|Alumni Honor New Inductees at Beta Alpha Psi Annual Banquet|
|Ithaca College's Mu Alpha Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi initiates 25 new members.|
The Ithaca College Mu Alpha Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (the honor society for accounting and finance students and professionals) initiated 25 new members and honored 25 graduating seniors at the organization's annual banquet on April 24. In addition to those being initiated were three honorary members: Christopher Didio '84 (partner at Dannible & McKee, LLP in Syracuse), David Fleisher '91 (cofounder and president of Firstrust Financial Resources, LLC in Philadelphia), and David Iles (managing partner of Sciarabba Walker & Company, LLP in Ithaca). The chapter also included a special recognition for Beta Alpha Psi alumni who are now Ithaca College graduate students completing their M.B.A. in professional accountancy degrees: Timothy Carey '09 and '10, John Cirba '09 and '10, and Holly Seward "09 and '10.
Approximately 130 students, alumni, parents, guests, corporate sponsors, and faculty members, including the incoming dean of the School of Business, Mary Ellen Zuckerman, attended the ceremony and celebration dinner held at the Clarion Hotel. Three firms along with the School of Business provided sponsorship for the students: Sciarabba Walker & Company, LLP; Ciaschi, Dietershagen, Little, & Mickelson, LLP; and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
This year's festivities mark the third time the finance and accounting departments have gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of students and honorary members since the Mu Alpha Chapter was granted a charter in 2008. Patricia Libby, associate professor of accounting at the College and faculty adviser of the organization, indicated that, because the banquet primarily serves as a venue to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the organization's members, the students have a major role to play in its function. This year, Kristin Miga '12, Victoria Nasoff '11, and Aaron Jones '10 formed the banquet committee to organize all aspects of the event. Professor Libby said, "I tell the students that it's their party, and I always hear that it's very professionally done and well-orchestrated."
This year's ceremonies began with a brief reception before the current president, Aaron Jones '10, welcomed attendees and initiated new student and honorary members of the organization. Professor Libby then bestowed honors cords on graduating seniors and recognized the current officers before inducting those elected to assume their positions this coming academic year. The new officers include Michael Grillo '11, president of the organization next year; Victoria Nasoff '10, vice president of programming (in the fall); Brian Wojcik '11, vice president of programming (in the spring); Christopher Cuvelier '11, vice president of reporting; Karen Peck '11, vice president of external relations; Jacqueline Weinstein '11, secretary; and Michael Shipman '11, treasurer.
After dinner, guest speaker and alumnus David Fleisher '91, gave an inspiring keynote speech. The event was then adjourned with the banging of the gavel by the new president, Michael Grillo '11.
BAP is an international organization that promotes good moral character and professional excellence in the accounting, finance, and information systems fields. Since it was founded in 1919, 287 chapters have been established at major colleges and universities and a total of over 300,000 members have been initiated.
Each year, student members and candidates from Ithaca College's chapter attend the Atlantic Coast Regional Conference in March and the Beta Alpha Psi National Conference in August. These venues model professional conferences that are part of continuing education expectations upon entering the workforce. They also provide a terrific forum for students to network with other chapters, learn and share best practices, and build leadership skills.
The Mu Alpha Chapter received recognition as a distinguished chapter in 2009 and has set a goal of reaching superior chapter status in 2010. This is only accomplished by the very active participation of all members. This year's 70 Mu Alpha members and candidates each provided on average over 35 hours of community service during the year (a total of 2,450 hours serving the Ithaca College and greater Ithaca communities) and attended nearly 13 hours of professional programs on and off campus (a total of 910 hours of personal and professional development).
Professor Libby said she strives to help the chapter create a celebration worthy of such achievements. "These students work very hard," she said. "This is their chance to enjoy themselves and be recognized for that hard work."