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Beacom School of Business Presents Annual Awards

Photo of Beacom Award Winners. Photo of the 2017-18 award winners.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Beacom School of Business at the University of South  Dakota 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: Rand Wergin, associate professor of marketing. Wergin serves as chair of the Undergraduate Assurance of Learning committee. He primarily teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in marketing strategy and professional selling, both online and face-to-face.
  • Beacom School of Business Faculty Excellence Award – Research: Ali Dag, assistant professor of business analytics. His research interests are in the areas of data analytics, health care informatics and text-web mining. Dag has published nine articles in journals and also serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for various journals.
  • Beacom School of Business Dean’s Award of Excellence: Carole Cochran, director of South Dakota Kids Count program. In Cochran’s role as director she is responsible for compiling, analyzing and sharing accurate, up-to-date statistics and research on child well-being indicators with people and policymakers.
  • Beacom School of Business Distinguished Service Award: Jeffrey Cotton, managing partner for the Minneapolis office of Deloitte. Cotton leads the quality, client satisfaction, business development, human resources and communications initiatives for the Minneapolis office. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Twin Cities United Way and is a member of the executive committee and chair of the Audit Committee for the Minnesota Business Partnership.
  • Beacom School of Business Distinguished Leadership Award: James W. Abbott, University of South Dakota president. Recognized for 21 years of academic leadership and commitment to the students, faculty and staff of the Beacom School of Business.

Two business students were also recognized. Hyun Woong “Daniel” Chang received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. He is a student in the joint B.B.A./M.P.A. program from South Korea. Chang plans on continuing his academic career in research and will join the Ph.D. program at the University of North Texas after graduation in May. Conrad Adam was honored with the Outstanding Senior Award. Adam is from Pierre, South Dakota, and is graduating in May with a major in finance and a minor in accounting. After graduation, Adam will begin a position at Abbot Downing, a boutique wealth management firm in Minneapolis.

"The awards banquet is a great opportunity to recognize the excellence of our students, faculty and staff,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean at the Beacom School of Business. “It makes me proud to honor the great talent and dedication that exists within our school."


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News