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Accountancy Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Emmanuel Eze

Emmaneul Eze Portrait

Emmanuel Eze, a student in the accountancy master program, is the recipient of an AICPA scholarship award for minority accounting students.

Originally from Nigeria, Emmanuel has spent the past six years in the United States, spending some time in Baltimore, Maryland, before heading to Boise. He attended college in his home country for a few years, but wanted to move to the U.S. to gain more opportunities. After moving to Baltimore and a chance encounter with someone familiar with Idaho, Emmanuel applied to Boise State University and has not looked back since.

“I came, and it’s been phenomenal!” exclaimed Eze, as he described being welcomed by the Boise community and being exposed to resources that were not available in Nigeria. Although originally a computer science major, he fell in love with accounting after taking a few classes and he wants to change some of the stereotypes surrounding the field. Emmanuel enjoys socializing with people and absorbing what they have to say, commenting “when you listen to someone’s story, you learn from them.” He wants to be able to take his interpersonal mindset and apply it to the structure and order of accounting.

He is the first person in his family to attend college, and pursuing a master’s degree after earning his undergraduate degree in accounting makes his story even more special. Although still a student, Emmanuel already has a job lined up at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a public accounting firm where he will be able to use his pursuit of becoming a CPA to eventually work toward earning the title of senior associate.

The scholarship requires participation in the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, which includes at least eight hours of service planning and hosting on-campus events to advocate for the CPA profession. This means that Emmanuel will become a voice to help other prospective students find their career paths and work toward a successful future.

The AICPA, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, and this scholarship program aims to help high-achieving minority accounting students pursue their education and ultimately become CPAs. This scholarship awarded 90 recipients up to $5,000 in 2016.

Written by: Sean Luster, MBA candidate

2016 Top Ten Scholar

Karla Gonzalez portrait

Karla Gonzalez, an accounting major graduating in Spring 2016 (also majoring in Spanish and finance), has been selected as a 2016 Top Ten Scholar. As explained on the Boise State University  website, the Top Ten Scholar Award is the highest academic honor granted to a Boise State University undergraduate student. Top Ten Scholars are the best of the best and serve as inspirations for their fellow students. To qualify for consideration, the student must have a 3.8 or higher grade point average and be nominated by their respective deans. Each student is then rigorously reviewed based on academic breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations at professional meetings or conferences, and community and campus service.

During her time at Boise State, Karla has served in many leadership roles on campus. As a resident assistant for university housing, she was able to grow as an individual and as a professional as she helped first-year students adjust to university life. In addition, she helped to create a new club on campus called Traditional Multicultural Expressions. Karla also served on the College of Business and Economics Student Advisory Council and provided insights to improve the student experience.

Karla has been the recipient of several scholarships throughout her time at Boise State University, including the Kirk and Marsha Smith Scholarship, the Idaho Association of Public Accountants Scholarship, the AICPA Scholarship, the Roger A. Martell Scholarship, and the Hilda D. Elliot Accounting Scholarship. She is also a lifetime member of the honor societies of Beta Gama Sigma and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. As a first-generation student, Karla is a natural leader who loves to help others achieve their goals as she reaches for her own.

Boise State Team Wins 2nd Place at KPMG/Seattle University Financial Accounting Case Competition

Students holding award from 2016 KPMG Case Competition

Earlier this month, a team of four accountancy students won second place at the annual KPMG/Seattle University Financial Accounting Case Competition. Ten universities competed in this year’s event, and the Boise State team edged out several large schools (including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and others) on its way to winning second place. Team members included Abbie Belthoff, Jakub Bollant, Vinny Gwinn, and Jessika Rouse.

This two-day event, which is in its eighth year and held on the Seattle University campus, brings four-person student teams together from universities all across the northwest region. The teams are given a financial accounting case and then, in three hours, must research the FASB Accounting Standards Codification and other sources, determine a solution, and develop a PowerPoint presentation. The topic of this year’s case involved issues related to lease accounting and the associated deferred tax consequences.

“Our students were amazing, and they did a wonderful job presenting their solution,” said faculty advisor Troy Hyatt. In fact, Troy says that after our team presented its solution to the panel of KPMG judges, he heard one of the judges comment to another judge, “They just knocked it out of the park!”

Abbie Belthoff, one of the team members, commented, “Having the opportunity to travel to Seattle and compete against some of the best business schools in the Northwest was a real honor for all of us. We enjoyed the unique opportunity of being able to apply concepts we’ve learned here at Boise State to a real-world situation. It was a fast-paced, high-pressure situation, but our team rose to the occasion and we are so proud of our second place finish.”

