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Charner Rodgers, Ph.D.

Charner Rodgers, Ph.D.

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.

Andre Tejeda

Andre Tejeda


Masters in Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology

BBA in Marketing, Augusta State University – College of Business Administration

About Andre

With a wealth of experience spanning various roles and industries, Andre Tejeda is a seasoned professional in industrial development, construction, and academia. Currently serving as Sr. Principal for Industrial Development & Construction at Chick-fil-A Corporate Support Center, he oversees strategic initiatives and project execution. Additionally, as an Adjunct Professor at NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Andre imparts his knowledge and expertise to future construction professionals. Prior to his current roles, he held leadership positions at CBRE and HD Supply, where he managed complex construction projects and programs. With a strong foundation in project management and construction services, Andre brings valuable insights and skills to every endeavor.

Thomas Mulica

Thomas Mulica


Master of Architecture, University of Washington

Bachelor of Arts – Art History,Emory University

About Thomas

Thomas Mulica, a licensed architect with a wealth of experience in blending architectural design with a unique sense of empathy, history, and humor, currently leads Story Architecture LLP in San Diego, CA. Educated at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he obtained a Master of Architecture in 2005, Thomas’s academic journey also includes a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Emory University, Atlanta, GA. His professional ethos is deeply influenced by craft design and the stories that buildings tell about their times and occupants.

Thomas’s teaching career as an Assistant Professor at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design since 2015 underscores his dedication to nurturing the next generation of architects. He has led undergraduate thesis and topic studios, focusing on architectural studies and the history of architecture. His volunteer work, including impactful projects with Architects Without Borders and the US Peace Corps, highlights his commitment to using architecture as a tool for social change and community improvement.

Thomas’s achievements include winning the 99k House Competition in 2009, a testament to his innovative approach to affordable and sustainable housing. His multifaceted career is a blend of design excellence, educational leadership, and a commitment to societal contributions through architecture.

Rabi Sidawi

Rabi Sidawi


M.A. Arch, Design Theory & Methodology, University of California (UCLA)

  1. Arch, Architecture, Tulane University
  2. Arch, Architecture, American University of Beirut

About Rabi

Rabi Sidawi AIA has practiced architecture since 1986, with experience in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Atlanta. Currently an Adjunct Professor at NSAD and Gwinnett Technical College, he brings expertise in construction management and interior design. Formerly, as a Senior AEC Solutions Consultant, he provided mentoring and consulting on AEC projects utilizing industry-leading BIM software. Rabi has also been a speaker at Autodesk University and other professional events, and holds multiple certifications including Autodesk Building Specialist and BIM 360 Technical Advisor. A member of the American Institute of Architects since 1996, he is a registered architect in Georgia, USA.

Chi-An (Andy) Liao

Chi-An Liao


M.Arch 2, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Visual Art, Fordham University, USA

Bachelor of Architecture, Southeast University, China

About Andy

Chi-An Liao (Andy) is an aspiring architect from Taipei, Taiwan, currently pursuing his M.Arch 2 at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. With a solid foundation in Architecture from Southeast University, China, and Visual Art from Fordham University, USA, Andy brings a diverse and creative perspective to his work. His extensive internship experience from 2013 to 2016 includes engaging in a variety of architectural projects, showcasing his skills in concept design, 2D and 3D modeling, and rendering.

Andy is proficient in multiple languages and software tools essential for contemporary architectural design, including SketchUp, Rhino, AutoCAD, Photoshop, and many more. His professional journey features contributions to significant architectural firms and projects, enhancing his portfolio in design and site supervision. Most recently, Andy’s roles have evolved from designer to site engineer, involving him in projects like the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB).

Andy’s dedication and passion for architecture are recognized by peers and mentors alike, making him a promising talent in the field.

WenWei (Tony) Liao, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in Information and Computer Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Master of Law in Business Administration, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Executive Master of Business Administration, Aalto University Helsinki, ES, Finland
  • Master of Computer Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Bachelor of Business Administration/ Computer and Information Science, Soochow University, Taipei City, Taiwan

About Tony

Tony Liao is an outstanding professional with a deep background in computer science and extensive experience in managing and executing various projects. With over 20 years in his field, he specializes in project management, research and development, application engineering, and engineering management. His work, particularly in technical collaborations, has showcased his innovative thinking and active contributions to global technical solutions. Throughout his career, Dr. Liao has held roles ranging from a professor for the Master’s in Construction Management Online program at NewSchool of Architecture & Design, a Senior Research Associate and Scientific Program Manager at the University of Colorado Boulder, to an Assistant Professor at Taiwan Chinese Culture University. In these universities, he has led various projects in teaching, software development, interior design, and construction management, highlighting his professional expertise and extensive experience. Additionally, Dr. Liao holds multiple certifications, including Google Project Management Certificate, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Strategic Career Planning Consultant (SCPC). His affiliations with prestigious organizations such as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Global Career Quality Assurance (GCQA) further underscore his skills and recognition in his field. Dr Liao’s dedication to management science, environmental science, and technological innovation makes him an invaluable asset to any initiative aiming to integrate technological advancements with sustainable and impactful solutions.

