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Citadel News Service
5 May 2011

First project management students to graduate

On Saturday, May 7, 2011, 11 students will become the first Citadel graduates of Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) program.

The program began in 2010 after the surging interest in the Certificate in Project Management program, which started in 2005, and it is the only MSPM program in South Carolina.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Keith Plemmons, who directs the program, said it was founded to give technical professionals the expertise and problem solving skills necessary to manage different aspects of technical projects.

“With the emerging technical industry in the Lowcountry,” said Plemmons, “we discovered that there was a critical need locally for a program of this caliber.”

Currently there are 60 students enrolled in the program.   The students, engineers and other professionals who want to take their careers to the next level, must complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit which includes two core curriculum courses—Technical Project Management and Principled Leadership. 

Deborah Murphy of Pahrump, Nevada, who came to Charleston in 2004 when she was hand selected to serve on an Air Force special operations unit is one of the students who will graduate Saturday. 

After completing a five-and-a-half year commitment, Murphy, 42, left the Air Force to pursue educational opportunities.  With a master’s degree in environmental studies from the College of Charleston, Murphy decided to complete her education with the MSPM.

“I was attracted to the program because it would give me the problem solving skills to lead projects,” said Murphy.  “Combined with my other education and experience, the MSPM makes for a well-rounded resume.”

Murphy has accepted a position in Southern California with the Environmental Science Research Institute, developer of Geographical Information Systems software.  She will be working in defense services as a project manager.

“It is exciting to see the change that happens in my students lives through this program. I see my students grow as they learn more about themselves, project management and leadership,” said Plemmons. 

Three of the graduate candidates have applied to Clemson University’s engineering doctorate program.

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