On Thursday, April 21, 2016, IUP's Student Accounting Association (SAA) held the annual SAA Recognition Dinner at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana, Pa. The dinner was organized by Kim Anderson, faculty advisor of the SAA; Lisa Fletcher, the SAA senior vice president, and
Nicole McCourt, the recognition dinner chair.
A total of 165 people attended the dinner, including 51 accounting professionals from 23 companies located in seven different cities, 93 accounting majors, and 21 faculty and administrators. Accounting professionals from all of the Big 4 accounting firms and 11 regional and local public
accounting firms were in attendance as were professionals from four financial institutions, a government agency, a real estate development company, the Institute of Management Accountants, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
Each table included two or three accounting professionals, one IUP faculty/administrator, and four or five students. Pictured from bottom left and going clockwise: Anthony Rigous, junior; Nicole Groves, PwC - graduating senior; Emily Smay, Baker Tilly - graduating senior;
Raj Garg, IUP Chinese Business programs; Corey Ireland, KPMG; Lenny Williams, sophomore; Adam Boggs, freshman; and Dan Caponi, Maher Duessel.
The evening began at 5:00 p.m. with a one-hour mingling session. At 6:00 p.m. McCourt gave a welcome speech, which was followed by a buffet-style dinner. At 7:00 p.m. Fletcher introduced the guest speaker, Susan Cosper.
Cosper earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1992 from IUP, where she majored in accounting. Upon graduation, she began her career with PwC in Pittsburgh. While at PwC, she completed an international assignment in London, and she was named the first female partner in the
Pittsburgh office. In 2011, she began her role as the FASB's technical director and chairman of the Emerging Issues Task Force. She was inducted into the Eberly College of Business Hall of Distinction at the 2016 Business Day, held April 7, 2016.
Cosper's speech focused on the steps involved in the standard-setting process in the accounting profession. She used the recent FASB pronouncement on lease accounting as an example. The FASB's change in lease accounting involved dozens of meetings, hours of fact checking and research, and even a
trip to Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas, to investigate the extent to which the change in lease accounting would affect large retailers. Cosper also provided advice to the students in the audience, particularly the importance of networking.
After Cosper's speech, Jennifer Brand, the SAA mentoring chair, recognized the faculty and administrators in attendance at the dinner. Next, Anderson recognized the following accounting students: Alison Rykaczewski, PICPA Outstanding Senior Award; Anna Monyak, Highest Graduating Senior Award; and PICPA Scholarship
winners Quinn Cunningham, Lisa Fletcher, Anna Monyak, Alison Rykaczewski, Alyssa Schaard, and Luke Shreffler. Anderson also recognized the four accounting majors enrolled in the Cook Honors College and 23 accounting majors in attendance who are enrolled in the Business Honors Program.
The four SAA officers posed at the Recognition Dinner with the guest speaker from the FASB. They include (from left to right): Alyssa Schaard, president; Victor Sipe, vice president of Finance; Susan Cosper, FASB technical director; Sarah Zbur, vice
president, and Lisa Fletcher, senior vice president.
Victor Sipe, the SAA vice president of finance, recognized the 2015 and 2016 SAA officers and chairs. Arend Kaminsky, an active SAA member, recognized each professional and the company that they represented. The evening concluded with Alyssa Schaard, SAA president, making closing
remarks, including a save-the-date reminder that the SAA's annual Accounting Career Day will be held on Wednesday, September 21. Accounting Career Day is a large career fair held every September for accounting majors. The 2015 Accounting Career Day included over 75 employers from 33
The SAA faculty advisor, Kim Anderson, recognized six accounting majors at the dinner who received scholarships from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. Front row from left to right: Kim Anderson, Lisa Fletcher, and Alyssa Schaard. Back row from left to
right: Quinn Cunningham, Alison Rykaczewski (also received the PICPA Outstanding Senior Award), Anna Monyak (also received the Highest Graduating Senior Award), and Luke Shreffler.
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