Daniela Deutsch


  • Master of Architecture, Darmstadt University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Darmstadt University of Technology

About Daniela

Daniela Deutsch was educated in Darmstadt, Germany, where she earned both her Bachelor and Master of Architecture degrees. Daniela is multi-lingual and her architecture and teaching careers have flourished both in Germany and the United States. She is the co-founder of the award-winning firm, exitecture architekten, in Frankfurt, Germany, and Principal of exitecture archLab Inc. in San Diego, California. She has also worked as a project designer with Schneider and Schumacher (Frankfurt, Germany) and with Westfield, LLC Design Carrier Johnson + Culture, and Ballinger AE in the U.S.

Her teaching experience is as diverse as her professional efforts. Daniela has had a successful teaching career in both Germany and the U.S., spanning over 20 years. In the U.S., she has taught at Woodbury University, San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, and Boston Architectural School.

At NewSchool, Daniela is an Associate Professor, currently serving as the 4th-year level coordinator, where she has led the Integrated Design Studio for more than 7 years. Her most recent academic interests have led her to develop various interdisciplinary courses (both design studio and lecture classes), linking architecture to scientific theory as well as to the philosophy of technology and environmental sciences. Her methodology for teaching design is informed by her natural affinity to architectural practice as well as health, and environmental considerations. Representative examples of some of the more recent Integrated Design Studio projects are, “The Ford District” in Portland, Oregon, “A Waterfront for All” in Seattle, Washington, the “National City Project” in National City, California, and the 2019-2020 studio project, “A Wetlands Education and Research Center at Kendall-Frost Marsh” in Mission Bay, San Diego.

Recent awards with her firm, exitecture, are for the project WineBANK Mainz, winning a special mention in the category of Excellent Communication Design – Interior Architecture at the 2019 German Design Awards, and for the project LINDLEY LINDENBERG, in Frankfurt, Germany, chosen as one of the top 3 concepts in the Hotel Property Award of the Year 2019, as well as one of the 25 Coolest Hotels of the World by the FORBES List.

Stephen Matley


  • Master of Business Administration, Chapman University
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management, University of LaVerne

About Steve

Steve Matley has over 25 years of experience in leadership and management in multiple industries. His business management and project management experience was cultivated in real estate, land development, and construction, involving commercial, institutional, residential and public works projects. He has held positions as a General Building Contractor, a Senior Project Manager for an ENR top 50 rated agency construction management firm and Vice-President of Land Acquisition and Forward Planning for a production homebuilder. In these positions, Steve successfully planned and executed numerous projects including educational complexes, high-rises, master planned communities, production homes, custom homes, public works and infrastructure projects. He has been designated as an expert witness in real estate, development, and construction-related litigation cases.

As a business owner, Steve managed multiple companies of his own, including DCM Group Inc., a development and construction management consulting firm, which managed land acquisition, entitlement, and planning for projects valued at over a half billion dollars within an eight-year period. During this time, Steve personally managed dozens of projects, consistently performing above projected ROI expectations. He later was Owner and Principal of Building Solid Foundations, LLC, a leadership and business management advising and consulting firm. Currently, he serves as President of Coast 2 Coast Equities, Inc., a real estate investment, acquisition and development firm.

Steve is a member of the Construction Management faculty at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego, acting as Program Chair for the undergraduate and graduate degree CM programs and Associate Professor. He previously served as a professor for the Gordon and Jill Bournes School of Engineering at California Baptist University. Steve led the creation, curriculum development and WSCUC accreditation process for the Associates of Science Degree program in Construction Management at San Joaquin Valley College where he held various positions including Program Director, Division Manager and Student Dean.

Steve participates as a facilitator and speaker for educational seminars and workshops in both the construction / building industry and the general business environment. Notable presentations include expert panel facilitation for the CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), seminar and workshop presentations for the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) International Builders Show, and IVBCF’s Educational Speaker Series. The City of Temecula retained Steve to present the opening keynote for their inaugural Start-Up Week. In addition, he is the designated expert panel facilitator for the Business Leaders Summits, produced by and FIRE Up Live Events produced by Finest Women in Real Estate. Steve is a certified trainer for the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and presents as an expert for audiences in the education, real estate and construction industries, speaking for business workshops, seminars, conferences and symposiums.

Current Projects

  • NAVFAC Projects: NAWS China Lake – 180 buildings: fire/life safety retrofits and upgrades, Fire Alarm reporting and mass notification systems NSA Monterey Naval Post Graduate School – 3 buildings (educational research labs and offices), fire/life safety retrofits and upgrades
  • Land Development: Multiple land acquisition, forward planning, entitlement and development projects under Coast 2 Coast Equities, Inc.


Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly, Melissa Melendez, 67th District Certificate of Recognition, Optimist International District 41, Outstanding Judging, Oratorical Contest Finals Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly, Marie Waldron, 75th District District Champion, Toastmasters District 12 Speech Evaluation Contest Most Outstanding Employee Award, Gafcon, Inc. Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) – Toastmasters International Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) – NAHB/HBI University of Housing Certified Green Professional (CGP) – NAHB/HBI University of Housing\ Certified Trainer – NAHB/HBI University of Housing Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) – Toastmasters International Licensed General Contractor (B-inactive), State of California, CSLB


Professional Member, National Speakers Association Member, NSA-GLAC (National Speakers Association – Greater Los Angeles Chapter) Gold Level Member, Fire-Up Connect Professional Resources Member, CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), San Diego Chapter, San Diego, CA Officer/Member, Rock Toastmasters Club, San Diego, CA Member, BNI Temecula 1 Chapter, Temecula, CA Officer/Charter Member, Toastmasters Professional Speakers, Advanced Club, Murrieta, CA Bootstrappers, Entrepreneurs Mastermind & Networking Group, San Diego, CA President, IVBCF (Inland Valley Business and Community Foundation), Temecula, CA Board Member, BIA (Building Industry Association) – Baldy View Chapter, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino County, CA Member, BIA-SC (Building Industry Association of Southern California), Irvine, CA Member, NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders), Washington DC Affiliate Member, SRCAR (South Riverside County Association of Realtors), Murrieta, CA Club Advisor, Helper/Speaker, Student Venture, Vista Murrieta HS, Murrieta President / VP Membership, Toastmasters #7917, Temecula (Toast of the Valley) Area Committee Member, Young Life, Temecula Founding Board Member, Anza Valley Building Association, Anza, CA Leadership Council/Moderator, CBMC Forums, San Diego, CA Founding Member, Building Foundations, San Diego, CA Founding Member / Facilitator, Leadership Forums Professional Mastermind Professional Member, ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials – now ICC), Whittier, CA

Additional Information

  • Community Service & Affiliations: Steve has served as a Board Member for the Building Industry Association (BIA-SC, Baldy View Chapter), a Member of CMAA (San Diego Chapter), an Area Committee member for Young Life (Temecula Valley), a member of NAHB, an Affiliate Member of SRCAR (South Riverside County Association of Realtors), a member of ASC (Associated Schools of Construction), and is President of the Inland Valley Business and Community Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 organization.

Elena Pacenti


  • Ph.D. in Industrial Design, Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Master of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Milan

About Elena

Pacenti comes from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, which is one of the top-ranked design schools in the world, bringing her professional and academic expertise in design-related fields. Pacenti previously directed the Design School at Domus Academy in Italy. She was director of the Domus Academy Research Center from 2002 through 2009, where she oversaw the development and coordination of design innovative research projects for the European Union and for government and private groups in Italy. In 2011, she established the Master in Service and Experience Design program at Domus Academy.

Additional Information

Throughout her career, she has developed research and projects in different areas of design innovation. Her research interest focuses on the theory and practice of service and experience design, in particular about the interaction among human beings, service systems, and built environments.

Bruce Matthes


  • Master of Arts in English: Comparative Literature, California State University, Chico
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, California State University, Chico


  • NewSchool Faculty Member of the Year – 2012

Additional Information

  • Co-author of two books, including a recent text, Evidence Based Design: A Process for Research and Writing
  • Conference Presenter (Topic: The Evolution of Surfing: An Interdisciplinary Approach to General Education Course Design) at 52nd Annual Conference of the Association for General and Liberal Studies
  • Member, High Tech High Graduate School Taskforce


Bruce Matthes is an Associate Professor and Head of Integrative Studies at NewSchool of Architecture and design where he has been teaching and designing interdisciplinary courses since 2009. He holds a M.A. English from California State University, Chico where he taught literature courses from 2003-2005. He also completed his CA single subject teaching credential at National University in 1999. He is the co-author of two texts, including Evidence Based Design, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall in 2011. In 2012, he was awarded Faculty of the Year.

Matthes has presented at numerous academic conferences including WASC ARC 2018 where he spoke about his pedagogical approach: Integrative Studies: Establishing Realms of Study and Lenses of Understanding across Disciplines and at the 55th Annual Conference for the Association for General Education and Liberal Studies (AGLS) where he shared his expertise on how to engage international students in Myth of the City: A Diversity-Oriented Pedagogical Approach to uniting International Students and Faculty. Most recently, Matthes was invited on honorarium to read a chapter of his debut novel, Sanctuary, at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) event Around the Campfire: A Spoken Word Gathering of Scribes and Storytellers held on February 4th, 2022.

Pedagogical Statement: Matthes believes that education is a concerted effort of both student and instructor to commit to lifelong learning. This is evident in the integrative model that he co-designed and continues to evolve at NewSchool of Architecture and Design. It is a pedagogical focus that stems from the belief that while the world may be getting smaller (metaphorically) its interconnectedness of regions, of peoples and cultures, is expanding. Therefore, the response to such change must be larger and it should move beyond an investigation into commerce (a model representative of many traditional curriculums) and instead, turn toward a rediscovery of the foundational human qualities that either link or divide us. Matthes uses the Integrative Studies diagram as a model to demonstrate how we may connect the disciplines of scientific and humanistic inquiry. It is an approach that he believes will lead to more innovative design solutions and one that was originally modeled in the text Evidence Based Design.