2016 NAHB Outstanding Educator – Ken Bertolini

Ken Bertolini named the 2016 NAHB Outstanding Educator of the year.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade association presented the awards at its International Builders Show in Las Vegas Jan. 20. Ken was also just awarded the Teacher of the Year award for the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. This award is nominated and voted on by student organizations and the final decision is made by a panel of students in the college. Ken was nominated by Sigma Lambda Chi, the academic fraternity for SDSU Construction Management students.

Bertolini is an instructor in the Construction Management program at South Dakota State University’s Department of Construction and Operations Management, and has been with SDSU since 2011. Ken also successfully wrote a proposal for a $98,400 grant from the National Association of Home Builders that, among other things, allowed him to become certified in green construction and also finances summer travel to homebuilders to create a pipeline for internships and full-time employment.

As a Certified Green Professional and Certified Trainer in green construction by the National Association of Home Builders, all 24 students in his residential construction class students can take the test to become a Certified Green Professional at no cost. That is a savings of $2,000 per student.

Bertolini, a Michigan native, has been active in local and state homebuilder associations where he served on both the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association board, and the Michigan Association of Home Builders board. He taught at Minnesota State-Moorhead for four years before coming to SDSU and has vast experience in the industry. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in construction management from Michigan State University in 1991, Bertolini managed job sites in Bradenton, Florida, for Centex Homes, then the nation’s biggest homebuilder. In 1995, he returned to Michigan State to get his master’s degree, teach, do research and work with Christman Construction in Lansing. He earned his master’s in 1997 and started his own firm doing residential and light commercial construction as well as land development in nearby Holt, Mich., while also doing some adjunct teaching at MSU. After 10 years, he took the job at Moorhead.