UB’s BAP chapter takes top honors

Published September 17, 2015

The School of Management’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi once again was lauded as one of the best in the world, accepting several awards at the organization’s annual meeting, held Aug. 6-8 in Milwaukee.

Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) is an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, with more than 300 chapters worldwide and more than 300,000 members initiated since the organization’s founding in 1919.

For the seventh consecutive year, UB’s Zeta Theta chapter received the day’s top honor, the KPMG Gold Challenge award. The accolade recognizes innovative chapters that develop engaging programming for members and continually exemplify the highest values of BAP: leadership, scholastic success, lifelong learning and development, service and ethical behavior.

In addition, Kathleen Nesper, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, was named Outstanding Faculty Adviser for her contributions to the professional growth and development of students. Nesper has been Zeta Theta’s adviser since 2009.

The chapter collected four awards for its successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an annual initiative in which IRS-certified accounting students provide free tax-preparation services to qualifying individuals and families. Zeta Theta received the Superior Award as the best-performing chapter overall, along with awards for preparing 1,084 returns, completing the most volunteer hours (more than 2,600) and offering the Virtual VITA program for those unable to travel to UB’s campuses. This past spring, UB students brought $1.28 million back into the Buffalo community by providing free tax services.

In addition, the chapter took second place for the Inclusive Leadership Award in recognition of three chapter initiatives: a mentorship program, a speaker series about cross-cultural communication and international students, and the third annual Discover Your Differences: David Kim Diversity Workshop held last year.

Senior accounting student Briana Janson also was part of the first-place team for Project Run with It, during which student representatives from schools nationwide worked together to provide consulting services to a nonprofit in the greater Milwaukee area.

Lastly, the chapter received the Grant Thornton Ethics award, which empowers BAP members to develop a solid ethical foundation and act on those principles.