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Grads assume leadership roles in regional trade groups 
Shawn Burnum and Scott Casebolt

Grads assume leadership roles in regional trade groups 

Two graduates from Pittsburg State's School of Construction have risen to the top in their fields, and they're both on campus this week as part of the annual Construction Expo. 

Scott Casebolt, vice president of Key Construction in Wichita, has assumed the role of president of Associated General Contractors of Kansas (AGC-Kansas). And Shawn Burnum, a division manager with Performance Contracting Group, has assumed the role of president for the Builders Association of Kansas City, an AGC of Missouri/Kansas City association, and serves on the board of AWCI, a nationwide board that represents 2,200 companies in the wall and ceiling industry. 

"It's a special year when two PSU Construction alumni take over leadership of two of our key regional trade associations with many members that routinely hire our graduates," said Jim Otter, director of the PSU School of Construction. 

Burnum, who graduated in May 1994 with a degree in Construction Management and a minor in Business, is a native of Webb City, Missouri. 

"I've been around construction my whole life," said Burnum. "The construction program is what drew me to Pitt State." 

It was while at Pittsburg State that he had James Otter for class and surveyed the grounds on which the Kansas Technology Center was built. 

"Pittsburg State is a great foundation, gave me great experience in the actual work environment of construction, and really a desire to continue to learn," said Burnum. "I don't feel like I'm ever done learning." 

Burnum entered the professional construction market in Kansas City and spent time in Tulsa and Denver as a general manager before returning to Kansas City. He also continued his education, earning a master's degree in organizational management. 

"I have tried to learn from everyone, and focused my energy on building teams, recognizing that if you're going to be great, you won't do it alone. You need good people, and strong leadership," he said. "Now, I'm helping other general managers reach their potential. I love what I do." 

Casebolt, a native of Shawnee, Kansas, has been with Key Construction since he graduated from Pittsburg State.  

"I started as an assistant project manager, moved through the ranks of working in the office and in the field as an engineer, a project manager, constructing projects, throughout 17 states," he said. "Then I got involved in the corporate management of our company, hiring and recruiting." 

Casebolt, who grew up drawn to building things, said it was natural for him to choose the construction program at Pittsburg State. 

"We're a Legacy family at Pitt State," he said. "My dad is a graduate of the College of Business, Class of 1966, one of my stepsons graduated in nursing in 2016, and I have another one in construction who will graduate in two years." 

Casebolt was on campus for the exponential growth of the construction program. 

"I spent two years in Whitesitt Hall, and my final two years were in the brand new Kansas Technology Center, so I was there for the transition," he said. "We had 80 in construction when I began, and when I graduated it was up around 250. It was a very exciting time, and I've been involved in one way or another ever since." 

Casebolt has served on the Industry Advisory Council and in alumni groups that raise money for scholarships, he's been recruiting at Pittsburg State for more than 15 years, and his company has been recruiting from Pittsburg State for more than 20 years. 

"The experience I got at Pitt State, I can't say enough about it," he said. "The way the instructors really cared about people, the opportunities for internships and permanent employment are second to none. You won't find a university in this country that makes sure its faculty keeps up to date with industry trends like Pitt State does. I've been all over the country recruiting, and I'll put our program up against anybody's."

Learn more about the School of Construction at http://www.pittstate.edu/department/construction/

Learn more about the Construction Expo at http://www.pittstate.edu/department/construction/construction-expo/

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