UCA’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Wins First Place in International Competition

Pictured (R to L): Kaidan Zheng, Tristen Porter, and Harris Felton

UCA students traveled to Orlando, Florida during the last week of July 2022 for the Beta Alpha Psi annual meeting of all chapters.

Before the meeting started, the students enjoyed an Arkansas BAP Connection breakfast sponsored by the Arkansas Society of CPAs. During the meeting, the students networked, provided community service, attended professional development meetings, and participated in multiple competitions.

After their regional win earlier this year, the Chapter qualified to compete at the conference and brought home the INTERNATIONAL FIRST PLACE award in Best Practices in the Art of Engagement for the Resume Escape Room they hosted for students last spring. This is UCA’s 3rd international first place in Beta Alpha Psi Best Practices. Congratulations to students Harris Felton, Tristen Porter, and Kaidan Zheng for their excellent work!

Additional UCA Recognition at the Annual Meeting:

  • Beta Alpha Psi recognized UCA as a superior chapter.
  • Daniel Wheeler competed in Project Run With It, a real-world consulting project.
  • Dean Michael Hargis received the Outstanding Dean Award.
  • Dr. Connie McKnight became a Chapter Advocate for the Southwest Region.

The students also took advantage of their time in Orlando to have some fun!

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization for financial information students and professionals with over 300 chapters internationally. The organization promotes academic excellence, professional development, and responsible practices.

UCA’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Achieves Superior Status for 2021-2022

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi students and to Connie McKnight and Ashley Phillips, our tireless faculty advisors, for another year of superior status!

To be a superior chapter, the registered student organization met the following requirements:

  • Average member completed at least 32 hours of service and professional development (at least 12 each)
    >265 hours of professional development
    >555 hours of service
  • Chapter completed at least 8 reaching-out activities including attending conferences; competing in best practices and project run-with-it; alumni activities’ multi-chapter events; and promoting careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and/or data analytics.

In addition, the chapter accomplished:

  • 1st place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Engagement (Escape Room)
  • 2nd place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Change (changing meeting formats)
  • $2375 donated to various charities (cash and items)

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization founded in 1919 for financial information students and professionals. There are over 300 AACSB- and/or EQUIS-accredited chapters on university campuses with over 300,000 members. Beta Alpha Psi recognizes scholastic excellence, offers professional development, and encourages ethical, social, and public responsibility.

The BAP Theta Lambda chapter of University of Central Arkansas focuses on honoring scholarship, professional development, and service to the community. Members have the opportunity to meet and get to know professionals from all areas of accounting, and they learn skills needed to be successful in careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and analytics.

Accounting Professor Ashley Phillips Awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for VITA Program

Professor Ashley Phillips of the Accounting Department has been awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for 2021-2022. She partners with the United Way of Central Arkansas to offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to low income taxpayers in our region. Ashley offers a service-learning course for UCA students, who earn the necessary IRS certification, and prepare the tax returns.

UCA accounting students did an amazing job this tax season as part of the VITA program at United Way of Central Arkansas (UWCA). Five UCA accounting majors took the VITA course for credit, and of the five taking it for credit, four volunteered over 80 hours (Macy Dillard, Joseph Howe, Jonathan Humphrey, and Jakob Ligon). There were an additional six UCA accounting majors who volunteered. These students volunteered approximately 420 hours.

UWCA filed 255 federal tax returns as part of the VITA program. UCA accounting students prepared 253 of the 255 returns. These returns brought back over $324,000 to the local community.

Congratulations Ashley!

And way to go VITA student volunteers.

COB Dean Hargis Receives 2022 Outstanding Dean Award From International Honor Organization

The Dean of the UCA College of Business, Dr. Michael Hargis, has been selected to receive the 2022 Outstanding Dean Award by Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals.

Dr. Hargis was nominated by UCA’s Theta Lambda Chapter and will be presented with the award at the Annual Beta Alpha Psi meeting in Orlando in late July. In the nomination, UCA’s chapter called Dr. Hargis a “fierce advocate” for the College of Business and cited his “amazing impact” on the BAP Theta Lambda chapter. The nomination detailed his support of the chapter’s expansion as well as BAP members’ development and achievements.

In its letter notifying him of this award, the BAP National Office told Dr. Hargis, “while this year’s nominees were very competitive, you stood out based on your consistent and longstanding commitment to Beta Alpha Psi. Your selection was based on your hands-on engagement, and your significant financial and operational support to the chapter that positioned them to achieve their goals and objectives. Overall, the committee was quite impressed with your achievements considering the long history of outstanding performance of the Theta Lambda chapter.”