The Beta Beat – Beta Alpha Psi

faculty and students preparing sack lunches

Boise State University’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter continues to be one of the most innovative student organizations on campus and one of the most active Beta chapters in the United States. In the past year, with only 53 members, the Chapter planned and participated in 1,500 hours of professional activities (a 7% increase over the previous year) and provided over 1,500 hours of service to the local community (a 10% increase over the previous year). The following are a few of the Chapter’s initiatives and accomplishments:

National Conference Kudos: Five Chapter members attended this year’s Beta national conference in Milwaukee. Over 2,000 students from universities across the country attended the conference. For the first time, the Chapter was selected to receive a “Gold Chapter” award.   Only 11 chapters were selected from 320 active chapters to receive this highly selective award that is based on the level and quality of chapter activities during the year. For the fifth consecutive year, a Chapter member was selected to participate in “Project Run With It.” Chance Mildenberger, Chapter Vice President, was one of only 72 students selected to participate on a team of four students, each from a different chapter. The teams are challenged to creatively and collaboratively solve a business problem faced by a non-profit organization. In only 36 hours Chance and his team successfully gained an understanding of the nonprofit organization and its issue, formulated a workable solution, and presented the solution to a panel of judges.

An Endowed Scholarship to Support Students: In the fall of 2014, the Chapter established an endowed scholarship fund for accounting students and committed to raise $20,000 over a five-year period. Because the Chapter met this funding goal in a little more than one year it committed in 2015 to raise an additional $25,000. To date the Chapter has raised close to half of the new five year commitment amount.

Reaching Out to the Community: While the Chapter has always been committed to community service, it continued to expand its efforts. The Chapter through its sack meal program launched last year provided an additional 2,500 meals to local homeless shelters this year bringing the two-year total to over 4,000 meals. Under this program, the members raise money to purchase ingredients and then prepare and deliver between 100 and 125 meals per week. The impact of the program was tremendous as it not only filled a vital community need but it also allowed the members to learn more about the needs of the community. This program was just one of our Chapter’s many service initiatives. Other activities include providing support to Special Olympics, Boise Art Museum, Boise Historical Society, Light the Night, Boys and Girls Club, Boise Zoo, and VITA. These service activities help instill a lifelong spirit of giving and service in these future members of the accounting profession.

Financial Literacy Education: In April the Chapter designed and hosted a half-day financial literacy program which provided 40 middle school and high school students tools to help them understand a wide range of age appropriate topics including planning and money management, saving and investing, and paying for college. Parents attending the event with their children praised the event. One parent commented it was really nice to learn more about what she should be teaching her daughter about finance. An admissions office representative observing the event was so impressed she asked Beta to do a presentation for high school seniors later this summer. In addition Beta has been asked to provide a financial literacy component for a new summer college experience program conducted by the College of Education.

CFOs Exposed: In March 2016, the Chapter partnered with Alpha Kappa Psi (the professional business fraternity), the Financial Management Association, and the Treasure Valley CFO Forum to host the annual CFOs Exposed Event. In addition to formal presentations and informal networking, 30 area executives met in small groups with business students—providing students the rare opportunity to talk directly with business leaders at the highest levels. Over 200 students registered for this year’s event.

Regional Conference: In April of 2016, our Chapter sent 19 members to Beta’s regional conference in Spokane. The conference provides participants the opportunity to share ideas with members of 25 chapters from other northwest universities, network with professionals, and attend professional and personal development sessions.

Annual Banquet: The Chapter closed the academic year by holding its annual banquet on April 20, 2016. More than 120 students, faculty, and business professionals celebrated this year’s Chapter accomplishments and selected faculty and students were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the university, profession, community, and students. The featured speaker was Scentsy CFO Reed Brimhall, who shared his thoughts on how to embrace change during ones career.

2015-2016 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the students listed below who were awarded university and department scholarships during the 2015-2016 academic year!

