Student members and faculty advisors of the Athens State University IMA Student Chapter, also known as the Accounting Club, traveled to Houston, TX November 9-11 to be honored at the 18th Annual Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Leadership Conference. Hundreds of college students from all over the country and several foreign countries participated in professional educational meetings, networking events, and industry tours. The Athens State student group received national awards, gained valuable networking opportunities, toured Minute Maid Park and Hess Corporation, and attended seminars about management accounting, professionalism, leadership skills, and recent developments in automation and artificial intelligence. One student attendee from Athens State was selected to interview with Cummins, Inc., a Fortune 500 corporation, during the conference.
The Athens State student chapter was honored with the IMA Gold Award of Excellence and also received the Outstanding Student Chapter Award, only awarded to up to five gold award schools annually. To qualify for the gold award, the chapter satisfied many criteria plus additional activities, including preparing four newsletters, completing a student manuscript, competing in a national student case competition, preparing a budget and treasurer’s report, holding eight educational club meetings throughout the year in addition to multiple board meetings, attending three plant tours, participating in several community service projects and promotional events, and documenting their efforts in detail.
The Athens State student chapter also entered the t-shirt design competition at the conference with an orange t-shirt featuring the Astros’ stadium and a rocket to symbolize the space industry in Houston. As usual, the design highlighted the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) designation to be a “game changer.” The Minute Maid Park tour was not only impressive because it is the stadium of the recent World Series Champions, but the students heard about accounting for the sports industry from Luke Franken, the Assistant Controller for the park.
Professor Emily Corzine, who attended the conference with the students, said of the conference, “The annual student leadership conference is the climax of a year of hard work and exceptional effort. The students represented the University in a professional, grateful, and respectful manner among a diverse group of students and professionals from many colleges and universities. It is always so wonderful to see our students honored as winners in front of some major, well-known universities.” Dr. Diann Hammon also commented, “I wish all Athens State University professors could have observed these students because it is the combined efforts of all Athens State faculty which are responsible for these emerging professionals.”