On Thursday, April 19, the IUP Student Accounting Association set an attendance record of 178 people at its annual recognition dinner held at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana, Pennsylvania.



Photo: The Student Accounting Association (SAA) Recognition Dinner provides networking opportunities for accounting majors and accounting professionals. There was a record turnout for the 2018 SAA dinner, including 62 accounting professionals and 94 students.

The keynote speaker was IUP accounting alumnus Charles (Chuck) Oshurak ’99, audit and assurance partner, with Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP in Pittsburgh. The dinner was organized by Kim Anderson, faculty advisor of the SAA; Matthew Miller, the SAA senior vice president, and Emily Lathrop and Sarah Smietana, the SAA recognition dinner co-chairs.

 The 178 people in attendance included 62 accounting professionals (most of whom were IUP accounting alumni) from 33 companies, 87 accounting majors, seven high school students, and 22 faculty and administrators. Accounting professionals from all of the Big 4 accounting firms and 12 other national, regional, and local public accounting firms were in attendance, as were professionals from four financial institutions, three health services companies, two government agencies, three manufacturing companies, two consulting firms, an energy company, a university endowment office, and a large privately-held company. The professionals in attendance included a wide range of experience levels. There were several CEOs, CFOs, senior vice presidents, partners, and managing directors with more than 20 years of experience on one end of the extreme and entry-level associates and accountants with one to two years of experience on the other end, with several managers and vice presidents in between.

Photo: A group of alumni who were all students in Kim Anderson’s 1998 spring semester auditing class attended the dinner. Front row from left to right: Kim Anderson; Erica Alberth Monaco ’99, director, corporate accounting, WESCO; Kevin Van Asdalan ’99, controller, Montauk Energy. Back row from left to right: Chuck Oshurak ’99, audit and assurance partner, Arnett Carbis Toothman; Mike Vasil ’98, regional vice president, Heritage Hospice, and Christine McIsaac ’99, project manager, Department of Defense

The evening began at 5:00 p.m. with a one-hour mingling session, which provided students with the opportunity to network with professionals. At 6:00 p.m. Miller welcomed everyone, followed by a buffet-style dinner. At 7:00 p.m. SAA recognition dinner co-chair Emily Lathrop introduced Oshurak as the guest speaker.

Oshurak earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1999 from IUP, where he majored in both accounting and business education. After graduating, Oshurak spent more than 16 years working for national and regional public accounting firms,where he served both public and privately held companies in various industries. At Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP, Oshurak provides specialized accounting, assurance, and advisory related services, with a primary focus in auditing manufacturing and distribution companies.

 Photo: For the first time, high school students interested in majoring in accounting were invited to the SAA dinner. Don Haddad ’79, senior vice president, Citizens Bank, attended with his nephew, Jack Eastly, a student at North Allegheny High School in Pittsburgh. Haddad is a member of the Eberly College of Business Hall of Distinction and Business Advisory Council.

Oshurak provided advice and encouragement to the students, often interjecting humor into his remarks. He mentioned that he ended up exploring accounting as a possible career due to being absent one day in third grade. The day he missed happened to be the day the third graders chose a career to explore, and the only two careers left for Oshurak to choose from the day he returned to school were accountant and garbage collector. Oshurak also asked the students to look around the room and take notice of all the business leaders there that IUP helped to create, and he urged them to continue taking advantage of networking opportunities. He concluded by thanking IUP for the education he received and stating his intention to pay it forward by funding a scholarship for IUP accounting majors.


Photo: The following individuals attended the SAA dinner. Front row from left to right: Laria Moore, SAA vice president; Kim Anderson, SAA faculty advisor; Anthony Maticic, SAA president; Alec Martin, SAA vice president of finance. Back row from left to right: Matthew Miller, SAA senior vice president; Robert Camp, dean of the Eberly College of Business; and Chuck Oshurak, SAA dinner guest speaker

After Oshurak’s speech, Laria Moore, the SAA vice president, recognized the faculty and administrators in attendance at the dinner. Next, Anderson recognized the following accounting students: Katie Swauger, PICPA Outstanding Senior Award; Jennifer Brand and Sarah Kolar, Highest Graduating Senior Award; and PICPA Scholarship winners Katie Swauger, Matthew Miller, Elizabeth Varner, and Laria Moore. Anderson also recognized the 10 accounting students enrolled in the Cook Honors College and 28 accounting students in attendance who are enrolled in the Business Honors Program.

Alec Martin, the SAA vice president of finance, recognized the 2017 and 2018 SAA officers and chairs.  Smietana recognized each professional and the company that they represented. The evening concluded with the SAA president, Anthony Maticic, making closing remarks, including a save-the-date reminder that the SAA’s annual Accounting Career Day will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, at the Rustic Lodge.

Accounting Career Day is a large career fair held every September for accounting majors. The 2017 Accounting Career Day included more than 75 employers from 33 companies.