Gregory Poole Equipment Company honors Dr. George Wang

Dr. George Wang, professor and chair of the Department of Construction Management, has been named the first Gregory Poole Equipment Company Distinguished Professor at East Carolina University.

The regional construction and industrial equipment dealer began building an endowment to recognize an ECU construction management professor in 2012, and this is the first year the honor has been bestowed.

Wang, who became chair of the department last year, has been teaching at ECU since 2007.

“I am honored to receive the professorship, the highest honor accorded a faculty member,” Wang said. “It means higher criteria are set for me as a department chair and faculty member to serve as a role model for faculty and students in the department.”

He said his goals are to provide leadership in the department, promote effectiveness in teaching, sustain scholarly work, provide professional service, promote the construction management program and enhance relationships with industry. Those relationships include visits to advisory board members and connections with alumni working in the industry.

Wang plans to build relationships with alumni and industry professionals to enhance student learning.

As for faculty, Wang plans to cultivate a team-oriented working environment that will enhance student outcomes while also encouraging teaching delivery alternatives. He wants to promote scholarly research among all faculty and increase the role of students in that research.

He looks to increase hands-on learning and study aboard opportunities for students, while attending student organization meetings. Wang said he wants to develop relationships with students that will last well beyond their years at ECU.

Wang said he is working on a five-year plan for the department and is looking ahead to accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education in 2022.

He thanked J. Gregory Poole III, chairman and CEO of Gregory Poole Equipment Company, and Eddie Williford, group vice president, for creating the professorship and noted the company’s long relationship with ECU, which includes service on the department’s advisory board and donations of equipment.

“Gregory Poole Equipment Company made a visionary decision to make the Gregory Poole Distinguished Professorship possible by a generous gift,” Wang said. “It intends for the department to continue to provide its students with the highest levels of education combined with the industrial experience needed to excel in the 21st century. This is a milestone initiative.”

Williford said the goal of the endowment is to help attract and educate ECU professors on the current trends in the construction industry.

“Gregory Poole Equipment Company has been a longtime supporter of ECU and the construction management program,” he said. “We consider this program a good fit for our industry. Gregory Poole and many of our customers employ graduates from the program. Gregory Poole engaged Caterpillar to help support the program, making contributions to the learning lab and donations of equipment.”

Wang also thanked Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, for his support.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Dr. Wang over the last few months,” Ploehn said. “He cares deeply about our students and his faculty colleagues, and his passion and commitment to the future of construction management runs deep. He exemplifies exactly what we’re all looking for in this distinguished professorship.”

See related:

Construction Chair: Wang brings teaching, professional experience to new role

Concrete Solutions: Project tests concrete mixes using recycled materials