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Friday, November 12, 2010 - Accounting organization receives national recognition for its diversity initiatives

Long considered a superior chapter, the OU SBA student chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) is now the recipient of the 2010 Ernst and Young Diversity Initiative Award. One of only ten chapters nationwide to receive this award, the professional accounting organization was recognized for its projects -- on campus and in the community -- which demonstrate how it embraces and supports diversity.


"It was a great honor to receive such an important award," says Mark Jasinski, BAP chapter president. "Our chapter is very diverse as we don’t just tolerate diversity but embrace it. We thank Ernst and Young for recognizing our achievements in this category. The new BAP officers thank the past officers for building up BAP and creating this opportunity for us."


Ernst and Young sponsors and presents the award to encourage future business leaders to value the contribution of all people, and develop effective teaming which incorporates the diversity of thought generated from team members from different backgrounds and perspectives.


To be considered for the award, chapters had to submit a plan on how the chapter would impact overall diversity within the chapter, the SBA and the university, including defined objectives and desired outcomes in December, followed by a summary of the successful implementation and results six months later.


The SBA BAP's award was based on initiatives such as co-hosting  professional meetings with the National Association of Black Accountants, pre-business, and majors from other business disciplines in its professional speaker outreach, organizing a food and clothing drive, preparing tax returns for low income families, and tutoring OU students in introductory accounting courses.


The award was presented at a national conference in San Jose this summer.

Beta Alpha Psi is an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals designed to encourage and recognize scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. During the fall and winter terms, the SBA chapter of Beta Alpha Psi joins with other student organizations on campus to host weekly meetings where students can network, learn about different accounting firms and listen to representatives from the profession talk about topics relevant to the field.


"The organization will continue to support diversity in accounting through our promotion of it as a career to any and all who have a passion for it, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or age," says Jasinski.


The chapter has a long-standing tradition of excellence at Oakland University.


"Students at Oakland petitioned to become a chapter of BAP 20 years ago and were granted full membership status 19 years ago," says Sandra Pelfrey, associate professor, accounting, and BAP faculty advisor. "Since then, we have earned superior status as a chapter in all but one year."

For more information on the chapter or the weekly meetings, see the Beta Alpha Psi Web site at



By Dawn Pauli