Tech.

  1. “Benefits of Pre-Construction Analysis: CET Senior Capstone Expands Understanding of an Urban Refuge at GallopNYC Sunrise Stables.” Aalaa Mohamammed, award winner for Best STEM poster at the 33rd Semi-Annual Dr. Janet Liou-Mark Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholars Poster Presentation (2020)
  2. “The 1935 Hurricane Houses of Islamorada: A Case of Successful and Rapidly Deployed Post-Disaster Housing.” Kendra Gibbs (2020)
  3. “Selection of Materials and Techniques for Construction Under Extreme Heat Conditions.” Harold Saquicela (2016)

Honors in a Regular Course Faculty Mentor: Developed and delivered honors coursework in regular courses. Information can be found on the City Tech website: 34th Semi-Annual Dr. Janet Liou-Mark Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholars Poster Presentation – Honors Scholars Program (cuny.edu)

  1. Honors project CMCE 4800 during the spring 2021 semester: “Building Green Through Material Evaluation and Selection: Case Study in the Bahamas.” Ulugbek Abdulkhasanov (2021)
  2. Honors project CMCE 2321 during the spring 2021 semester: “Understanding Time, Cost, Quality, and Risk Trade-Off in Construction Projects Through a Review of Literature & Survey Distribution.” Aalaa Mohammed (2021)

Student Researchers

Sample student feedback from evaluations

CMCE 2421 2017 Spring

Q01 – Extremely knowledgeable, well experience on scheduling.\

Q05 – Great discussions.

Q11 – Learned a lot.

CMCE 4800 2017 Spring

Q01 – Amazing!

Q02 – Felt like I was valued.

Q03 – Always gave extra help.

Q04 – Yes! Feedback was amazing.

Q05 – Students were greatly encouraged.

Q06 – Always professional.

Q07 – Always gave help when needed.

Q08 – Always! Very professional.

Q09 – Yes!

Q10 – Yes!

Q11 – Amazing! Allowed students to show what they’ve learned.

CMCE 1221 2019 Fall

Q07 – Clear on everything.

Q09 – Amazing professor.

CMCE 4471 2020 Fall

She’s a pretty cool professor and she makes the class interesting. I’d definitely take another class with her.

Professor Sowder is a very effective professor. She is fair, holds the interest of the class by asking questions often to engage the students. She is the best professor I have head thus far at City Tech.

The teaching style was effective.

CMCE 2421 2020 Fall

I used to have her as professor also during Fall 2019 and I can say that the online courses didn’t effect at all the way she organize the class. She is always on top when it comes to have the students attention during all the session even though it is online. I learned too much things in this class that I really needed for my profession and all thanks to her. I can just say that she is another level of professors. She is a full package. I love her.

Although a tough year, and learning online was difficult in general, Professor Sowder did an excellent job going through the material on this class!

The world needs more people like professor Sowder!

great professor!

Great professor. Gives good feedback and teaches the material in a fun and effective way. Will defiantly take her again!

Teaching Improvement Activities

As evidence of her commitment to excellence in teaching throughout her academic career, Prof. Sowder has participated in the following activities:

Faculty Commons Workshops

  1. “Faculty Friday – Research, Writing & Creative Work: Strategies for a Productive Summer” (5/21/21)
  2. “NEH Humanities Connections proposal development” (5/14/21)
  3. “Faculty Friday – Images, copyright, and “fair use” in the academic setting” (4/30/21)
  4. Grant-Writing Workshop #3:  Introduction to City Tech’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) (4/23/21)
  5. “Faculty Friday – Avoiding Hidden Bias Reflection & Follow-up Discussion” (4/16/21)
  6. “Grant-Writing Workshop #1 – The National Endowment for the Humanities ” (3/26/21)
  7. “The Burn-Out Challenge: Resources for a Year of Pandemic (and beyond)” (3/19/21)
  8. “Faculty Friday – Avoiding Hidden Bias & Creating an Inclusive Classroom” (3/12/21)
  9. “Faculty Friday – Advisement Refresher ” (3/5/21)
  10. “Facilitating Effective Group Work & Team Projects” (2/5/21)
  11. “Avoiding Plagiarism” (10/18/17)

