School’s Extra-curricular Competitions Showcase Accounting Student Talents

The school’s three extra-curricular activities focusing on writing and case use–the Melvoin Student Ethics Symposium, the Fred Lang Case Competition, and the Goglin Essay Contest–concluded for the year, with 20 students across the three programs competing for a combined $7,500 in prizes. Typical at DePaul, the involvement of alumni and the profession as contest judges was a vital element; practitioners evaluating student performance in communication and presentation skills, research, critical thinking and analysis makes what could be “just” another classroom assignment into an often memorable learning experience for our students.  Ledger & Quill is especially pleased this year to have served as co-sponsor for all three programs.

Melvoin Student Ethics Symposium

The eleventh annual Melvoin Student Ethics Symposium–saddened by the passing of DePaul benefactor and symposium founder Hugo Melvoin–was held April 24. Students Brian Bafaro, Kristine Arboleda and Andrea Zurita, finalists in the Fall 2012 Melvoin Essay Contest, presented their essays before judges Gerry Ginsburg andAndrea Kunkel, both of McGladrey. While Zurita fell ill the day of the contest, junior Bafaro spoke at length on the dire need of reform in how ethics are taught in American universities, beginning his presentation with a seemingly endless litany of financial crimes . . . since he was born. Arboleda took the role of champion for corporate sustainability and assurance reporting, seeing the relatively new report not as a yet-one-more-compliance-burden, but rather as a means of encouraging American business to move in more socially responsible, socially desirable directions. Faced with two displays of such youthful (but impeccably reasoned and expressed) optimism, the judges declared a tie, the contestants splitting the Melvoin Ethics Prizes. Sponsorship of the program is by the Charles Melvoin Fund in the School, which also provides, since 1988, the Melvoin Scholarships.

 

Fred Lang Case Competition

Now directed by Prof. Wendy Heltzer after twenty years of stewardship by Ernst & Young Professor Belverd E. Needles, the 21st annual Fred Lang Case Competition (May 14) featured the usual cast of characters: a case based upon a timely and very much emerging issue (revenue recognition in the world of web-based gaming), five eager student groups showing their A-games in technical accounting and presentation expertise, six generous chaired professors sponsoring the contest, three alumni practitioners from Ledger & Quill serving as judges, and a room full of students as the audience. There were five teams in this year’s competition: the Accounting Club, Ascend, Beta Alpha Psi, and our student chapters of MAHA and NABA. After all groups presented their findings, the Accounting Club–students Said Ahmed, Brian Bafaro, Savanna Milasuski and Mustafa Sarama— was declared winner, for the second year in a row. Judges this year were L&Q Executive Committee members Kate Dahlberg (PCAOB) and Mike Whelan (Ernst & Young), and Board member Tyson May (Deloitte); all three were first-time judges and new to the competition (although May competed as a student).  The Lang Competition continues to be sponsored (and prizes funded) by the School’s Cindy Durtschi, Epstein Faculty Fellow; Mark L. Frigo, Ledger & Quill Alumni Professor; Nancy Hill, Ezerski Professor; John E. McEnroe, Deloitte Alumni Professor; Belverd E. Needles, Ernst & Young Alumni Professor, and Sandra Shelton, KPMG Alumni Professor.

Goglin Essay Contest

Keeping his two-year run as Goglin Contest champ, senior Strobel Scholar and June ’13 graduate Adam Spence took his third (and final) Goglin Essay Contest Prize, showing as much skill with a pen as a spreadsheet. The contest, now in its seventh year, invited students to write on a perhaps increasingly irritating topic: lack of progress from any US authoritative entity on US GAAP–IFRS Standards, or the “Convergence” issue. Directed by Deloitte Professor John McEnroe and relying once again on the judiciary astuteness of Prof. Ning Du, the 2013 Goglin Contest also saw junior accounting student Yessica Velazquez enter as a participant and take a portion of the Goglin Prize. The prizes for the contest are provided by the Mary and Edward Goglin Fund in the School of Accountancy.

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