Burns School Student Activities

Each year, students at the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management participate in a variety of hands-on, experiential learning projects and competitions. Learn more about their involvement and see the difference our students are making for the Denver community

Burns School Playhouse Project

See how students from the Burns School collaborated with David Weekley Homes in the 2015 Playhouse project to benefit one of our veterans.

An annual project led by Burns School students to plan and build a life-sized playhouse for the family of suggested by a charity organization. The past years have provided a playhouse for families of the Wounded Warrior organization.

Contact Candace Rusk for more information.

Executive Real Estate Roundtable

Since its inception in 1997, this group meets 10 times per year on the second Thursday of each month, with the exception of July and December, on the DU campus. Speakers are chosen for their areas of expertise and relevance to the trends of the industry. We offer both individual and corporate memberships. Guest fees are $40, alumni are $35 and students are $5 per meeting. Breakfast Sponsorship is available for each meeting. Contact Debra Ortlip for more information. View past presentations.


June 13, 2019
Speakers: Mary Wohnrade, PE, and Kyle Reeder, PE | Wohnrade Civil Engineers
Topic: UAS Applications in Real Estate and Land Development

2019 Membership
For membership information contact Debra Ortlip. To join ERER, please complete the membership form. Corporate and Individual memberships are available. We now offer special rates for alumni. Membership runs January through December; fees are prorated for those wanting to become members after the January 7 cut off date.

Alumni & Friends Networking Events

These informal and complimentary networking events are an excellent opportunity for alumni, students and industry professionals in the real estate and construction fields to meet and mingle. Events are hosted off campus by an alum or friend of the School.

These events are occasionally combined with other schools and departments within Daniels to increase the number of business contacts and networking for attendees.

Contact Ceci Smith for more information.

Women in Construction Leadership Bootcamp

Barbara Jackson, Director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, and Shirley Ramos, Director of People Development at LPR Construction, collaborate to create an amazing opportunity for women leaders or those moving up the ladder into leadership positions at this three and a half day Boot Camp experience. The Boot Camp takes place at The Nature Place in Florissant, Colorado in the spring and fall.


Contact Barb Jackson for more information.

Company Info Sessions

In conjunction with the Daniels Career Center, Burns coordinates weekly company visits on campus for the purpose of meeting students and presenting what their company offers and how it contributes to the RECM industry. These informal discussions often end up with an offer of employment for our students.

Benefits for the Company

  • Connect with the DU student talent base.
  • Brand your company on-campus.
  • Educate students about the industry.


  • Info Sessions are held on designated days (currently Tuesday and Wednesday) 5–6 p.m. each week of the fall, winter and spring quarters.
  • The Company presents to students for 20-30 minutes, either with a computer presentation or lecture style, followed by Q&A and informal conversation.
  • The presenting Company sponsors food for the event and can bring branded items to hand out.

Typically 15-20 students attend


  • Contact Burns to reserve a date.
  • Provide descriptions of any job or internship openings. We recommend posting your job/internship opportunities with us prior to the Info Session so students can see the opportunities and ask questions about them.
  • Please provide your logo/tagline to us for marketing purposes.
  • Daniels Career Services will contact you prior to the event for parking needs and food order.
  • We provide on-campus interview space for you to interview students at any time. Interview sign-up sheets will be available at the Info Session to help organize the interviews.

For more information or to schedule an Info Session contact Ceci Smith.

Spring Banquet

An annual end-of-academic-year celebration for Burns Students, alumni, faculty and staff. Students are recognized for their participation with the program as well as Honors Earned. One outstanding Alumni is also recognized for their positive impact on students and/or the program. This is a formal yet very fun affair where a little “roasting” is allowed to be included on the menu.

Contact Ceci Smith for more information.

Summer BBQ at the Jackson Ranch

A celebration of and with those alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff who contributed to the Burns School Annual Fund Drive for the 2016–2017 fiscal year. Put on your boots and jeans and celebrate Western style! Contact

Contact Marie Kline for more information.