Faculty Commons Workshop Presenter

  1. “Engaging Students in Collaborative Work Using MIRO.” Hosted by Faculty Commons as part of Faculty Fridays. (5/7/21)
  2. “Your OER and Creative Commons Licensing.” Hosted by Writing Accross the Curriculum (WAC). (2017)

NEH Fellow

  • Fellow in the National Endowment for the Humanities “Making Connections: Engaging the Humanities at a College of Technology” program. From Project Director, Geoff Zylstra: “Your participation in this program will enrich the curriculum at the New York City College of Technology and expand our college’s national presence. In the 2014-2015 year we met over a dozen times. These meetings included seminars with external scholars and field trips off campus. I particularly want to thank you for the curriculum development you did in your Construction Management course and the efforts you put into making our meetings enjoyable occasions. Thanks again for the pumpkin pie! It has been a pleasure to work with you this past year.” Developed new course material connecting humanities to technical currciula. (2014-2015)

Bridging the Gap Participant

  • Through my participation in Bridging the Gap training, I worked to improve consistency and comprehensiveness of the Construction Management curriculum by ensuring consistent instructional materials (same assignments and exams throughout all sections); improving materials to improve student learning outcomes (more responsive, more legible, more relevant, more engaging, better retention); and developing learning outcomes for the program that are scaffolded to each course. Faculty can now see the learning goals for each course they teach in the CM sequence as well as the overall student learning goals and the learning goals for all other courses in the sequence. (2017)

Integration of ABET Continuous Improvement Plan

  • Integrated continuous improvement recommendations in CMCE offerings as author of CMCE BTech ABET accreditation Self Study Report (2016-2020)

Honors and Research Scholars Poster Presentation Judge

  • Viewed and evaluated student research at the semi-annual college-wide poster presentation (2017)

iTEC Hybrid Blackboard Workshop

  • Online training to prepare courses for online delivery

Bridging the Gap and Metacognition Training Seminars

  • To improve student learning outcomes through development of new learning modules

OER Faculty Fellow Developed and Implemented OER materials in Construction Management courses. CMCE 2321, CMCE 2421, and CMCE 4800. I replaced outdated text with materials developed under my OER Fellowship work (Refer to Section 21 for more details). Online texts are free, contain samples of industry documents as well as video, visuals, and materials from industry experts. (2017-2018)

Classwork Samples

CMCE 2421 – Construction Management III | Teaches students planning and scheduling including site logistics, construction sequencing, and industry-standard software. I like to introduce students to the functions of planning and scheduling using simple desktop tools before we get into using P6 for creating schedules. It gives them a chance to try out concepts without the added stress of learning a new software. We keep it fun with a lot of low stakes exercises and challenge their thinking by using scheduling logic for non-construction activities. But make no mistake, by the end of the semester, CM III students are expected to schedule fairly complex construction details.

Sample student submissions are attached below.

Sample low stakes exercises, early in the semester | Sample site logistics planning exercise, mid-semester | Samples of construction detail sequencing activity | Sample P6 schedule and docs created

CMCE 4471 – Quality Assurance | Promotes a deep understanding of construction quality and gives students different tools for assessing quality and communicating expectations and results to their clients. Students are called upon throughout the semester to use these tools to evaluate industry scenarios. In one lab exercise, students are responsible for researching a real world case study from multiple kinds of sources, identifying the participants involved, and making recommendations based on what they have learned.

Sample student submissions are attached below.

Lab 02 samples

CMCE 4800 – Senior Capstone | Integrates diverse elements of the curriculum and develops student competence using both technical and non-technical skills to solve problems. Students work in teams to solve a comprehensive problem from concept to final design, preparation of construction documents and cost estimates. Non-technical skills such as presentation skills, teamwork, accountability, and ethics are emphasized. The comprehensive final project focuses on the synthesis of different disciplines for the design and planning of a complete project. This course should be taken in the final semester of the Bachelor of Technology Degree.

Samples from student assignments and submissions are included below.

