Beacom Bestows Highest Honors

Photo of award winners. The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business honored faculty, staff, students and an accomplished alumnus at its annual awards banquet.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business honored faculty, staff, students and an accomplished alumnus at its annual awards banquet for teaching, research and service to the school and regional economy in both the public and private sectors.

Those who received awards at Thursday’s ceremony:

  • Beacom School of Business Faculty Excellence Award – Teaching: Jason Porter, associate professor of accounting. Porter has served as a member of the steering committee of the Conference for Teaching and Learning in Accounting and continues to serve as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Accounting Education and as an assistant associate editor for the IMA Educational Case Journal. Porter received the Belbas-Larson Award for excellence in teaching from USD in 2017.
  • Beacom School of Business Faculty Excellence Award – Research: Teresa Stephenson, associate professor of accounting. Stephenson has authored more than 25 publications appearing in leading accounting journals. Stephenson is a co-author of the Multistate Tax Guide to Pass-through Entities and is a contributing author to the Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation’s annual Income Tax Workbook. She serves as an editorial review member for the Journal of Accounting Education and the IMA Educational Case Journal.
  • Beacom School of Business Dean’s Award of Excellence: Jeffrey R. Eckhoff, state director for the South Dakota Small Business Development Center, providing statewide business consulting, business plan development and financial projections as well as technical assistance in manufacturing, government procurement, international trade and federal research grants.
  • Beacom School of Business Distinguished Service Award: Jack E. Hopkins, president and CEO of CorTrust Bank. Hopkins spearheaded CorTrust Bank’s expansion in the Sioux Falls market.  During his service, CorTrust has grown in assets from $110 million to $775 million.

Two business students were also recognized. Kerri DeGraff received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. She is completing the MBA program and lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. DeGraff serves as development director at Feeding South Dakota. Carrie Wintle was honored with the Outstanding Senior Award. Wintle is from Iroquois, South Dakota, and will graduate with a double major in accounting and mathematics. After graduation, Wintle will attend Vanderbilt University to pursue a master’s degree in accountancy valuation.

"The awards banquet is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the truly meaningful accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students,” said Venky Venkatachalam, dean of the Beacom School of Business. “These individuals are providing tremendous leadership to their colleagues, to the state, to our business community and are setting the bar even high for future Beacom students.”


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News