DBIA Educators Forum

Hosted by the Burns School at the University of Denver Campus, the annual meeting of the Design-Build Institute discusses newest trends, topics, and methodology for the design-build industry.

The Burns Society

This invitation-only group of leaders meets approximately five times a year to discuss issues with a think-tank approach. A variety of Discussant Leaders is invited to participate in the discussion moderated by Dr. Mark Lee Levine. The society also presents all students graduation from the Burns School with the gift of a professional leather briefcase. Individual members support the Burns Society Scholarship Fund.

Contact Debra Ortlip for more information.

Past Presentations

Executive Real Estate Roundtable Breakfast

Past Presentations

May 9, 2019
Speaker: Jon Buerge | Chief Development Officer | Urban Villages
Topic: Update on Larimer Square Issues
View the presentation

April 11, 2019
Speakers: Jill Mendoza, Senior Economic Development Specialist, City and County of Broomfield | Adam Krueger, Assistant Director, Economic Development, City of Thornton
Topic: Colorado’s Northern Corridor
View the City of Broomfield presentation
View the City of Thornton presentation

March 28, 2019
Speaker: Brian Phetteplace | Director of Economic Development | Cherry Creek North
Topic: Update on Cherry Creek North BID
This presentation is not yet available. Feel free to email Brian with questions.

February 14, 2019
Speaker: Tracy Winchester, Executive Director
Topic: An Update on Five Points Business District
View the Presentation»

January 11, 2019
Tasha Weaver, Colorado Housing & Finance Authority | Benjamin Taylor, Dominium | Amy Johnson, Belveron Partners
Affordable Housing Panel
View the Belveron Presentation»
View the Dominium Presentation»
View the CHFA Presentation»

November 8, 2018
Speaker: John Weisigetr | Senior Vice President, CBRE
Topic: Retail Update: Current and Future Trends and their Impacts on Real Estate
View Presentation»

October 11, 2018
Brett Sisco | Construction Executive Mortenson – Denver Operating Group
The Gaylord Properties
View Presentation»

September 13, 2018
Gretchen Hollrah | Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center | City & County of Denver and Kye Holtan-Brown | Project Manager, National Western Center
The National Western Complex Update
View Presentation»

August 9, 2018
Speakers: Rhys Duggan, President, CEO and Managing Partner, Revesco Properties & Chris Shears, Shears Adkin Rockmore Architects
Topic: The River Mile Project
View Presentation»

June 14, 2018
Speaker: John Hall – Director of Economic Developent for City of Westminster
Topic: Westminster Real Estate Development Update
View Presentation»

May 10, 2018
Brad Buchanan, Executive Director – Community Planning & Development City & County of Denver
“Denver: Our Legacy, Vision and Future” The amazing opportunities & challenges that are part of being one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.
For information please contact Brad Buchanan at brad.buchanan@denvergov.org.

April 12, 2018
Speaker: Michelle Valeri, Communications & Programs Director, and Frank Locantore, CBID Community Director
Topic: “Colfax Conceptual Master Streetscape Plan” Colfax Avenue Business Improvement District
View Presentation»

March 8, 2018
Speaker: Dick Lamm, Former Colorado Governor
Topic: Amazon Headquarters: Is it good for Colorado?
No Presentation Available

February 8, 2018
Speaker: Darryl Jones, Chief Real Estate Officer / DEN
Topic: “DEN Renovations”
View Presentation»

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Jon Cody, CEcD | City & County of Thornton| Northern I-25 Corridor
Maximizing Development Opportunities
View Presentation»

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Speaker: Katrina Managan, Senior Advisor, Energy Efficiency | Denver Department of Health & Environment
Topic: Energize Denver
View Presentation»

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Speaker: Lauren Foley, Financial Specialist | Supervision, and Regulation for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Topic: Technology Disruptors and Their Impact on Commercial Real Estate
View Presentation»

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Dr. Mark Levine, DU Professor
Update on Autonomous Automobiles and Their Impact on Real Estate
For information on this presentation please contact Dr. Levine directly at MLevine@du.edu

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Speaker: Frank Gray, President & CEO, Castle Rock Economic Development/Colorado
Topic: Castle Rock, Where Construction is King
For information on this presentation please contact Karah at Karah@castlerockedc.com.

