2021 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. John Schaufelberger

Dr. John Schaufelberger is the 2021 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Colleagues describe him as an accomplished scholar, servant leader, and construction educator whose primary teaching focus centers on the student experience.

He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and attended Harvard University on a fellowship to the Kennedy School of Government in 1986. Dr. Schaufelberger’s career in academia began 48 years ago as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy. Fourteen years later he was promoted to Director for the Department of Military Engineering at the U.S. Army Engineer School where he supervised 175 instructors and training developers for the teaching of all technical engineer subjects to entry-level and mid-career officers. After retiring from the U.S. Army, Dr. Schaufelberger applied to the Department of Construction Management (CM) at the University of Washington (UW) and continues his career as a faculty member and former administrator in the CM department and College of the Built Environments (CBE). Along with leadership roles, his record of publications includes 10 construction management textbooks, several journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports.

Over the years Dr. Schaufelberger has served in leadership roles for associations that represent the construction industry and education. In 2009, Dr. Schaufelberger’s contributions were recognized with his induction into the National Academy of Construction. He was asked to serve on the Board of the AGC Education and Research Foundation in 2010 and served until 2013. In 2011, Dr. Schaufelberger was asked to chair the AGC Foundation Case Study Task Force and serve on its Industry Residency Task Force. He continues in both roles today. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Directors for AGC of Washington for two 3-year terms and on the Board of Directors for the AGC of Washington Education Foundation since 2002.

Dr. Schaufelberger became active in the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) in 2002 and joined the Board of Trustees in 2003 serving until 2010 and again from 2015 to date. He served as the Chair of the Accreditation Committee from 2012 to 2017 and as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2019. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Additionally, he has served ASC as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Construction Education and Research, and reviewer for the ASC Conference Proceedings for many years.

Dr. Schaufelberger describes his approach to teaching as one that challenges students to excel using contemporary construction examples to demonstrate application of the concepts being taught. He believes that the student competition experience is a great enhancement to students’ education. His office is always open to students needing extra help with course requirements or wanting career advice.

As Dean of CBE, Dr. Schaufelberger was one who made decisions focused on what would best serve the College, its faculty, staff, and students. Professor Jeffrey Ochsner, CBE Department of Architecture, worked closely with Dr. Schaufelberger when he was Dean and describes him as methodical and steady in his leadership; honest and forthright; and a person of the highest integrity. Dr, Schaufelberger emphasized balancing the complex and often conflicting desires of the quite different departments within the College. According to Professor Ochsner, “As Chair of Construction Management and Dean of CBE, Dr. Schaufelberger was guided by his vision that his highest achievement would be in fostering the success of others.”

In addition to his formal leadership role in the department and college, Dr. Schaufelberger is known to be a mentor to CM faculty and ready to help those who may be struggling with curriculum or teaching. Dr. Ken-Yu Lin attributes improvements in her safety class to Dr. Schaufelberger who provided her with mentorship, encouragement, and a new mindset. “His mentorship has contributed to the growth of young faculty members as educators, scholars, and colleagues, laying a solid foundation for generations of construction education”. In addition to his assistance developing faculty teaching, junior faculty have seen his commitment to student learning and his caring about students. Dr. Yong-Woo Kim remembers when he was struggling with teaching and the lessons learned from Dr. Schaufelberger about the importance of an educator’s attitude toward his students. Dr. Schaufelberger told him that what counts in teaching is how much you take care of students, and the students know if you take care of them. Dr. Yong-Woo Kim commented, “Through his mentorship, commitment to student learning, and leadership as department chair and college dean Dr. Schaufelberger has been a role model and inspiration”.

According to Renée Cheng, current Dean of UW CBE, “Most people try to follow the “golden rule”, treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves. John follows what you might call the diamond rule, treat others better than yourself. He never hesitates to take on tasks that, given his seniority and roles, would seem to be beneath him. But he does not consider what is above or beneath, merely that if he can help, he will.” Dr. Schaufelberger’s record of achievement and service as a construction educator epitomizes the qualities deserving of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award.