USD Division of Accounting & Finance Presents Annual Awards to Alumni and Students

Photo of top performing accounting students.

VERMILLION, S.D. – On November 2, the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business Division of Accounting and Finance honored three alumni with service awards and awarded 25 students top performance awards.

Angela Hillestad, M.P.A. ’07, an assurance partner with Eide Bailly LLP in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was honored for outstanding service. Hillestad is active in the South Dakota C.P.A. Society, serves on the inaugural Beacom School of Business Accounting Advisory Council, and serves as a team chair for the Sioux Empire United Way’s Community Impact Division. She is a graduate of Leadership Sioux Falls and returns to campus to mentor and recruit business students.

Christopher Nelson, Accounting ’82, M.B.A ’88, was honored for outstanding service. Nelsen has worked for 29 years with the South Dakota Investment Council and serves as Assistant Investment Officer. Nelson and a partner manage $1 billion in fixed income assets and he oversees $1.5 billion in alternative assets. Nelson has served on the USD Foundation Investment Committee for 25 years and is a board member of the McCrossan Boys Ranch Foundation..
Tiffany Paben, B.S. ’04, M.P.A. ’04, a Senior Manager with Deloitte and Touche, LLP in Omaha, Nebraska, was honored for outstanding service. Paben is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants. Tiffany has served Omaha community youth through the TeamMates Mentoring Program. She currently serves the local children’s theater arts and education center as the VP of finance on the Omaha Theater Company Board of Trustees.

Download a high-resolution photo of the alumni award winners.

Students receiving top performance awards:
Conrad Adam, Pierre, South Dakota
Kelsey Berger, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Ashlynn Blenner, Holstein, Iowa
Bridget Geerts, Long Lake, Minnesota
Daniel Hade, Rapid City, South Dakota
Clark Haugen, Crooks, South Dakota
Dalton Hoekstra, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Connor Jallo, Pierre, South Dakota
Lucas Ladenbuger, Rapid City, South Dakota
Payton Larsen, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minh Tam Le, Hochiminh, Vietnam
Sophia Lima, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Christina Marquez, Rochester, Minnesota
Phillip Millar, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Alex Nelson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Benjamin Newman, Rapid City, South Dakota
Brittany Norris, Moville, Iowa
Alexandra Olson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Spencer Olson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Amanda Rausch, Watertown, South Dakota
Sadie Schoenfelder, Dimock, South Dakota
Joshua Sorbe, Brookings, South Dakota
Megan Thomas, Milbank, South Dakota
Griffin York, Oxford, Nebraska

Download a high-resolution photo of the top performing students in the accounting and finance division.


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