Taking gaming to a new level

Taking gaming to a new level

John “J.J.” Williams ’00 can tell you that the mouse has clout. After 10 years in the video game design industry, Williams can drop lots of respected and recognizable names in the gaming world; he’s worked on Mortal Kombat and Rockband, titles that resonate with more than a few avid players. “I have to say that the crown jewel of my career has been getting to be a lead designer at Disney,” he said. “I’ve never gotten this much respect. The mouse gets their attention.” Williams has been a lead designer at Disney Interactive/Wideload Games for nearly five years, but — looking back — the self-proclaimed nerd may have always been destined for this career. “I have played video games pretty much since I remember being around,” he said. As a kid, his gaming fascination began with The Legend of Zelda and Mega Man. A business and communication major at Saint Mary’s, Williams remembers he and his roommates playing a ton of Mario Cart and Golden Eye. Later, games that made him want to get into the industry were Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII and Diablo. “It may have been why my GPA was so low,” he said with a laugh, adding in a serious tone, “I’ve got to go back and tell them it was research.” Fresh out of college, Williams entered the business world but quickly knew it wasn’t a good fit. “I didn’t feel like my life’s ambitions were being met,” he said. “I felt I was a little more imaginative. I always enjoyed my creative writing courses in school.” So, he went back to...
Master’s in International Development program begins

Master’s in International Development program begins

A new graduate program, the Master of Arts in International Development, is being offered fully online at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota starting this fall. “The Master of Arts in International Development is geared toward intellectually curious individuals who are dedicated to becoming change agents in a global society,” said Matt Nowakowski, Ed.D., Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Technology at Saint Mary’s University. “This program uses sound theoretical disciplines to teach the practical skills to help leaders engage, transform, and inspire the development of international communities.” The program was designed by real-world practitioners who share the same passion for social and human change as do the students. Blending theory with practical knowledge, the curriculum offers distinctive courses that focus on management and a global marketplace all while preparing students for their areas of passion with a field-study project. “For those who are interested in international issues, such as poverty, economics, gender equity, education, or social entrepreneurship, this program should really capture their imagination,” said program director Matt Bluem. “Students will come away with skills in international project management, social entrepreneurship, strategic leadership in an international environment and more.” The online delivery method for this program includes an iPad with productivity apps and a mobile learning platform, along with ample technical and academic support. The online program also features Saint Mary’s hallmark person-centered and engaging community learning. For more information, visit the program page. About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. A private Lasallian Catholic institution, Saint Mary’s offers comprehensive undergraduate...
New accountancy master’s available online or on campus

New accountancy master’s available online or on campus

As the demand for an advanced degree in accountancy has increased, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has announced the addition of a Master’s of Science in Accountancy program. Available both in Minneapolis and online beginning this fall, the M.S. in Accountancy prepares students for advancement into a management position in nearly any accounting setting. Another benefit of the program is that graduates will meet the 150-credit hour requirement for the Certified Public Accountant exam and/or the Certified Management Accountant certification. “The Master of Science in Accountancy at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is designed to transform accounting practitioners to key ethical thought leaders in quantitative decision making,” says Matt Nowakowski, Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Technology. “The effective communication of fiscal data and analysis is a key competency for business partners, and this program aspires to be a premier contributor and partner in the education of future accounting leaders.” This master’s program — designed with input from certified accountants — provides a logical next step for accountants looking for an affordable, accessible and quality way to advance their career. “The bachelor’s program [in accounting] gives students the very technical skills that they need to be an accountant — the principles and the concepts,” said Saint Mary’s program director Melanie Torborg. “The master’s program really refines those skills and brings them to the next level. We assume that students coming into this program know the principles and the concepts, but now they want to use those to become business partners and help companies make decisions.” The online delivery method for this program includes an iPad with productivity...
Kabara Institute to host Can Do Canines founder

Kabara Institute to host Can Do Canines founder

Al Peters, a 1974 Saint Mary’s University alumnus and founder of Can Do Canines, will speak at his alma mater Monday, April 7, as part of Kabara Entrepreneurial Days. The event — free and open to the public — will begin at 7 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. A question-and-answer period will follow. Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. In 1987 the business incorporated as the Companion Dog Connection, Inc., and over the years it has expanded its services and reach. Specially trained dogs assist individuals throughout the Midwest who are deaf or hard of hearing, those with physical disabilities, seizure disorders, or autism and people with diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness. All assistance dogs are provided to the client at no charge. Peters services as executive director of the organization. The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s is joined by the business, education, psychology and sociology departments in sponsoring this event. The Kabara Institute aims to incite a passion for entrepreneurial spirit in students across the university, regardless of their major field of study. It also strives to enhance the entrepreneurship program offerings at Saint Mary’s by providing opportunities for students to interact with entrepreneurs and experience entrepreneurship first-hand. And, it fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in our...
Students inducted into business honor society

Students inducted into business honor society

Ten Saint Mary’s students were inducted into Delta Mu Delta at a luncheon reception on March 19. Delta Mu Delta is an international honor society in business established to recognize and reward outstanding academic achievement of students in business administration. SMU’s Delta Mu Delta chapter, Eta Beta, was established in 1994 to promote the national organization’s goals of promoting higher scholarship in business education and recognizing and rewarding academic attainment in business subjects. Students selected must be in the top 20 percent of their class, as well as have a minimum GPA of 3.25 for undergraduates and 3.6 for graduate...
Kabara Institute speaker addresses entrepreneurship

Kabara Institute speaker addresses entrepreneurship

As part of the spring 2014 Kabara Institute speaker series, Stephen Woessner, founder of Predictive ROI, spoke to students March 20. The event was sponsored by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Envision Club and the Business School. CAPTION: Stephen Woessner talks with students after his presentation. Woessner is the founder of Predictive ROI  and is a digital marketing authority, entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and bestselling author of two books, The Small Business Owner’s Handbook to Search Engine Optimization and Increase Online Sales through Viral Social Networking. His digital marketing insights have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Washington Post. His presentation focused on entrepreneurship and data analysis. The Kabara Institute was started in 2005 by Dr. Jon Kabara, an SMU alum, and his wife Betty. The Kabara Institute aims to incite a passion for entrepreneurial spirit in students across the university, regardless of their major field of study. It also strives to enhance the entrepreneurship program offerings at Saint Mary’s by providing opportunities for students to interact with entrepreneurs and experience entrepreneurship first-hand. And, it fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in our society. The Kabara Institute provides a number of activities throughout the year such as Elevator Pitch Competitions, Business Planning Workshops, and the annual Business Plan competition in addition to the speaker...
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