Senior Capstone Projects :

2017 Spring: BAM Triangle Park Remediation & Construction, Brooklyn, NY. In coordination with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership I developed remediation project for student-led teams who assessed an eyesore park property, conducted a site survey, and created design documents. I developed a construction approach project for student-led teams using student designs. They were responsible for a site visit as well as developing estimates, budgets, schedules, logistics plans, and other documents for remediation and construction in the active urban center.

2017 Fall: Rockaway House Raising, Far Rockaway, NY. In coordination with the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) I developed a post-Sandy rebuild project for student-led teams who conducted a site survey and created design documents for a post-disaster house raising project. In coordination with DDC I developed a construction approach project for student-led teams using student designs. They were responsible for a site visit, as well as developing estimates, budgets, schedules, logistics plans, and other documents for a neighborhood-wide project of ten house raising projects.

2018 Spring: Metropolitan Opera House Interior Renovation, Lincoln Center, New York, NY. In coordination with the Metropolitan Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera Guild I developed an interior renovation project for student-led teams who assessed the organization’s needs, conducted a site survey, and created design documents. In coordination with House Management and the Metropolitan Opera Guild I developed a construction approach project for student-led teams using student designs. They were responsible for a site visit, as well as developing estimates, budgets, schedules, logistics plans, and other documents for construction in an occupied theater.

2018 Fall and 2019 Spring: Gateways to Chinatown, New York, NY. Based on an RFP issued by the Chinatown Partnership and Van Alen Institute, I worked with façade engineer, fabricator, and designer, my co-teacher Shamil Lallani, to develop a landmark park project for students at the Little Italy-Chinatown nexus in Manhattan. Students were responsible for site visits, as well as developing detailed drawing sets, budgets, schedules, logistics plans, and other documents for construction. Students integrated model fabrication through 3D printing, 3D fly throughs, and detailed renderings with their final projects.

2019 Fall and 2020 Spring: GallopNYC Sunrise Stables, Howard Beach, New York, NY. Based on an RFP developed with the organization to address various grant proposals, I worked with the organization and my co-teacher Shamil Lallani, to develop a new riding and administration facility project for students at the historic Howard Beach stables in Queens. Students were responsible for site visits, as well as developing detailed drawing sets, budgets, schedules, logistics plans, and other documents for construction. Students integrated model fabrication through 3D printing, 3D fly throughs, and detailed renderings with their final projects.

2021 Spring: FYRE Festival, The Bahamas. Based on known project constraints, students are developing a project site to accommodate several thousand festival attendees. Students are responsible for collaboratively addressing the design, engineering, and construction challenges of a tight schedule, difficult site, and exacting client.

What we tackled in Senior Capstone spring 2021-

Student projects were assessed based on the following:

  • Design Systems/Site Layout Design – Student demonstrated understanding of site constraints and engineering systems required to complete Site Layout Design.
  • Design Systems/Circulation Plan – Student demonstrated understanding of site constraints and design systems required to complete Circulation Diagram.
  • Design Components/Engineering Problem – Student created design solutions incorporating feedback on project-specific Construction Engineering problem.
  • Design Planning Processes/Budget – Using project constraints, student developed Planning Systems, including Budget calculations.
  • Design Planning Processes/Schedule – Using project constraints, student developed Planning Systems, including Schedule.
  • Context and Purpose for Writing (includes consideration of audience & circumstances surrounding the task) – Student developed and communicated appropriate theme and background using technical literature appropriate to the engineering and design problems.
  • Format – Student used appropriate formats for communicating design solutions appropriate to the engineering and design problems.
  • Language – Student demonstrated understanding of appropriate terminology for communicating design solutions appropriate to the engineering and design problems.
  • Communication – Student organized and clearly articulated thoughts when communicating design solutions appropriate to the engineering and design problems.
  • Analysis/Synthesis – Student demonstrated understanding of importance and relevance of information contained in design solutions appropriate to the engineering and design problems.
  • Supporting Evidence – – Student used appropriate sources to support design solutions to the engineering and design problems.
  • Evidence of coordination – Student developed plan for successful group work including communication and delegation of tasks
  • Met project schedule milestones – Student produced work appropriate to meet project deadlines.
  • Teamwork process – Student demonstrated understanding of team and leadership roles through project delivery and presentations.

Sample student works from my Senior Capstone class, CMCE 4800