Business and Communication Department

Whether you aspire to lead a multinational corporation, serve a global nonprofit, launch a media career, or start your own business, the interconnectedness of business, communication, theory, and technology will impact your success and satisfaction. 

Business majors at Saint Mary’s University combine coursework in the theory and practice of business with studies in the liberal arts. This combination provides you with a broad educational foundation from which to enter a rapidly changing business environment.

Majors in digital media, journalism, and public relations develop the mass communication and media studies experience needed to stand out in today’s media-saturated world.

The Business and Communication Department has created programs that will not only give you the fundamentals, but will aid you in developing an ethical approach to your work and life. You’ll gain the skills you need to be effective, including:

  • Analytical and quantitative decision-making
  • Qualitative problem-solving
  • Written and oral communication
  • Human interaction 

Core Curriculum

In the business majors, you will complete a common set of core business courses introducing you to a variety of important functional areas, including accounting, marketing, management, economics, finance, mathematics, business law, and the international business environment. Basic knowledge in each of these core areas is considered essential to a broad-based business education.

In the communication majors, you will study and implement manners of conveying information, ideas, and opinions in written, oral, and multimedia formats. You will learn practical skills for today’s work environments, but also the communication theories, ethics, and critical analysis necessary to create effective messages for companies, organizations, and the media.

Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Kabara Institute incites an entrepreneurial spirit in students across the university, regardless of their major field of study, to enhance the entrepreneurship program offerings at Saint Mary’s University. The institute provides opportunities for you to interact with entrepreneurs and experience entrepreneurship first-hand, and to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in our society.

Cooperative Education Program

During your undergraduate business program, you will receive career preparation, as well as a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum that will equip you with highly desired critical thinking skills and a broad perspective.

Then, for one semester, usually during your junior or senior year, you will have a meaningful work immersion experience while you earn credits (and in some cases compensation) — all while participating fully in campus life. In turn, you will help the organization advance its goals and objectives.

The Cooperative Education Program is like an internship, only amped up. You’ll gain practice solving real-world problems, learn practical and soft skills, discover your strengths and interests, build an impressive resume … and have made an impression on a potential full-time employer.

All of this means you’ll have the competitive advantage when you begin your job search. 

Accredited Business Programs

The School of Business at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas, USA.

List of Accredited Saint Mary's Programs (PDF)

Public Disclosure of Student Achievement (PDF) 


Michelle Wieser, Ph.D.

Dean of Business and Technology

Saint Mary's Hall, SM107A

Campus Box: # 22

(507) 457-1451

Michelle Wieser Ph.D.
Derek Jackson, M.B.A.

Associate Professor - Business and Communication, Department Chair - Business

Saint Mary's Hall, SM421

Campus Box: #1501

(507) 457-1490

Derek Jackson M.B.A.
Dean Beckman, M.S.

Associate Professor - Communication

Saint Mary's Hall, SM320

Campus Box: #1452

(507) 457-1502

Dean Beckman M.S.
Christine Beech

Director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Assistant Professor of Business

Saint Mary's Hall, SM408

Campus Box: # 15

(507) 457-6978

Areas of Expertise: Veteran Entrepreneurs, Social Entrepreneurship, Hybrid Organizations, Entrepreneurship, Succession Planning, Women Entrepreneurs, Ecosystems, Management Consulting, Community Engagement

Meet Christine Beech
Lori Charron, Ph.D.

Communication - Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM307

Campus Box: #1442

(507) 457-1477

Lori Charron Ph.D.
Jeffrey Hefel, M.B.A.

Business - Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM422

Campus Box: #1482

(507) 457-1456

Jeffrey Hefel M.B.A.
Shahid Hussain, M.S., MBA, LL.B, DAIBP, CPA

Business - Assistant Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM429D

Campus Box: #1517

(507) 457-1434

Areas of Expertise: Economics, mergers, acquisitions, and re-organizations — domestic and international

Meet Shahid Hussain
Matthew Klosky, M.A.

Business - Assistant Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM429C

Campus Box: #1513

(507) 457-6938

Matthew Klosky M.A.
Zakary Mayo

Business - Assistant Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM429B

Campus Box: #1528

(507) 457-1491

Areas of Expertise: Sports marketing and management, forging educational partnerships with outside sport organizations

Meet Zakary Mayo
Shelly McCallum-Ferguson, D.B.A.

Business - Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM424

Campus Box: #1439

(507) 457-7279

Shelly McCallum-Ferguson D.B.A.
Dennis Pedrick

Business - Associate Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM429E

Campus Box: #1481

(507) 457-1576

Dennis Pedrick
Blake Pickart, M.B.A.

MBA Program - Adjunct Instructor

Blake Pickart M.B.A.
Lawrence Price, M.B.A., J.D.

Business - Associate Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM417

Campus Box: #1474

(507) 457-1533

Lawrence Price M.B.A., J.D.
Michael Ratajczyk, M.A.

Associate Professor - Business, Program Director, BA & MS Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

Saint Mary's Hall, SM429A

Campus Box: #1434

(507) 457-1698

Areas of Expertise: Buisness intelligence and data analytics

Meet Michael Ratajczyk
Andrew Scott, M.B.A.

Business - Assistant Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM419

Campus Box: #1529

(507) 457-1468

Meet Andrew Scott