The School of Accountancy’s three extra-curricular events–the Goglin Contest, the Melvoin Student Symposium, and the Fred Lang Student Competition–are all set and ready to go this Spring quarter. Each contest allows DePaul accounting students to test and expand themselves in many non-technical areas: research into current issues facing the profession, public (and persuasive) speaking, use of presentation technology, and above all analytic abilities–especially in untangling knotty cases of ethics and accounting. And the competition can be fierce. The competitions can be, as one past participant has observed, “intellectual combat.”
The Goglin Essay Contest, sponsored by the Edward A. and Mary C. Goglin Fund in the school, calls for student essays on selected timely issues confronting the profession. John McEnroe, Deloitte Professor in the school, traditionally selects the topic and challenges students with troublesome issues. Past topics have included US GAAP-IFRS convergence, the missing billions of MF Global, and the ongoing mark-to-market problem. Over the years many students have tried their hand at exploring such issues. A faculty member, most recently Prof. Kelly Pope, serves a judge, and selects the top finisher. The contest usually carries a $1500 prize.
The Charles Melvoin Student Symposium (this year April 23, 2014), now in its eleventh year, is an outgrowth of the school’s Melvoin Fund, gift of Charles Melvoin, a former faculty member. An open ended essay contest offered in Fall quarter, a selection committee selects the top three essay, which will be competitively presented at the Spring quarter Melvoin Student Symposium. Presentations are before a panel of faculty and L&Q Board or Executive Committee members, and awards determined. The Melvoin Symposium provides a total of $3000 in scholarship support.
Finally is one of the school’s oldest activities for students, the Spring quarter Fred Lang Case Competition, which has been a fixture of the school since 1993. “The Lang,” as it is commonly known, was directed since inception by EY Professor Belverd E. Needles, and recently passed to Prof. Wendy Heltzer.
The event is a case analysis and presentation competition among the school’s five student groups, and an occasional team from the Driehaus College of Business. Teams are given a case and a week to analyze and prepare their presentation, which will be presented before a panel of judges and an audience at the contest. Judging is most difficult, since students are aware of the stakes–bragging rights for a year–and this brings out their best. The Lang contest carries prizes generously contributed by the chaired professors of the school.
All three activities contribute much to the students’ educations, and in precisely those areas educators stress: original research, analysis, critical thinking, writing and communicating their ideas, opinions and resolutions to a curious and demanding public. Over the years dozens of school faculty and participating alumni have served as coaches, advisors and judges in these contests of intellectual skills, and hundreds of DePaul accounting students have strengthened themselves by participating. Some won prizes, others did not–but they all came out stronger, more experienced, and, of course, better educated professional accountants.