South Dakota State University Articles


Executive profile: For Public Works leader, building a career has meant building a city

In one moment, as a kid, Mark Cotter made a choice that led to a career.

One of his five siblings brought home a book of college majors, and as a young Cotter flipped through it, he made an instant decision.

“It said roads, bridges, pipelines,” he said. “And I told my sister, ‘That’s exactly what I want to do.’ And I went into civil engineering. It was honestly that simple. I went to college and never looked back.”

Growing up on a farm outside Chester, S.D., he had been inspired by what he saw happening around him.

“When you grow up in the country, you’re watching your neighbors work the fields, combine, harvest and you’re around a lot of large equipment. And I was drawn to it and wanted to find a way to still be in it,” he said.


  Read More


Mid-career spotlight: Architect charts successful career, finds personal fulfillment in Sioux Falls

Michelle Klobassa was looking to spread her wings, as the saying goes.

It took the North Dakota native to Montana as a recent high school graduate, where an accelerated architecture program at Montana State University prepared her for a career.

“After I got my master’s degree, I realized I really wanted to get back closer to family, and I had one of my sisters living in Sioux Falls,” Klobassa said. “She was a teacher, and she said, ‘Why don’t you think about living in Sioux Falls?’ So I did.”

She was 23, and found a job as an architectural graduate with a small group of architects, “which was a great blessing to me, and I had a great mentor who was an amazing boss,” she said.

A few years later, in 2007, her firm was acquired by TSP – a multi-state full-service firm based in Sioux Falls offering engineering, architecture, planning and interior design services.


  Read More

New additions to ag education prepare students for jobs of the future

One look at some of the newest additions to South Dakota State University make it clear: Ag-related education is changing.
 
“We’re doing things that are really relevant to all the real, major grand challenges that face society today,” said John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn-Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
 
There are 2,000 undergraduates and 300 graduate students in the college, spread across 23 majors. Many of them are working and learning in facilities unlike any other in the country – preparing them for a huge range of in-demand jobs.
 
“There’s probably never been a more exciting time to be in this type of college for a student in the future than it is today,” Killefer said.


  Read More