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization founded in 1919 for financial information students and professionals. There are over 300 AACSB- and/or EQUIS-accredited chapters on university campuses with over 300,000 members. Beta Alpha Psi recognizes scholastic excellence, offers professional development, and encourages ethical, social, and public responsibility.

The BAP Theta Lambda chapter of University of Central Arkansas focuses on honoring scholarship, professional development, and service to the community. Members have the opportunity to meet and get to know professionals from all areas of accounting, and they learn skills needed to be successful in careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and analytics.

COB Professor Jeremy Horpedahl receives the Public Choice’s Duncan Black Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Associate Professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas and ACRE Scholar, for receiving the Public Choice’s Duncan Black Prize for the best article contributed by a “senior” scholar or scholars. His award-winning article, “Bootleggers, Baptists and ballots: coalitions in Arkansas’ alcohol-legalization elections,” can be found in Public Choice 188 (1–2) (July 2021), 203–219.

Dr. Horpedahl’s article discusses what economics can teach us about political coalitions. A summary of the award-winning article can be found here.

COB Student Daisy Martinez Awarded UCA 2022 Intern of the Year

The UCA Internships and Cooperative Education department recently announced the 2021-2022 Intern of the Year, Daisy Martinez Carranza. Daisy is a senior Marketing major, minoring in Studio Art. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her four years at UCA and serves on many UCA student organizations.

In Summer 2021, Daisy completed an internship at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield where she was charged with the task of creating and executing a marketing plan for a national health program with low enrollment in Arkansas. Daisy’s “Healthy Blue Summer” campaign was a huge success, resulting in over 3,600 registrations (an 8.85% increase in program participation). As a result of her hard work and collaboration on this project, Daisy was also awarded the 2021 Arkansas Blue Cross Academic Scholarship. Daisy will graduate from UCA in May 2022 and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Data Analytics in the near future.

Daisy has also been selected as the honorable mention for the National Intern of the Year distinction. She will receive a certificate and formal recognition on the CEIA website and in the program at the CEIA national conference in April 2022.

Daisy was nominated for UCA Intern of the Year by Management professor and Associate Dean of College of Business, Dr. Laci Lyons.

COB Advisory Board Member Featured in AY Magazine, Gives Advice to Women in Business

Donna Townsell, award-winning businesswoman and member of the College of Business Advisory Board, was recently featured in AY Magazine. In the interview Townsell gave advice that no aspiring woman in business should miss.

“Sometimes I’m the only female in the room. My approach has always been to listen and learn as much as possible. When the time is right, speak with confidence and add your voice to the conversation,” said Townsell.

After 28 years in business, Townsell has used this philosophy to attain senior leadership positions and gain many accolades, including the Women in Business Diamond Achievement Award.

Read more of Townsell’s “Woman Wednesday” feature in AY Magazine.

UCA Economist, Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Receives Award for COVID-19 Work

(Conway, AR) – Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Business, has been recognized for his work to provide accurate coronavirus information and dispel misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award comes from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which announced on Sunday its ten most recent winners across North America.

Dr. Horpedahl won the prize for his policy and data analysis on pandemic-related economic topics such as coronavirus precautions, tolls and trends, vaccination development and distribution, unemployment, as well as local, national, and worldwide financial impacts.

“Part of what motivated me was simply to understand the pandemic better myself, and I was glad to help others navigate the same questions that I had about the state of the world,” said Dr. Horpedahl.

Horpedahl was also a co-recipient of another award from the Mercatus Center for the blog EconomistWritingEveryDay.com, where he is a weekly contributor.

“Dr. Horpedahl’s efforts to communicate complex topics in a more approachable way has helped inform and educate others about economic policy. This is important work during an already confusing and stressful time, and we are proud of his effort and impact,” added Dr. Michael Hargis, Dean of the UCA College of Business. [Read more…]

UCA College of Business Names 2020-2021 Outstanding Students

On April 8, 2021, the UCA College of Business held its annual Student Honors Banquet to celebrate the academic achievements of the College’s students and recognize the outstanding students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Outstanding students are those who take advantage of educational opportunities and show exemplary academic performance through internships, professional development and experiential education, volunteerism, and participation in clubs and activities.

The following students were awarded an outstanding status, chosen from over 1600 undergraduate and graduate students: [Read more…]