May 26, 2009

Accounting RSO, president capture honors

by Christi Mathis

Ashley Gibson

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The School of Accountancy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has produced not one but two major award winners in 2009.

The University’s Accounting Society/Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Chapter is one of just four in the country to earn the designation of Outstanding Student Chapter from the IMA. In addition, the chapter’s president, Ashley Gibson, is the sole winner of a major national scholarship.

This marks the second consecutive year the Registered Student Organization also achieved gold status. To earn the Gold Award of Excellence, the chapter had to submit an extensive yearbook cataloging all of its meetings, community service work and other activities during the year.

“This is a distinguished honor for the Accounting Society and we extend our gratitude to all the members, faculty and staff of the College of Business who have aided us in developing a profound reputation. To receive superior status because of our outstanding work for gold status is really quite an accomplishment. We represent one of only four schools chosen. This is really the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for all of our hard work. It’s been a phenomenal and rewarding year,” Gibson said.

The Accounting Society will receive its award at the IMA’s 90th Annual Conference and Exposition in Denver June 7. The society is celebrating its 50th birthday as a Registered Student Organization at SIUC this year and has held an IMA charter since 1993. Catherine Lumbattis, senior lecturer, is faculty adviser for the accounting society, an organization of more than 70 members. The St. Louis IMA Chapter is the parent organization for the campus group.

“This is such an honor to be chosen as one of four universities in the United States for this award. It is a tribute to our members and officers for all of their hard work and dedication to our organization. I applaud the members and thank them for making the SIU IMA Student Chapter such a success,” Lumbattis said.

Gibson is the lone 2009 recipient of the Stuart Cameron and Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship, chosen for the honor from applicants in a pool of about 4,000 eligible IMA members. She earned a $1,000 IMA Memorial Education Fund Scholarship last year and this year claimed the prestigious $5,000 scholarship and all-expenses paid trip to the convention.

“It is an honor for myself as well as the Accounting Society to receive this prestigious scholarship,” Gibson said. She said it shows what SIUC students and organizations can achieve with hard work. Gibson will sit for the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) and the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) examinations and the scholarship will help pay the fees for the exams as well as study materials and will help cover fees and books for her classes at SIUC this fall. She plans to graduate in December 2009 with her master’s in accountancy with concentration in auditing and information systems.

Gibson, who is from Carterville, also earned her bachelor’s degree at SIUC, majoring in accounting with a marketing minor. She is the daughter of Mark and Paula Gibson of Harlan, Ky. Gibson is serving a summer internship in St. Louis with Deloitte and Touche LLP. She’s also amassed other honors during her time at SIUC including being a top 25 “Distinguished Senior,” and the outstanding senior for both the School of Accountancy and the College of Business.

“Ashley is one of the most dedicated and hard-working officers in this organization during my tenure as faculty adviser,” Lumbattis said. “She is very deserving of this award and I am sure she will represent the Accounting Society/IMA Student Chapter and SIU very well in Denver in June. She will continue to be an active member of the IMA after she completes her master’s in accountancy in December. I congratulate and applaud her hard work and dedication. Thank you Ashley for helping the Accounting Society achieve this success.”

In conjunction with her scholarship, Gibson will be working closely this year with the St. Louis IMA Chapter as it plans the 10th Annual Student Leadership Conference in St. Louis Nov. 5-7.