In Knoxville, Meet Charlie Parker
Director of the Construction Science Program in CASNR

What do you do as program director?
Given the youth of the construction science program, founded in 2010, my responsibilities are constantly evolving. I actively teach numerous construction courses, sponsor the student club, and advise students, in addition to directing the program. As its first director, I strive to provide our students with the greatest opportunities available, both in internships and positions upon graduation. I take pride that more than 85 percent of our 110+ students intern annually and 100 percent have found degree-related positions at graduation.

How long have you been a member of the Institute?
I am completing my fourth year within the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, which is home to the construction science program. Previously I coordinated the construction program at East Tennessee State University for twenty-seven years. Prior to 1986, I was partnered in a construction firm in Pensacola, Florida, and taught at the University of West Florida.  

What is the best part of your job?
Engagement with students. It is a tremendous opportunity to be in a position that can have a positive impact on shaping a student’s future. I enjoy the advisement and teaching aspects of my position and would not feel complete if it was not part of my directorship position.

My philosophy is to provide the essentials for student success, and that is what initially attracted me to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. It is great to be associated with a college and colleagues who are well-respected and admired by their students.  

Any other thoughts?
Any time you are part of the startup of a new program there are numerous challenges as well as opportunities. I consider it a privilege to be the founding director of the construction science program and have found that opportunities abound.