Five Dakota State University alumni were honored recently with the annual Outstanding Alumni Awards.
Honored as Coach of the Year this year is Josh Conklin. Conklin is a 2003 graduate of Dakota State. He is entering his third season as head coach of the Wofford College football team. In his first two seasons at the helm, Conklin’s team won back-to-back Southern Conference Championships and reached the NCAA F-C-S Playoffs.
This year’s Outstanding Alumni – Young Alumni award was presented to Michael Anderson. Anderson is a 2009 DSU graduate who currently works as an assistant principal and athletic director in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he assists teachers and staff and serves nearly one-thousand students. Anderson also supports families as the school’s Spanish translator.
DSU’s Outstanding Alumni Educator this year is Laura Biagi. Biagi is a 2011 DSU graduate. She began teaching in Brandon Valley and currently teaches 4th grade in Chester Schools. This past year, Biagi was awarded Teacher of the Year for the Chester Area School District. Honored as DSU’s Outstanding Alumni for Service to Alma Mater is Arden Jones. Jones is a 1978 graduate of Dakota State College with a degree in history education. Jones volunteered for the Alumni Board in 2009 and was instrumental in establishing the Alumni Tailgating events that are still going on today. Jones currently serves as past president of the group.
This year’s Outstanding Alumni honor for Professional Achievement went to Matt Paulson. Paulson is a 2009 DSU graduate and is the founder and CEO of MarketBeat, a financial media company that publishes stock market news, data, and research tools. As an active private equity investor, Paulson has invested in more than 60 small businesses and high-growth startups. He also serves as the chairman of Falls Angel Fund, which makes early-stage capital investments in high-growth companies in South Dakota and surrounding states, and founded Startup Sioux Falls, a community organization that aims to connect founders with each other and with the startup ecosystem. Paulson has also published eight business and personal finance books.