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SPRING 2016

7

In fall 2014 the Beacom School of Business established

a new strategic vision, which includes an emphasis on

economic development with a focus towards innovation

and entrepreneurship. The School is aggressively

working towards realizing this vision through innovative

academic programs, student and faculty engagement

including experiential learning opportunities, and strong

relationship with industry/business leaders including

entrepreneur and investor communities in the state

and the region. The EIR program will support this vision

through the delivery of real–world experiences and

combining external entrepreneurial expertise with

student and faculty talent.

RICH NASER

President, South Dakota Technology Business Center

President, Research Park at USD Discovery District

Director, Forward Sioux Falls Research,

Technology and Entrepreneurship initiatives

BRIAN GRAMM ’96

Founder and CEO,

Peppermint Energy

Business and

Government–related Consultant

BEN HANTON

Founder, Ben’s Bar

Co–Founder,

Rockin’ Ribfest

Founder, Think 29

SUE LANCASTER ’10, ‘12

Director of Business

Development, South Dakota

Innovation Partners

TOM STENGRIM

Vice President, South Dakota

Technology Business Center

Re c o g n i t i on , Ro c k e t i n g En r o l lme n t

education at the Beacom School of Business.” For the faculty,

the best part is watching the students’ success; MBA graduates

have gone on to become hired at Avera, Daktronics, Goldman

Sachs, the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic

Development and many more.

The online Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA)

program has garnered national respect as well. Ranked first on

OnlineU’s list of the Top Online Accounting Degrees in 2015,

the program was chosen for its affordability, 89.96 percent

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam pass rate, and AACSB

accreditation. The program was also chosen by

U.S. News &

World Report

as No. 31 on the list of Best Online Graduate

Business Programs, which compares 225 graduate business

programs nationwide.

Kathryn Birkeland, Ph.D., became the MPA program

coordinator in January 2015. Since then, she has been

facilitating changes to the on–campus program and working to

grow the online program.

“From fall 2014 to fall 2015, we saw 100 percent growth

in our online MPA program,” said Birkeland. “We deliver a

high–quality, AACSB–accredited program at a low cost. We also

offer connections to employers that are hard to match, and our

students earn internships and employment at the top accounting

firms in the region and country.”

The Beacom School of Business, with its world–class faculty

and education, continually garners prestigious honors that are

further testament to its AACSB International accreditation.