Beta Alpha Psi - Zeta Mu Chapter

Spring 2019 Alumni Newsletter

The Search for the Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development

Before the Spring 2019 semester, Dr. Faye Gilbert left her position as the Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development to serve as the Dean of the School of Business at the University of Maine. Dr. Gilbert held her position as Dean for six years and contributed a majority of her time and effort to aid the students in the College of Business and Economic Development. Dr. Stacey Hall is now serving as the Acting Dean for USM’s College of Business and Economic Development while the pursuit for a new dean enters its final stages. The search has been narrowed down to two finalists: Dr. Bret Becton and Dr. Christopher Shook. Dr. Becton is currently serving as the Dean of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette while Dr. Shook is serving as the Dean of the College of Business at the University of Montana. Both dean candidates held open forums for faculty, staff, and students to attend in March to introduce themselves and share their visions. The Zeta Mu chapter of Beta Alpha Psi would like to thank Dr. Gilbert, as well as Dr. Hall, for all of their dedicated work for the university and the College of Business and Economic Development.

- Brady Anderson, Member

Mentor Program

Over the past year, the newly inducted Beta Alpha Psi officers have focused in on more interaction and involvement from our members. As for the interaction aspect, the officers have driven communication and partnership between member and candidates to make for a more comforting environment for candidates entering the Zeta Mu chapter. In August, the officers implemented a mentoring program where each candidate is assigned a member. The program provides each candidate with an experienced member to reach out to for any questions, advice on career planning or help with basic accounting needs from someone who has been through their experiences. We, as officers, have hoped that this program would also allow the comfortability to get students more excited and involved in our service projects around the community. This program has had a few successes and is still in the testing phase for our chapter, but we are hoping it brings overall victory for the outcome for Beta Alpha Psi, Zeta Mu.

- Erin Howell, President

BAP in Washington D.C.

Over the summer, seven officers and five members from the Zeta Mu chapter had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for Beta Alpha Psi's Annual Meeting. The students loved every moment of the conference, from hearing other school's presentations to getting time to explore our nation's capital. All of the members attended a community service event sponsored by KPMG. The students went to different schools, churches, and Boys and Girls Clubs in the city to promote literacy to children. Following the community service, there was a "Welcome Reception & Exhibits" where the members had a chance to walk around and talk with representatives of different CPA prep businesses such as Beckers and Surgent. The second and third day of the conference was filled with presentations from professionals and other universities covering a wide span of topics including CPA exam tips, officer workshops, branding your chapter, and more. During their free time, the members did a lot of touring to the monuments, museums, and more. Overall, the meeting was a magnificent adventure and gave our members more experience and a chance to get involved in the Washington D.C. community.

- Sayle Sanson, VP of Professional Development

Best Practices in Jacksonville at the 2019 Regional Meeting

While at the Beta Alpha Psi Regional Meeting in Jacksonville, I had the opportunity to sit in on several sessions that were very thought-provoking and applicable to our chapter. One session in particular that interested me described how other chapters are excelling with their mentor program. Some Beta Alpha Psi chapters are going to their local high schools and spending valuable time with the students discussing how to be successful as they make the leap into college. Other chapters are reaching out to students as early as their success in Accounting Principles classes; however, they do not extend invitations that early. These chapters believe by having a mentee in these lower level classes, it will help promote Accounting as a major and bring Beta Alpha Psi to students’ radar earlier than Intermediate. I appreciated having the opportunity to see which Best Practices were working for other chapters’ mentor program and thinking about what similar methods we can bring to our Zeta Mu chapter.

- Morgan Kuhn, Member

Big picture

Accountants and Their Internships

Fifteen accounting majors had the opportunity to complete an internship this school year all over the globe! We are extremely proud of our students and would like to recognize all of their hardwork and dedication to their professional careers. The School of Accountancy highlighted the students who participated in an internship with a small photoshoot. Some of the pictures, along with the experience from two Beta Alpha Psi's members, can be found below.

Other companies who hired accounting interns in 2019 include Clinton CPA Firm; Coast Electric Power Association; FDIC; Haddox Reid Eubank Betts, PLLC; Hieronymus CPAs, LLC; Holt & Associates, PLLC; Horne, LLP; Topp McWhorter Harvey, PLLC; Ultradent Products; Wm F Horne & Company, PLLC; and, Wyndham Destinations. Students not pictured below include Alexander Collin, Angel Castillo Taveras, Brett Bishop, Catherine Hill, Elizabeth Craft, Erik Handshoe, Jenna VanDan, Jennifer Wade, Kelsie Evans, Lauren Hatcher, and Timothy Williams.

