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UT’s Beta Alpha Psi Takes Home National Honor

Published: August 17, 2010

While they refer to themselves as accounting nerds, the students in UT’s international accounting honors society, Beta Alpha Psi, are making a name for themselves nationally.

At this year’s National Beta Alpha Psi Conference the first week of August, UT’s chapter took home four awards, not only improving on the group's success in previous years but making it one of the most decorated chapters in the world. The awards recognize programs the chapter is implementing on campus and include the following:

  • First place – Deloitte Best Practices: Chapter Sustainability video
    For the group’s work implementing a leadership retreat, the creation of a 10-year sustainability plan for chapter growth with benchmarks, and the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement honors for 2010 of Best Large Organization of the Year and Outstanding Commitment to Diversity.
  • Second place – Deloitte Best Practices: Service Learningvideo
    Chapter members worked with SHARE, a nonprofit cooperative that provides groceries at low-cost. Members went at 5 a.m. on Saturdays to the Ybor-city based organization to sort groceries, created policy and procedure manuals, and developed a database management system.
  • 1 of 15 chapters to receive KPMG GOLD Chapter Awardvideo
    An award given for chapters which demonstrate they go above the standard, such as the annually required 32 hours per member of professional development and service. UT’s chapter averaged 100 combined hours per member.
  • 1 of 10 chapters to receive Ernst & Young Diversity Award
    Given to chapters that go above and beyond in their commitment to diversity, the honor was given to UT because it hosted a diversity month with events including Allied Training where members and candidates became advocates and supporters against oppression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“Our BAP teams were unbelievably successful at the national conference,” said Teresa Pergola, associate professor of accounting, who accompanied the students to the convention. She noted that the honors came with $5,500 in award money.

“UT is now recognized as the team to beat on a national level,” Pergola said. “Many faculty advisors approached me to discuss our success. USF attended both of our presentations and videotaped them - their chapter wants to see what we are doing and strategize how to beat us.”

Immediate past president Andrew Argue ’10, now a UT graduate student, attributes the chapter’s holistic approach to member development as the key to their success.

“We’re dedicated to academic and scholastic excellence, but we want to inspire people to grow, to know what they want in life,” Argue said. “We’ve done a lot of things that are revolutionary (for the honors society).”

Aside from the opportunities to refine public speaking and communication skills, members participate in a leadership retreat to work on team building and self-awareness. The chapter pairs with the Office of Career Services to bring in industry professionals and is given the opportunity to network with them face to face.

“Our main focus is to make sure everyone finds a job,” said Argue, who has already committed to working as an audit associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers when he graduates from UT with his master’s of accounting in 2011.“We want to develop kids who are sophomores and make them stellar by the time they are seniors.”

UT’s chapter has about 45 members but anticipates more than 85 as candidates who have been nominated for admission join in the fall. For information, contact chapter president Devon Garcia at or visit

Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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