New head of business school lauded for ‘entrepreneurial zeal’
SAN RAFAEL — In the weeks leading up to his first day as new dean overseeing Dominican University of California’s School of Business and Leadership, Dr. Sam Beldona said that a close partnership between the school and the regional business community was key to providing students with experiences that prepare them for a competitive job market.
Drawing on his experience teaching in a number of countries, Mr. Beldona said that employers are increasingly able to tap into an international talent pool. Amid broad competition, graduates with resume-worthy experiences from their degree program can notably improve their chances for advancing their careers, he said.
“Students should be able to document what they’ve learned, sit across the table from a hiring manager and explain why they are qualified,” said Dr. Beldona, citing examples like presentations to industry groups and proposals that are implemented at regional companies. “Because of the effects of globalization, with our students competing internationally, it has made it even more important.”
Dr. Beldona will begin his role as dean on July 31, following a national search to find a replacement for the school’s former dean, Dr. Dan Moshavi. Dr. Dr. Moshavi had served as dean since 2011, and will return as a faculty instructor after the completion of a sabbatical, according to a university spokesman.
Most recently serving as associate dean of the Graduate School of Business at Rhode Island’s Bryant University, Dr. Beldona helped develop a number of hands-on courses for each year of education in the undergraduate school of business. Programs included an “e-pitch” in the freshman year, service learning in the sophomore year, internship programs for juniors and competitive programs for seniors. Businesses were encouraged to participate on a number of levels throughout those programs.
While Mr. Beldona has yet to begin his work in determining specific goals while at Dominican, he emphasized the importance of input from the rest of the university and regional employers.
“My philosophy is guided by those interactions. I like to listen to different people and work very collaboratively with stakeholders to move the organization forward,” he said.
The pursuit of partnerships that extend the education of business students has been underway within the university as well, with a number of new courses that emphasize interactions in service-based learning, science programs and the business incubator and accelerator connected to the school, the Venture Greenhouse. Those efforts were part of what attracted Mr. Beldona to Dominican, he said.
In selecting Dr. Beldona to head the business school, Steven Weisler, university provost, said that the university was attracted to his history of developing new curricular programs.
“We greatly value his broad experience in business education, his outstanding record as a faculty member and administrator, and his entrepreneurial zeal with a strong focus on global business education,” he said.
Dr. Beldona has taught at a number of universities throughout his career, including Wichita State University in Kansas and the International University of Japan. He received a Bachelor of Science in physics and an MBA from Karnatak University in Dharwad, India, as well as a Ph.D. in business administration from Temple University if Philadelphia.
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