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 Business and Communication Department at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has received specialized accreditation for its business program(s) through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11960 Quivira Road in Overland Park, Kansas, USA. For a list of accredited programs please view our IACBE member status page.

List of Accredited Saint Mary's Programs (PDF)

Public Disclosure of Student Achievement (PDF) 

Faculty

Michelle Wieser, Ph.D.

Dean of Business and Technology

Business and Technology

Brother Louis Hall, BLH 235

Campus Box: # 28

(507) 457-1451

mwieser@smumn.edu

Michelle Wieser Ph.D.
Derek Jackson, MBA

Associate Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 251B

Campus Box: # 1501

(507) 457-1490

dpjackso@smumn.edu

Derek Jackson MBA
Dean Beckman, M.S.

Associate Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 240A

Campus Box: # 1452

(507) 457-1502

dbeckman@smumn.edu

Dean Beckman M.S.
Christine Beech, M.S.

Executive Director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies/Assistant Professor

Kabara Institute

Aquinas Hall, AH 229A

Campus Box: # 15

(507) 457-6978

cbeech@smumn.edu

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.

Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 240B

Campus Box: # 1442

(507) 457-1477

lcharron@smumn.edu

Lori Charron Ph.D.
Jeffrey Hefel, MBA

Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 251A

Campus Box: # 1482

(507) 457-1456

jhefel@smumn.edu

Jeffrey Hefel MBA
Matthew Klosky, M.A.

Assistant Professor

Business and Communication

Associate Director for the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial

Aquinas Hall, AH 240C

Campus Box: # 1513

(507) 457-6938

mklosky@smumn.edu

Matthew Klosky M.A.
Zakary Mayo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 250C

Campus Box: # 1528

(507) 457-1491

zmayo@smumn.edu

Areas of Expertise: Athlete Engagement, Athlete Recruitment and Retention, Athlete Branding, NIL, Risk Mitigation, Event Planning, Facility Management, Project Valuation, Coaching Theory

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

Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 251C

Campus Box: # 1439

(507) 457-7279

smccallu@smumn.edu

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

Associate Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 250D

Campus Box: # 1481

(507) 457-1576

dpedrick@smumn.edu

Dennis Pedrick Ph.D.
Blake Pickart, MBA

Course-Contracted Assistant Professor

MBA

Blake Pickart MBA
Lawrence Price, J.D.

Associate Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 250E

Campus Box: # 1474

(507) 457-1533

lprice@smumn.edu

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

Associate Professor of Business

Business and Communication

Program Director

Aquinas Hall, AH 250F

Campus Box: # 1434

(507) 457-1698

mratajcz@smumn.edu

Areas of Expertise: Buisness intelligence and data analytics

Meet Michael Ratajczyk
Andrew Scott, MBA

Assistant Professor

Business and Communication

Aquinas Hall, AH 250A

Campus Box: # 1529

(507) 457-1468

ascott@smumn.edu

Meet Andrew Scott