Mount Marty University Biotechnology Management Students Ready to Lead and Innovate in the Industry

May 8, 2024

Mount Marty University graduated its first class of Master of Science in Biotechnology Management students earlier this month, a good sign for the fast-growing biotechnology industry.

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’s a very collaborative environment where there is always discussion and rapport happening, and it really fosters that connection,” mentions Matthew Holler, fall 2024 graduate of the biotechnology program.

The program also includes a six month internship that gives the graduates some of the necessary experience required when looking for careers after graduation. The faculty communicate with their networking connections keeping in mind the students’ goals and aspirations to find unique internship placements. Some students also find their own internship opportunities and will get approval to work with those corporations. Mitchell Lonneman, who graduated from the program this past weekend, is grateful to Dr. Mark Brown, executive director and one of the professors of the biotechnology program, for aiding him in finding his internship opportunity in Sioux Falls, S.D. Lonneman didn’t know where to start looking for an internship after noticing it was part of the curriculum, but Brown reassured him he already had communication in place with contacts in the area. These internship opportunities opened Lonneman’s eyes to other possibilities and have positively impacted his current job search after graduation.

“We are incredibly rare,” Brown says. “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. “I’m going to be there by your [the student’s] side in two years, and three years, and another ten years when you go to jump into these different roles,” remarks Brown. “And, that is a key part of the program.” 

Holler 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.” He 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, 2024 at 1 p.m. on the Yankton campus at Cimpl Arena with over 20 graduating from the program in total.





Founded in 1936 by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty University is South Dakota's only Catholic institution of higher education. Located along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton, with additional locations in Watertown and Sioux Falls, Mount Marty offers undergraduate and graduate degrees focusing on student and alumni success in high-demand fields such as health sciences, education, criminal justice, business, accounting, and more. A community of learners in the Benedictine tradition, Mount Marty emphasizes academic excellence and develops well-rounded students with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills and moral, spiritual and social values. To learn more, visit