Degrees: Graduate School of Banking at Colorado M.B.A., University of South Dakota B.S., University of South Dakota
Courses taught: Principles of Management, Entrepreneurship, Internships, Mindset Academy
Business Experience: Prior to joining the faculty at Augustana University, Professor Gardner was a banker at Norwest Bank for 15 years and served in various leadership roles. She then was the CEO of a commercial brokerage, real estate development, property management, hospitality management, and financial services firm for five years. She joined Augustana in 2002. Her research interests include leadership development, entrepreneurship and rural economic development.
Memorable classroom moment: My class was attending 1 Million Cups and someone in the crowd said they were looking for an employee with an entrepreneurial attitude and a love for social media. One of my students stood up and said “That is me!” They talked after the meeting and she was hired on the spot. She still is employed by that firm.
Advice for business students: BSAD students are required to take an internship as part of their studies at Augustana. I would encourage students to get outside of their comfort zone and take two, three or even four internships so they can “test drive” different industries. We usually have more internship offerings than interns because our students have a great reputation in the community. Not all of the internships need to be taken for credit, so take advantage of this opportunity to try new things.