  • Justin Allen
  • Wesley Armstrong
  • Joel Arteaga
  • Said Barrero
  • Brandon Bunch
  • Jessika Bunn
  • Heidi Carey
  • Eak Chhay
  • Claire Cohen
  • Ethan Coleman
  • Taylor Crawford
  • Victoria Delgado
  • Michelle Alcarez Dimas
  • Hannah Edwards
  • Luis Escutia
  • Karla Esparza
  • Emmanuel Eze
  • Shelby Feld
  • Victoria Ford
  • Karla Gonzalez
  • Paulina Gudgell
  • Zack Gutches
  • Reagan Haldi
  • Landon Hartley
  • Trish Hennie

  • Junlin Huang
  • Hayley Hudson
  • Brendan Hunt
  • Austen Jacobs
  • Rachel Jarms
  • Raphael Johnson
  • Becky Juarez
  • Aram Kim
  • Chancey Knopp
  • Shantel McCashland
  • Deana Nassans
  • Tuan Nguyen
  • Angelica Ramirez
  • Angelica Ceballos Ramirez
  • Jacob Revis
  • Kamal Rizal
  • Nicolette Roper
  • Kyle Ruesink
  • Ivan Sanchez
  • Dane Snow
  • Savannah Story
  • Kyle Van Arsdale
  • Daniel Wernofsky
  • Gregory Wernofsky
  • Alexa Wheeler

Congratulations to the 2015 CPA Exam Passers!

Congratulations to our Boise State University Accountancy Department graduates who have passed the Idaho CPA Exam in 2015!

October – November 2015

  • Alexis Baeyen
  • Orrin Cellan
  • Kathryn Curran
  • Amanda Lipetzky
  • Kimberly C. Nelson
  • Kirby Sandberg
  • Jennifer Schmerer
  • Emily Shoemaker
  • Calixta Stahler

April –May 2015

  • Steven Bennett
  • Nicholas Gaudioso
  • Paul Gorman
  • Cole Mueller
  • Jared Reiman
  • Samantha Teigen

July – August 2015

  • Matthew T. Birkeland
  • Alexi P. Hash
  • Shelby M. Hendrickson
  • Devon L. Jenks
  • Samuel O. Nduko
  • Christian A. Thieme
  • Jessica A. Tulloch
  • Legrand B. Woodward

January – February 2015

  • Mark Corson
  • Amy Meredith
  • Ben Mueller
  • Matthew Nielsen
  • Manank Patel
  • Daniel Popadics

Note: The above list was compiled based on publically available information and is likely incomplete. When you pass the CPA exam please let us know so we can spread the news!

How You Can Help the Department of Accountancy

This is a difficult economic time for many of us. Here at Boise State, declining state support and budget cuts have taken their toll and we need your help to maintain our core teaching mission and prepare the next generation of CPAs. Here are a few things you can do to give back:

  1. Consider hiring our students as interns. Please contact Fred Christensen at
  2. Participate in Beta Alpha Psi activities. If interested, contact Dan Fox at
  3. Serve as a mentor to an aspiring CPA. Please contact Denise English at for more info.
  4. Consider establishing a scholarship for an accountancy student. Contact either Gerti Arnold ( or Kris Kamann (
  5. Donate to the Boise State University Foundation in support of the Accountancy Department. These funds provide us with the opportunity to enhance the student experience in many ways.
    1. To donate, go to Select the amount and then under Fund ID search for “BR005” to donate to the Accounting Department Administrative Fund.
    2. Remember, your contribution is tax deductible and qualifies for the State of Idaho credit for donations to educational institutions. Consult your tax adviser.
    3. Remember to indicate if there are any matching grants from your employer.

Thank You Donors!

Thank you to the generous donations made by so many individuals! Your donations directly impact the success of our accounting students. This list is based on gifts recorded April 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.

$10,000 +
  • Jim and Diane Crawford
  • Darren Kyle
  • Cooper Norman

$5,000 – $9,999
  • Patrick and Mendy Clark
  • KPMG Foundation
  • Treasure Valley CFO Forum

$1,000 – $4,999
  • Shane and Dianna Bartlome
  • John Berg
  • Mark Cowan
  • Gary Dunn
  • Ronald and Denise English
  • Chuck and Mary Hallett
  • Jae and Patty Hallett
  • Travis and Ninna Jensen
  • John and Dena Jozwik
  • David and Kay Koeppen
  • Stephen Leon
  • Eugene and Lana Marchioro
  • Mike and Sally Merz
  • Connie M. Murphy

  • Brady and Monica Panatopoulos
  • Stacy and Mark Pearson
  • Philip Nuxoll and Deborah Snyder
  • Kathy and Jerry Tarter
  • American Endowment Foundation
  • Association of Governmental Accountants
  • Charitable Flex Fund
  • Deloitte and Touche, LLP
  • Deloitte Foundation
  • Eide Bailly LLP
  • Idaho Power
  • Moss Adams Foundation
  • Ripley, Doorn and Company
  • Wells Fargo Foundation

