Professor, Construction Management Department
Charner Rodgers, Ph.D.
Vice Chair of the National Association of Home Builders Student Advisory Board
1st Place Outstanding NAHB Student Chapter of the Year
2021 National Housing Endowment HELP Grant Winner
What year did you start teaching at NewSchool?
What led you to pursue a career in the construction industry?
My father! He was my first hero and role model! I was introduced to residential construction at birth. My dad was a brick mason then later became a general contractor. I spent every summer going to work with him. In my family, the first-born male becomes a general contractor. I am my dad’s only child, so I was destined to have a career in construction.
Why did you start teaching at NewSchool?
My mentor Dr. Linda Thomas Mobley always spoke to me about teaching. I was a teaching assistant when I was attending graduate school and I quickly realized I had a gift with it.
In your opinion, what makes NewSchool special?
It’s a safe place where faculty and students can be themselves while obtaining a great education.
What are the challenges, if any, faced by women in a male-dominated field?
The biggest challenge is not getting a chance to prove yourself in the field. Some females would like to be superintendents and not sales associates!
Throughout your time in the construction industry, what are some ways you feel it has changed?
There is definitely more diversity in the field! There is also more mainstream interest in the craft.
What’s something interesting you’re currently working on? Personal or professional.
I am working on research exploring women in the construction industry. I want to research the experiences of women in the industry and how we can promote and introduce more women in the industry.
What is your favorite part about educating the next generation of construction managers?
My favorite part about educating the next generation is being a part of their journey and seeing how far they go. Many of my students have made me very proud.
If you could provide advice to a young female interested in a career in construction, what would it be?
I would tell young females in the industry to JUST DO IT! Don’t be afraid of what might happen. Our industry is more open to women than ever before and I truly believe this is the time to be a woman in the industry.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
The most important lesson I learned is to believe in my abilities and knowledge. I earned my spot in the industry and I should not think differently.
What has you most excited about the future?
I am most excited about new technologies that are being introduced. The industry has not changed much in its processes, and I think the new generation is going to provide more innovative ways to accomplish many tasks in the industry.