Construction Owners Association of America Announces Recipients of 2 Albert E Phillips Scholarships

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June 13, 2014 - PRLog -- Houston, TX May 15, 2014 – The Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) announced that Rachel Sommer, a student at Pennsylvania State University and Ted Kilcrease, attending University of Arkansas, were each awarded an Albert E. Phillips Scholarship.  COAA, a national organization committed to the continuous improvement of the design and construction process to maximize Owners’ project success, offers these scholarships to assist future leaders in their educational pursuits and position them to become contributors to the industry.

A committee comprised of COAA members representing various stages of professional development reviewed an outstanding group of applicants and awarded scholarships to the two candidates whose commitment to education, the community, and professional service stood above all others. Sommer and Kilcrease were honored at COAA’s Spring Owners Leadership Conference in Houston, TX.

“We believe very strongly in education and encourage personal growth and development,” said Joe Sprys, Director of Construction, at the National Heritage Academy and Scholarship Committee member. “We provide extensive training opportunities for members, including the Owner Training Institute courses, Owner Leadership Conferences, and webinars throughout the year and feel the Scholarship program is a natural extension of that commitment.”

"COAA is passionate about supporting students who demonstrate a commitment to their learning. We were impressed by the quality and diversity of this year's applicants.  We were especially pleased to have received a surge of scholarship applications from non-traditional students — those who have delayed enrollment, are over the age of 25, have dependents, etc. — who have returned to university,” said Rebecca Koller, AVP Director of Facilities Management at University of Nebraska and Scholarship Committee member.  "We are happy to play a small role in the success of Rachel and Ted’s journey towards a career in the construction industry. We wish them much success.”

Rachel Sommer is pursuing a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree from Penn State University (PSU). PSU’s architectural engineering major is a five-year program that emphasizes the scientific and engineering aspects of planning, design, and construction of buildings. Rachel is a senior scheduled to graduate in May of 2015 and holds a 3.92 overall GPA.  Rachel is currently providing support as an intern for the Contract Administration department in the Design and Construction Division of PSU’s Office of Physical Plant. According to Rachel’s recommendation letters, her enthusiasm and drive have helped her garner the trust of the entire department, allowing her involvement in projects not typical to most interns. She has participated in various Construction Management selections for PSU projects and helped with the startup of an online bidding program. In addition, she is assisting with the development of an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contracting process.  PSU also named Rachael its Intern Representative, who helps coordinate and participate in the hiring of the next round of design and construction interns.

Ted Kilcrease is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Ted is a junior scheduled to graduate in May of 2015 and holds a 4.0 overall GPA.  A non-traditional student, Ted is a husband and father with 16+ years’ experience in the residential construction industry.  Ted owns his own residential handy-man business but decided to pursue a degree in construction management after the recession hit the residential construction industry particularly hard. His experience has come in handy, as the UALR Construction Management program requires all students to complete a minimum 800 contract hours of practical work experience in construction-related activity. Ted is currently providing support as an intern for McCarthy Building Companies on a surface water facilities project in Lake Conroe, TX.

To arrange an interview, please contact Lucie Castro, (800) 994-2622


About COAA

Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) was founded in 1994 to serve the interests of construction project owners.  Comprised of a diverse group of men and women representing construction project owners throughout America, COAA is committed to the continuous improvement of the design and construction process to maximize Owners’ project success.  COAA supports this mission through education, information, scholarships and developing relationships within the industry.

About Albert E. Phillips

The Albert E. Phillips Scholarship honors Al Phillips, a founding member of COAA who served as general counsel for the organization for 13 years.  Albert E. Phillips is of counsel in the Atlanta law firm of Cohen Pollock Merlin & Small.  Mr. Phillips’ practice is entirely related to construction matters, with particular emphasis on representing owners of construction projects.  Mr. Phillips has represented a broad variety of clients in his field, including state, city, and county governments; state universities; airport authorities; hospitals; national and multi-national corporations, including hotel and retail chains; airlines; public utilities; private developers; architects; engineers; contractors; and surety companies.

For more information on COAA and the Albert E. Phillips Scholarship, please visit:

Lucie Castro
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Tags:Scholarship, Construction, Education, Leadership, Conference
Industry:Construction, Education
Location:United States
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