$500 – $999
  • Travis and Terri Burgess
  • Gregory and Cindi Byron
  • Brenda and Mark Chiles
  • Jason and Saundra Coronado
  • Jeremy and Aubrey Cork
  • Roger and Claudia Martell
  • Marty and Thomas Payne

  • Mat and Peggy Runcorn
  • Manny Salazar
  • Ivan Stahle
  • Jessica and Don Tulloch
  • Dave Light and Becky Williams
  • AGRI Beef Management
  • Spark Accounting Solutions PLLC

$99- $499
  • Janice Boyd
  • Bill and Leona Buie
  • Hal Bunderson
  • Jacob and Natalie Catmull
  • Ryan and Richelle Cleverley
  • Stephanie Davison
  • Mark and Debra Flitton
  • Mike and Victoria Guerry
  • Lori R. Gutierrez
  • Quentin and Shirley Howard
  • Kathy and Kelly Hurley
  • Troy and Shanna Hyatt

  • Heidi and Kurt Jewell
  • Reid and Ellen Langrill
  • Angela Martin-Worthington
  • Judy McClure
  • Debra Platts
  • Tom and Sarah Satterlee
  • Richard and Adena Shipton
  • David and Jacqui Shurtleff
  • Eric Simpson
  • Debra Vis
  • Boise Valley Business Services, Inc.
  • The Medtronic Foundation

$1 – $99
  • Kathryn and Ron Bennett
  • Wayne and Jeanne Blanchard
  • Candace and Douglas Boesiger
  • Mark and Mabry Brice
  • Sarah Carter
  • Thomas W. Clayville
  • Rue and Judy Frisbee
  • Raleigh Hawe

  • Sarah M. Mason
  • Carol L. May
  • Cecilia Merz
  • Dan and Lubov Prange
  • Crystal and Joshua Sittser
  • Ron Tatom and Michele Creek-Tatom
  • Alex Williamson

This list is based on gifts recorded April 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016. Every effort has been made to assure accuracy. If, however, you discover an error, please contact Alex Williamson, (208) 426-3461 or email

Mentoring Organizations

The Accountancy Department has an outstanding mentoring program. This year 22 students participated in this amazing program. Thank you to these great organizations for mentoring future accounting professionals.

Mentoring organizations and the number of students who participated include:

  • Ada County – 2 students
  • Deloitte – 3 students
  • Eide Bailly – 4 students
  • Harris & Co. – 2 students
  • KPMG – 3 students
  • Little Morris – 2 students
  • Micron – 4 students
  • Ripley Doorn – 2 students

If you would like to serve as a mentor to an aspiring CPA contact Denise English at for more information.

Alumni Profile: Drew McCandless

Drew McCandless portraitDrew McCandless is a great example of someone who can set a goal and works hard to achieve that goal. Drew originally graduated from Utah State University with a BBA in Finance in 1990. Following graduation Drew worked at a finance company in Boise, Idaho for a year. At that point in his life Drew started to evaluate what he wanted to do for the rest of his life and he felt the need to be a part of something bigger than himself, so he walked into the FBI office in Boise. On the recommendation of an FBI recruiter, Drew enrolled in classes at Boise State University and set a goal to get a degree in accounting and obtain his CPA license. He graduated from Boise State University in the fall of 1992 with a BBA in Accountancy, obtained his CPA license shortly thereafter, and started on his career path to join the FBI. Speaking about Drew’s time at Boise State, Dr. Dave Koeppen commented that, “Drew was focused. He was on track and getting things done. He was a man on a mission.”

Drew decided to join the FBI because he wanted a career in law enforcement and he felt like the FBI was a good fit. Since joining the FBI, Drew has spent most of his career working on public corruption and financial crime cases such as corporate fraud and Ponzi schemes. He has also worked on cases involving terrorism money laundering. Drew has worked with different law enforcement agencies all over the world including agencies in Canada, England, and France. Drew credits the accounting program at Boise State for helping him achieve his goal of becoming an FBI Special Agent. Boise State’s accounting department provided Drew with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to be a successful investigator for the FBI.

When asked what advice he would give to students to help them to succeed in their careers Drew suggested two things. First, to recognize what your gifts are and second, to have both short-term and long-term goals. “It’s all about your focus. If you have a goal and you want to accomplish it you can do a lot when you’re focused. It all comes back to this: if you have a goal don’t lose sight of it. Keep working towards it and someday you can achieve that goal. Be willing to wait to achieve that goal because it’s worthwhile.”