The Pi chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) at Case Western Reserve University received recognition as a “superior chapter” from the international honor organization.
Weatherhead School of Management undergraduate students and those in the Integrated Masters Programs studying accounting, finance and information systems, make up the members of the organization.
“It’s an honor to receive the superior chapter designation,” said fourth-year finance major, Miles Kostolansky, who is the president of the Pi chapter. “It’s recognition of the hard work our entire executive board put in throughout the year.”
This is the 15th year the Pi chapter has received this award since its inception into the organization in 1930. This most recent recognition reflects the actions of executive members from the 2021-22 academic year and is based on a point system.
“Our students are expected to do service activities, as well as professional activities,” said Associate Professor of Accountancy Anthony Bucaro, who is a faculty advisor for BAP. “So if a certain percentage of members are involved in a certain number of those activities, they get points for those activities.”
Some of the professional activities include meeting with professional firms, attending the annual and regional BAP conference, hosting resume review and mock interview sessions and visiting accountancy and finance offices in downtown Cleveland.
Among the service activities the members participated in are reaching out to local high schools for tutoring and career path discussions, assisting community members through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), rehabilitating old toys for local organizations and more.
“I find it really rewarding and energizing to see what the students are so capable of doing,” said Assistant Professor of Accountancy Heidi Blakeway-Phillips, who is also a faculty advisor. “It gives me a sense of pride that these students are representing our university and our school going forward. They do a lot with no personal benefit to them.”
Members of the Pi chapter meet on a weekly basis and beyond professional and service activities, the organization holds social events, such as ice cream socials and a Halloween party at the end of this month.
Fourth-year accounting major, Mohana Venkatapuram, joined BAP in the second semester of her first year at CWRU.
“My favorite part of the organization is my ability to talk to other people who are going through the same process as me,” said Venkatapuram, who is the vice president of the Pi chapter. “When I first started off as a general member it was really comforting to have older accounting students give advice on how to plan out my course load. Now being able to give back to younger members is really fulfilling.”
One of Venkatapuram’s favorite BAP events is Meet the Accountants, which is a networking event held each fall where students have small-group interactions with over a dozen companies. In these discussions they learn about internship and full-time positions across the tax, audit, advisory and merger and acquisition service lines.
“Overall Beta Alpha Psi has been such a great experience, not only for internships and meeting firms, but also being able to meet like-minded people,” said Venkatapuram. “Now to have this award that reflects all the hard work we put in and all the great experiences we’ve had is really nice.”
Pi chapter treasurer, Corey Smith, added "In the time I’ve spent with Beta Alpha Psi, I’ve seen this organization provide almost endless opportunities to students and I find that to be the most fulfilling. Being awarded superior status assures us, the executive members, and our faculty advisors that our efforts are being noticed."
Smith is a fourth-year accounting major with a secondary major in finance. When asked what he loves most about BAP he responded, "Helping facilitate an organization that furthers the careers of young professionals is very rewarding. All of our active members are eager to make an impact, both at Weatherhead and in the professional world."
Two student executive teams led the chapter during the 2021-22 academic year being recognized with the award:
May 1-Dec. 31, 2021
- Ashley Parham, president
- Miles Kostolansky, vice president
- Hazel Luong, secretary
- Samantha Dunbar, treasurer
Jan. 1-April 30, 2022
- Miles Kostolansky, president
- Mohana Venkatapuram, vice president
- Nhi (Sally) Nguyen, secretary
- Corey Smith, treasurer
Learn more about BAP and the Pi chapter.
Pictured in the top photo from left to right: Ashley Parham, Georgia Podgainy, Mohana Venkatapuram and Nhi (Sally) Nguyen at Meet The Accountants 2022 event.
Pictured in the bottom photo from left to right: Corey Smith, Miles Kostolansky, Mohana Venkatapuram, Georgia Podgainy and Ashley Parham at Meet The Accountants 2022 event.
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