- Sayle Sanson, VP of Professional Development

A Step Towards Your Future

Internships are an essential part of career success. I have personally completed two internships and am currently working on my third. With each firm, I mainly worked on Individual tax returns; however, I was able to experience different projects when the opportunity presented itself. My first internship, I was a junior and had zero experience. Holt & Associates, PLLC hired me and gave me the chance to have my first taste of accounting. They helped me build a foundation for my knowledge and made me realize that accounting is my passion. My second internship was with Topp McWhorter Harvey, PLLC and I was a senior in my undergraduate program. I experienced a wider variety of tax work and worked on a couple of audits. My current internship is with Haddox Reid Eubank Betts, PLLC, and I am experiencing work that I have never seen before. I have worked on individual tax returns, gift returns, trust returns, and assisted on an audit. With the amount of professional exposure, not only have I learned academically, but I have learned personally and professionally. I could never repay these firms for the amount of time and exposure they have given me. Because of the work that I have endured, these internships have positively impacted me to move forward in my career, continue my education, and pursue being a Tax Accountant. I would highly recommend any accounting major to consider applying for an internship whenever possible!

- Elizabeth Turcotte Craft, Reporting Secretary

From Hattiesburg Hometown to Dallas Intern

I recently just completed my internship with KPMG in their Dallas Office. I worked in their audit practice on different financial services clients and enjoyed it thoroughly. My internship was such an extraordinary experience and gave me the chance to implement the foundation of skills and lessons I have learned here at the University of Southern Mississippi. Hattiesburg has always been my home and interning in such a big city so far away was quite challenging, but completely worth it. Not only did I learn so much in my field of work, but I also got the opportunity to meet so many new people in an exciting city. I would not have this opportunity without the help from my outstanding professors as well as the resources Southern Miss, Career Services, the College of Business and Economic Development, and Beta Alpha Psi have all graciously provided me. At the end of my internship, I was offered a full-time job in the Dallas office and will plan to start in September of 2020! As for now, I am excited to be back in Hattiesburg and recruit more Golden Eagles for KPMG and share my Dallas experience other scholars. SMTTT!

- Jonathan Brent, Member

Zeta Mu Versus the CPA Exam

Beta Alpha Psi is proud to announce that some of its current members have passed sections of the CPA Exam. Passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination is a uniformed exam that is one of the requirements for accountants become licensed. The CPA Exam consists of four, four-hour sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG). Candidates must pass all four sections within 18 months, earning a minimum score of 75 on each part. The CPA exam is rigorous; it's 2018 cumulative pass rates were fifty percent for AUD, forty-three percent for REG, fifty-nine percent for BEC, and forty-six percent for FAR. Passing sections of the CPA exam is an excellent accomplishment for the Beta Alpha Psi members, especially considering only approximately fifty percent of accountants are certified. Beta Alpha Psi members that have passed AUD includes Kameshia Mays, Joshua Spivey, and Aubrey Sanders. Members that have passed FAR includes Joshua Spivey. Members that have passed REG includes Brady Anderson and Kameshia Mays. Beta Alpha Psi is proud of its members and the effort they have put towards obtaining such prestigious designation.

- Kameshia Mays, VP of Social Outreach

Study Abroad or Nah?

How many of us would like to travel abroad to places like London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and many other amazing cities that are on our wish lists? Well last summer, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in London with our University’s British Studies Program. I was one of the only two Southern Miss Beta Alpha Psi members that studied abroad last summer with the British Studies Program. The British Studies Program is organized by Southern Miss and offers ten to fifteen different courses in various disciplines. In the business course, students have the opportunity to learn about the impact of social and cultural factors on international business through visits some of the world’s largest and most important businesses including Jaguar, Lloyd’s of London, and Wimbledon. This year, we have four Beta Alpha Psi members that will be studying abroad. Brady Anderson, Kameshia Mays, and Chelsey Parker will be participating in the British Studies Program. Kameshia will also be doubling up by participating in the Business and Culture in Asia Program. I, myself, loved my London experience so much that I will be joining Kameshia in Business and Culture in Asia Program. The Business and Culture in Asia Program offers students an experience of a lifetime by visiting Tokyo, Japan, and Hong Kong, Hong Kong. With group excursions to centers of commerce like the Hong Kong Trade Center and Stock Market, students are allowed the opportunity to experience the Asian cultures through interactions with Japanese and Hong Kong college students. It is truly amazing to know that four of our Beta Alpha Psi members will be studying abroad this semester.

