You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / November / Industry Professionals Help Shape Smeal Accounting Programs

Industry Professionals Help Shape Smeal Accounting Programs

The Penn State Accounting External Advisory Board met early last month to consider issues confronting accounting educators in the Smeal College of Business.
November 14, 2013

The Penn State Accounting External Advisory Board met early last month to consider issues confronting accounting educators in the Smeal College of Business.

The 20 board members include some of Penn State’s most successful alumni and friends, representing many of the largest employers in the accounting industry. The board meets twice each year to provide perspectives on the curriculum and other aspects of the Smeal experience that affect students’ preparation for their careers.

“The members of our advisory board provide a valued perspective on the curricular innovations, the current needs of employers across many industries, and the skillsets our students must build to meet those demands.”

“The members of our advisory board provide a valued perspective on the curricular innovations, the current needs of employers across many industries, and the skillsets our students must build to meet those demands,” said Steven Huddart, chair of the Department of Accounting at Smeal.

The October meeting’s agenda included a report on the department’s competitive position relative to other top-tier accounting programs across the country and an update on sustainability-related project opportunities for all Smeal students.

Sajay Samuel, clinical associate professor of accounting, spoke to the board about the new curriculum and broader employment possibilities for students pursuing the Corporate Control and Financial Management concentration. In May, the first cohort of about 60 students will graduate with the concentration. The concentration provides preparation for careers in corporate accounting and eligibility to sit for the Certified Management Accountant exam, one of the key steps to earning the CMA designation.

Finally, Director of Career and Corporate Connections Meg Handley talked to the board about students’ transition to the workplace, including the particular strengths employers see coming from Smeal graduates and how students’ soft skills, especially writing and a professional mindset, can be further developed.

The newest members of the board are Eric Bocan ‘96, senior vice president, corporate audit, at Fidelity Investments; Ron Sloan ‘70, retired controller at U.S. Steel; Steve Patras ‘95, partner at KPMG in Philadelphia; Mike Vierheller, deputy chief auditor for the American Red Cross; and, Chris Votta, a recently retired EY partner and past Penn State parent.

The board is chaired by Tara Weiner ’76, managing partner, greater Philadelphia region, Deloitte LLP.

Smeal offers accounting programs to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including a bachelor’s degree, a five-year program integrating the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a one-year Master of Accounting program. The college also offers a Ph.D. in accounting.

Recent News
Ding Co-Authors Book on Modern China 18 Sep

The Chinese Way, a newly released book from Penn State Smeal College of Business Professor of Marketing and Innovation Min Ding and Jie Xu of Fudan University, explores modern-day Chinese culture from multiple angles, providing a deeper understanding of a complex society that is critically important to business in a globalized world.

Nicholson Helps Dairy Farmers Mitigate Financial Risks 17 Sep

Charles Nicholson, clinical associate professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, is contributing to the introduction of the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP), a government-sponsored insurance initiative to help the nation’s dairy farmers mitigate their financial risks.

Client Projects Sought for Penn State Smeal MBA Program's Applied Professional Experience 17 Sep

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is currently seeking projects for the spring 2015 Applied Professional Experience (APEX) Program. APEX, the capstone component of Smeal’s internationally ranked MBA program, runs from early January through April and consists of student teams collaborating with client firms to take on real-world business challenges.

Crocker Named Department Chair in Risk Management 16 Sep

Keith Crocker, the William Elliott Chaired Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, has been named chair of the Department of Risk Management in the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

Risk Management's Jaffe Appointed Smeal's Associate Dean for International Programs 16 Sep

Austin J. Jaffe, the Philip H. Sieg Professor of Business Administration, has been appointed associate dean for international programs—a new role that will build on the college’s strategic efforts in international engagements.

More Recent News... More Recent News...