Release Date: August 24, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo School of Management’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi was once again lauded as one of the best in the world, accepting several awards at the organization’s annual meeting, held Aug. 6-8 in Milwaukee.
Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) is an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, with more than 300 chapters worldwide and more than 300,000 members initiated since the organization’s founding in 1919.
For the seventh consecutive year, the UB School of Management’s Zeta Theta chapter received the day’s top honor, the KPMG Gold Challenge award. The accolade recognizes innovative chapters that develop engaging programming for members and continually exemplify the highest values of BAP: leadership, scholastic success, lifelong learning and development, service and ethical behavior.
In addition, Kathleen Nesper, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, was named Outstanding Faculty Adviser for her contributions to the professional growth and development of students. Nesper has been Zeta Theta’s adviser since 2009.
“My recognition as Outstanding Faculty Adviser is solely a reflection of the talent and continued hard work of the members of our chapter,” says Nesper, who was a charter member of UB’s chapter as a student in 1981. “The students always surpass my expectations with their dedication and enthusiasm.”
The chapter collected four awards for its successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an annual initiative in which IRS-certified accounting students provide free tax preparation services to qualifying individuals and families. Zeta Theta received the Superior award as the best-performing chapter overall, along with awards for preparing 1,084 returns, completing the most volunteer hours (more than 2,600) and offering the Virtual VITA program for those unable to travel to UB’s campuses. This past spring, UB students brought $1.28 million back into the Buffalo community by providing free tax services.
“I am extremely proud of the work we have done. This has been an incredibly busy year, filled with networking, development and social events, and many of our graduating members spent the summer interning with great firms,” says Spencer Gates, BS ’15, immediate past president of Zeta Theta. He will begin the school’s Master of Science in Accounting program this fall.
In addition, the chapter took second place for the Inclusive Leadership award in recognition of three chapter initiatives: a mentorship program, a speaker series about cross-cultural communication and international students, and the third annual Discover Your Differences: David Kim Diversity Workshop held last year.
Senior accounting student Briana Janson was also part of the first-place team for Project Run with It, during which student representatives from schools nationwide worked together to provide consulting services to a nonprofit in the greater Milwaukee area.
Lastly, the chapter received the Grant Thornton Ethics award, which empowers BAP members to develop a solid ethical foundation and act on those principles.