- Josh Spivey, VP of Community Outreach

Grow, Achieve, SOAR

Our Zeta Mu chapter has once again demonstrated the qualities of a premier student organization here at Southern Miss this year. I am so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful chapter which comprises of the brightest golden eagles the school of accountancy has to offer and who strive to GROW, ACHIEVE and SOAR. They work together to support each other as well as the community. While serving as a treasurer for two years, Beta Alpha Psi has provided me with several unforgettable fun and educational experiences. Attending the regional and annual meetings have always been my favorite experiences, mostly because they allowed me to connect with both students from other universities and professionals from different firms who brought a different perspective as well as experiences to the table. Participating in these meetings has taught me the importance of building meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

Furthermore, all the professional and service opportunities offered by our chapter have collectively helped me enhance my knowledge about the real-world accounting profession, leadership skills, networking skills, and mentoring skills. Last but not least, it has enabled me to further improve my communication skills which include but are not limited to presentation skills and public speaking. Beta Alpha Psi has highly contributed to my growth as an individual bringing me closer to the accomplishments which once seemed too distant. All in all, it has taught me “to fly like an eagle that’s born to SOAR up high.” As a soon-to-be graduate, I am a proud GOLDEN EAGLE and will always cherish the lessons and memories Beta Alpha Psi has provided me with.

- Nishu Gupta, Treasurer

Pictures From Some of our Service and Professional Events

Shorter Semesters for the Golden Eagles

This academic year The University of Southern Mississippi shorten the length of the semesters. Rather than having sixteen-week semesters, we now have fourteen-week semesters. Now that our semesters are two weeks shorter, our class time is now an hour and a half, rather than last year when they were an hour and fifteen minutes. Our condensed semesters have given us more extended summer and winter breaks. Because Southern Miss has implemented shorter semesters, the Beta Alpha Psi organizational meeting is held earlier in the semester, and we present the invitations to our candidates during the first week of classes. Another result from the shorter semesters is there are no breaks in class schedules for lunch, so students have to plan their courses around this. It took time for the Southern Miss faculty and students had to adjust to the new schedules, but overall, I believe everyone has enjoyed having shorter semesters and longer breaks.

- Abbie Lee, Vice President of Membership and Recruitment

Pictures from Lake Sehoy Challenge Course with Top, McWhorter, Harvey

Message From Our Advisor

As the faculty advisor for USM’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter, it is very exciting to watch our chapter grow and see what our members accomplish each year! Maintaining the level of Superior chapter requires much hard work and numerous hours from each and every member. We engage in many activities that make a difference on campus and in the community as members continue to participate in recruiting events such as Black and Gold Day and take part in meaningful service projects including the Big Event, Read Across America, the Young CPA day of service and on-campus tutoring. In addition to our numerous programs with CPA firms and industry partners, members participated in an etiquette dinner, a challenge course and will be touring the Ingalls Shipyard on April 5 with the University of South Alabama Beta Alpha Psi chapter. Through the funds from our annual CPE event (see below for more information) and the support of the School of Accountancy, many members attended the Beta Alpha Psi Annual meeting in Washington DC and also the Regional meeting in Jacksonville, FL where they participated in the Best Practices competition. I am truly honored to work with our exceptional students who are very dedicated to their future careers, our chapter and our wonderful University!

- Valerie Simmons, Faculty Advisor

Beta Alpha Psi Scholarship Recipient & Additional Information

I would like to personally thank our alumni for their contributions to the Beta Alpha Psi Scholarship. I was generously selected to receive the scholarship this year. With this enrichment, I was able to focus more on my studies for my last year as an undergraduate and less on the financials of tuition. This scholarship has allowed me to devote my funds towards continuing my education and the CPA exams in my future. Our members in Beta Alpha Psi are incredibly thankful for supportive alumni, not only for the scholarship but all they do for our chapter. With such great support comes the motivation to be able to give back to the Zeta Mu chapter, who has provided me with outstanding resources and experiences that I will take with me after graduation.

We very much appreciate your support of our Beta Alpha Psi scholarship! If you would like to make a contribution, there is a giving form online at Just click on the Give Now button and complete the required information. In the Designations section, you will select Give to the area(s) of your choice and then type “Beta Alpha Psi” in the search box and select Beta Alpha Psi Annual Scholarship (2145).

- Sayle Sanson

CPE Event - May 16 & 17, 2019

Our Beta Alpha Psi Chapter, along with the School of Accountancy and Regions Bank, will be hosting the annual ‘Accounting and Auditing Update’ CPE event on May 16, 2019 (8 hours CPE), and an ‘Ethics, Rules, and Regulations’ seminar on May 17, 2019 (4 hours CPE) in the Trent Lott Center, Rooms A, B, C, D, on the USM Hattiesburg campus. The cost is $100.00 for the A&A Update and $60.00 for the Ethics or register for both seminars for a total cost of $145.00. This is a great way to get those needed hours and also support Beta Alpha Psi! The brochure is attached in the pictures below, please click the pictures to enlarge them. If would like to receive a copy of the brochure and/or additional information, please email Valerie Simmons at

BAP Facebook Page

Southern Miss's Beta Alpha Psi is on Facebook! If you would like to keep up with our chapter's meetings and activities throughout the year follow the link to subscribe to our page.