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Speaker: Karen Gerwitz, CEO & President, World Trade Center – Denver
Future Projects»

Tuesday, May 11, 2017
Lane Brannan, Four Winds Interactive
Topic: How Visual Communications Technology is Changing the Workplace

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Speaker: Adam Gross, Ayers Saint Gross
Envision the DU District Plan»

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Speaker: Randall Hertel, Executive Vice President, Majestic Realty, Co.
The Industrial Real Estate Boom: Opportunities & Challenges»

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Brice Leconte, Founder, iUnits
The Future of Sustainable Buildings»

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Kyle Holtan-Brown, Project Manager, National Western Complex
The Transformation of the National Western Complex»

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Brian Bailey, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Breakfast Sponsor: 
Co/Wy CCIM Chapter
The Economy & Where Commercial Real Estate is Today. Where’s the Risk?»

November 10, 2016
Speaker: Marcel Arsenault, Chairman, CEO & Founder, Real Capital Solutions
Breakfast Sponsor: 
NorthMarq Capital
Problems and Opportunities in Commercial Real Estate»

October 13, 2016
Speaker: George Thorn, Mile High Development
Breakfast Sponsor: 
Bryan Cave

August 11, 2016
Speaker: John Hall, Economic Development Director, City of Westminster
City of Westminster Development Opportunities»

June 9, 2016
Speaker: Phil Feigin, Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP
Crowdfunding: Know What You Are Getting Into»

May 12, 2016
Speakers: Michelle Claymore City of Commerce City, Rick Wells, REGen, LLC
Breakfast Sponsor: 
Kimley Horn
Mile High Greyhound Park Redevelopment Project»

April 14, 2016
Speaker: Susan Powers
Breakfast Sponsor:
KTGY Architecture & Design
Affordable Housing in Denver—Why Should We Care and What You Can Do About It»

March 10, 2016
Speaker: Jeff Handlin, President, Oread Capital & Development
Breakfast Sponsor: 
Calibre Engineering
Residential Land Development: Challenges & Opportunities of the Current Market Cycle»

February 11, 2016
Speaker: Randy Nichols, Nichols Partnership
Breakfast Sponsor: 
ValleyCrest Design Group—Denver
Innovation in Office Space—What’s Different and Why»

January 14, 2016
Speaker: Marcia Waters, Director, Department of Real Estate for State of Colorado
Topic: Waters spoke on the Current Real Estate Issues Being Addressed by the Commission as to Brokers, Lenders, Condo Issues and New Developments.

October 8, 2015
Speaker: Kyle Zeppelin, Zeppelin Development
TAXI, The Source, Source Hotel & A Frame»

September 10, 2015
Speaker: John Lehigh, Forest City Development

August 13, 2015
Mike Gross, City of Glendale
Glendale 180 Project»

June 11, 2015
Rutt Bridges, Author “Driverless Car Revolution”
The Disruptive Impacts of Driverless Cars on Real Estate»

May 14, 2015
Dr. Sam Kamin, Professor at Sturm College of Law
Marijuana Regulation—Implications for Real Estate & Construction»

April 9, 2015
Dean Barber, Senior Vice President of Development—McWhinney
Insights Into Our Current Development Activity and Our View on Current Market Opportunities, Trends and Challenges»

March 12, 2015
Speaker: Dr. Mark Levine, Burns School of RECM
Current Topics & Trends in Real Estate Tax»

February 12, 2015
Speaker: Jay H. Lindell, Major General, USAF (Ret.), Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Colorado Aerospace and Defense Industry»

January 8, 2015
Speaker: Dr. Glenn Mueller, Burns School of RECM
The Market Cycles of First and Second Tier Cities»


Denver DBIA

2015 DBIA in Denver, Colorado
View Presentation»

Other Presentations

Friday, October 10
2014 AIA P+DC

View Presentation»