BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary has appointed Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Associate Professor Colin Knapp, Ph.D., as its new dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business. Knapp brings over 20 years of combined military and economics teaching experience in higher education to his new role as dean.

“Dr. Knapp has excellent leadership experience from his years of service in the U.S. Air Force and has extensive knowledge of finance and economics which are very helpful during the critical budget process,” said Dr. Diane Fladeland, vice president of the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Mary. “Dr. Knapp is very engaging and professional in his verbal communication skills, as well as an accomplished online course developer and faculty member at the University of Florida and Penn State. With his knowledge of distance education pedagogy we are confident he will assist us in growing our UMary Online program.”

Knapp earned Summa Cum Laude honors with his bachelor’s of business administration (B.B.A.) degree in economics and finance from Ohio University, followed by a master’s of arts (M.A.) in economics from University of Florida. Knapp served his country from 1996 to 2007 as an officer in the U.S. Air Force before his honorable discharge to the reserves between 2007 and 2015. During that time, Knapp accrued honors and awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal (1stOak Leaf Cluster), Outstanding Contributor distinction at the Air Force Squadron Officers’ School, and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal. Knapp served as chief financial services and deputy chief financial analysis at the 100thComptroller Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK. There, he led a multi-national team of 38 military and civilian personnel responsible for the receipt, disbursement, safeguarding and accounting of $600 million annually, and in charge of manning and training a customer service section tending to 5,000 military members and their families. Later, he became the chief financial manager of 1,000 airmen at the 480thIntelligence Group, Langley Air Force Base, VA, and responsible for writing all facets of the unit’s five-year financial plan.

UMary Names Penn State Professor and Decorated Air Force Officer Dr. Colin Knapp Dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business

“I am very excited for the opportunity to serve the University of Mary, its proud faculty and student body as the next dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business. Together, we will collaborate with local, regional and national entities to stay on the cutting edge, while continuing to make the GTSB a hub for all facets of business,” said Knapp. “My wife Caprice and I feel very blessed to move to such a beautiful, growing and thriving city as Bismarck and its greater community. This is one of the best places to live in the entire United Sates and one of the premier private, Catholic universities in the country. The two’s prosperity go hand-in-hand, and we feel fortunate that Bismarck, the state of North Dakota, and University of Mary are providing us opportunities to be part of its success within our professional endeavors.”

Knapp obtained his doctorate in economics from the University of Florida in 2010. His teaching experience includes, but is not limited to, assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Geography at the Air Force Academy; adjunct scholar at James Madison Institute, Tallahassee, FL.; and adjunct lecturer in the Department of Political Science, adjunct scholar at the Public Utility Research Center, and lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Florida. His most recent appointments include being associate teaching professor in the Department of Economics at Penn State, a member of the Pearson Economics’ Digital Advisory Board, Pearson Education, Boston, MA, and is the table leader for the AP Macroeconomics College Board. He also served as editorial assistant for the Review of Development Economics.

“Dr. Knapp has a willingness and comfort to engage community leadership to further the Gary Tharaldson School of Business goals and status as well as expressed a clear understanding of the need for internships and work experience for all students,” added University of Mary Executive Vice President Greg Vetter and the former president at Bismarck’s American Bank Center.

In doing so, Knapp takes over the leadership of a very proud and storied Tharaldson School of Business after the 2017 retirement of Dr. John Warford. Business students have unique opportunities to interact with inspirational business leaders such as friend and donor Gary Tharaldson, one of the national leading hoteliers and North Dakota’s first billionaire, from whom the GTSB takes its name. Thanks to the vision and generosity of A. Kirk Lanterman, former CEO of Holland America and founder and CEO of Kirlan Venture Capital, students develop and practice financial analysis by managing a live $500,000 portfolio. Members also travel to New York City to participate in the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. Forum and visit the New York Stock Exchange. A branch of American Bank Center is located inside the Lumen Vitae University Center. There, business students at Mary hold leadership roles at this branch, making it a unique learning opportunity.

Knapp begins his duties as dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business Monday, August 5.