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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.

RECM Network

This student organization invites industry leaders from a variety of specializations to talk to the students about their areas of expertise and network with students one-on-one. The club is also active in participating with industry associations and in community events.

NAIOP Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

The Competition: The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge (RMREC) is an annual event designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver’s graduate real estate programs. The event allows these students and the local business community to an interface while assisting the project sponsor with development options for the specific property. A property is selected in the region that serves as the competition site that is under control of the project sponsor. The challenge places the two real estate programs against one another to create a preferred development real estate proposal for the selected property. Previous project sites include developments in Boulder and Parker, Colorado. Each team is charged with creating a vision for the property, conducting market research on uses for the property, working with a local architectural firm (secured to participate by NAIOP) to assist them in the project’s design, refinement of the vision the respect with respect to the zoning and entitlements carried by the property. The finalists from each school are judged by a group of seasoned real estate professionals the day of the event.

2015 Winners:  The Burns School Visionary Partners team presented their redevelopment plan for Westfield Company Inc.’s Midtown Industrial Center on Brighton Boulevard. Visionary Partner’s “RiNo Link” plan was selected by NAIOP’s esteemed panel of judges as the winner of the competition. This is the third year in a row that Daniels students have taken the top prize, with a total of eight wins in the past 13 years.

NAHB Competition 2016

University of Denver Wins 2016 NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition

Las Vegas, Nevada, January 20-22, 2016 –The Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver won first place in the Four-Year College category of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC) held at the 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas in January.

Fifty-three teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual competition, with 35 teams competing in the FourYear College category alone.

“Congratulations to the NAHB Student Chapter at The University of Denver,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.”

During the competition, students create a residential development plan and solve real-life construction management problems, then present their solutions to a judging panel of residential construction industry experts.

“We worked incredibly hard for this win. We’re so excited to finally bring the first place trophy to DU.” said team captain, Carlos Villar. Faculty advisor and Burns School Director, Dr. Barbara Jackson, couldn’t agree more. “These students dedicated countless hours and the majority of their free time last quarter to this project. I’m so proud to see them get rewarded for all their hard work.”

This was the 16th time the Burns School has competed in this national competition. Their first year competing, they took home the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2000 and placed second in 2010, which was the highest placement until now. The Burns School placed in the top five the last two years.

“Students will remember the competition for the rest of their lives. The judges were impressed with this year’s group, and we expect once again that the participants will be highly sought after when it comes to job offers,” said RCMC consultant, Dianne Slattery, Ph.D., Slattery Consulting.

The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction.

We’re dedicated to lifelong learning and professional networking

The Burns School is dedicated to providing a wealth of networking, continuing education, and career events for our students, alumni and industry professionals.

Register for a Burns Event

Alumni and 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 amount of business contacts and networking for attendees.

Contact Marie Kline for more information.

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 are 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 Nicole Gleason for more information.


The Mountain and Western Slope Real Estate Summit

The Mountain and Western Slope Real Estate Summit, scheduled for the fall of each year in the Colorado mountains, focuses on the specific topics facing development issues in Colorado’s mountain towns and the Western Slope. It is held in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate Group. The Summit is unique to the Burns School and strongly supported by the communities it benefits. Each year, a leader local to the Summit location is awarded the Legacy Award for their contribution(s) to the industry and their community. The Legacy Award replaces the former “Honorary Dean” award. Past Legacy Award recipients are featured in this YouTube video.

Contact Marie Kline for more information.

Women in Construction Leadership Bootcamp

Barbara Jackson, director of the Burns School, and Shirley Ramos, principal of DG Consulting, collaborate to create an amazing opportunity for women leaders or those moving up the ladder into leadership positions at this four-day bootcamp experience. The Bootcamp takes place at the Nature Place in Florissant, Colorado in the spring and fall.

Contact 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 alum is also recognized for his or her 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!

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.

ECO District

Join us for the 2017 Eco Districts Summit, the world’s only conference dedicated to neighborhood and district-scale sustainability. Urban leaders worldwide will convene October 11–12 in Atlanta to explore the role of district-scale innovation to address some of the most critical issues facing city makers today.


Executive Real Estate Roundtable

Since its inception in 1997, this group meets 10 times per year (the second Thursday of each month with the exception of August and December) on the DU campus. Speakers are chosen for their areas of expertise and relevance to the trends of the industry. There are individual and corporate memberships. Guest fees are $40 per meeting. Student fees are $5 per meeting.