Early career spotlight: Entrepreneur credits DSU for his successful startups, career

Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why Dakota State University was the right fit for you, and what led you to pursue the major you selected at DSU.

My name is Matt Paulson. I grew up in Mitchell and was exposed to technology at an early age. My parents bought us a family computer when I was in 4th grade, and we were one of the first families to have cable internet in our community around 1997. I took all the technology classes available at Mitchell Middle School and Mitchell Senior High School. I helped build the first website for Mitchell Middle School, and I even built a little website about the video game SimCity 2000 that was generating $25.00 per month in advertising income while I was in middle school.

When it came time to pick out a university to attend, I knew I wanted to pursue a technology degree. Dakota State University was a natural fit. It had a strong reputation for its computer science and information systems programs even then and was much more affordable than other out-of-state options I had been considering. It was also an hour away from my hometown, which made selecting Dakota State an easy decision.

It wasn’t immediately clear to me what type of technology career I wanted to pursue, but Dakota State created many opportunities to try different aspects of technology so that students could figure out if they wanted to be a network security specialist, a programmer, a business IT manager or something else. I was able to get an internship doing IT and programming work with the South Dakota Unified Judicial System because of Dakota State. Professors Josh Pauli, Wayne Pauli and Tom Halverson were also able to help line me up with some website development and programming work through a business they were running called Logic Lizard at the time. These experiences helped me identify that web programming was the specialty I wanted to pursue, and I continue to use those formative skills at MarketBeat today.


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Guiding growth: DSU president brings broad relationships to hone university’s niche

The physicist in Jose-Marie Griffiths appreciates the concept of centrifugal force.

Think of mud flying off a spinning tire. Or the spin cycle of a washing machine.

As the object moves rapidly, a force is created. A spinoff effect occurs. 

And Griffiths suspects she’s about to see that happen at the place she leads – Dakota State University – which this month opened a first-of-its-kind center: The Madison Cyber Labs.


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‘The cyber state’ takes shape with first-of-its-kind research center

Think of the newly opened Madison Cyber Labs at Dakota State University as a big magnet.

“It’s going to attract people to come to work, new faculty who will be able to conduct research with federal agencies they can’t do on other campuses,” DSU president José-Marie Griffiths said. “And we think it will attract partnerships. We know it’s already attracting partnerships.”

The 38,000-square-foot building that opened in recent weeks already is fulfilling much of its promise.

As students move in, collaboration already is starting, those using the building said.

That was the idea when Griffiths proposed the concept to her campus and to the South Dakota Board of Regents just a few short years ago.

“We couldn’t have one lab per faculty member pursuing their individual research agendas. They had to be broader and involve others across campus and potentially involve external partners,” she said.

“The intent is not just research for the sake of research. It’s researching real problems, developing real solutions, but at the same time creating jobs for people who engage in that R&D and spin off companies that take that R&D and put it out into the real world.”


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SFDF awards commemorative plaques to WIN Summit speakers, sponsors

As a gesture of gratitude for their contributions of time, talents and financial support, all of which helped to make the second annual WIN in Workforce Summit a success, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation gifted commemorative plaques to the 40 speakers and the 13 sponsor organizations who supported the August event.

“Due to the generosity of our business partners, the WIN in Workforce Summit was a resounding success,” said Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce Development. “We at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation are grateful to the speakers for sharing their experiences and to the sponsor companies for supporting our shared vision to equip and to grow the Sioux Falls area workforce for the betterment of our business community.”


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First-ever Talent Draft Day draws big response

Talent Draft Day, a first-time event from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, got off to a strong start with its debut event last week.

Designed to connect students pursuing high-need careers with the schools and businesses and that want work with them, it drew more than 600 talented area students from Harrisburg High School, Southeast Tech, Lake Area Tech and the Lake Area Multi-District Schools.


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Executive profile: Midco chief technology officer Jonathan Pederson

As chief technology officer at Midco, Jon Pederson’s role is a diverse one. 

He manages a team of 65 people, taking care of core customer-facing technology: Internet, video service, phone service and business services. 

He also represents the Sioux Falls-based company at the highest levels of its industry, assisting with industry relations at a national level.

This month, he marks 34 years with the company – the result of a career that started with a job during college that led him down an unexpected path.


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