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Mount Marty University Graduates First Class of Master of Science in Biotechnology Management Students

On May 4, 2024, Mount Marty University’s first class of Master of Science in Biotechnology Management students graduated on the Yankton campus in Cimpl Arena.

The Master of Science in Biotechnology Management program officially started in August of 2023. The degree is a 30 credit virtual curriculum that’s designed to be completed in a year and to accommodate the schedule of full-time professionals. It also includes a six month internship that gives the graduates some of the necessary experience required when looking for careers after graduation.

“We are incredibly rare,” says Dr. Mark Brown, executive director and one of the professors of the biotechnology program. “We’re a one of a kind program when it comes to the type of experience that other faculty and myself bring to the program in that the courses we offer are taught entirely by current industry executives.” Along with teaching at Mount Marty, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Public Health, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Brown currently serves as the chief executive officer for a medical device company and president of a pharmaceutical biologics corporation.

The program is designed for faculty from the industry to come teach a semester and then rotate out. Brown mentions some of the benefits of having industry executives teaching is the real life stories they bring to the classroom and their networking experience, which is very important for these graduates.

Matthew Holler, a fall 2024 graduate of the biotechnology program, recounts the value of the faculty teaching the courses and how their support is monumental in the learning and career searching process. “I think one thing about the faculty and professors that are there right now is they are just really impressive people that have been there, done that… They have all been in the industry and have extensive experience in a variety of different mediums whether that be devices, drug discovery or anything else.” Holler also mentions that faculty are always accommodating of a meeting or available to give advice and support when needed.

Job opportunities in biotechnology are open and growing as these careers were categorized as an area of national importance after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the Mount Marty biotechnology program was also approved to provide the opportunity of a graduate certificate in biotechnology management. It is a 10 credit curriculum that may look appealing to current industry leaders who don’t have time for a 30 credit curriculum. Brown explains that students will still take the common classes that the master’s students take, but the faculty will then work with the graduate certificate students to fill the remaining credits based on their overall goals and background.

Eight students attended the commencement ceremony on May 4, with over 20 graduating from the program in total.

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