Beta Alpha Psi

Southern Miss Spring 2014 Newsletter

Leaving A Legacy To Build Upon

Dr. Skip Hughes graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1966 and provided the United States 26 years of service before retiring with the prestigious rank of Captain (USN). Post Navy, Dr. Hughes enrolled in the Ph. D program at the University of Georgia where he graduated in 1996 and became a faculty member at LSU in 1997. Finally, on July 1, 2009, he accepted the position as the Director of the School of Accountancy and Professor of Accounting at the University of Southern Mississippi. At the end of the spring 2014 semester, Dr. Hughes will bring his career as an outstanding education professional to a close upon his retirement. During the five years that Dr. Hughes has been the leader of the School of Accountancy, he has built upon the strong foundation and positioned the school for continuous, future success.

He has instructed many classes and provided assistance to numerous students whether it was related to academics or any other area. Many students, including myself, received direct assistance from him which has led to strong job placements. In addition, Dr. Hughes is a solid supporter of BAP and has helped the organization in numerous ways including making generous donations to enable members to attend conferences and connecting BAP with accounting professionals for programs at our Professional Meetings. To that, we are very thankful for his service.

Even though his time at USM and the College of Business will be coming to a close, he has enabled the School of Accountancy to make leaps and bounds that uphold the vision of the College of Business. Through his efforts the College of Business continues to remain and prosper as an educational leader of the Gulf South region for providing innovative strategies addressing business challenges. Dr. Hughes is truly an exceptional person and outstanding leader who has made a difference in so many lives and will be missed by both students and faculty.

Constantly In Pursuit of Excellence and Never-Ending Growth

In addition to Dr. Skip Hughes’ much-earned retirement, the School of Accountancy and BAP is seeing another beloved professor depart after this spring semester. Dr. Dugan has accepted a position as the Peter S. Knox III Distinguished Chair in Accounting at Georgia Regents University. As another big contributor and forever supporter of BAP, he will be missed dearly. For those whom had the opportunity to learn from this man’s exceedingly, deep understanding of Financial Accounting, you know what kind of contributions he has made to USM, the School of Accountancy, and BAP.

He helped many students gain employment across the United States as well as bringing phenomenal opportunities to BAP. For instance, last fall, “The Dugar” was able to connect BAP with a fantastic guest speaker that is a former Chair of the FASB, Denny Beresford.

It is things such as the previously mentioned, and more, that many will forever be thankful for. As the School of Accountancy will be losing a distinguished professor, Dr. Dugan will be able to spread his wealth of knowledge further and continue to grow professionally. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors and hope he continues to bleed “Black and Gold”.

New Leadership with Strong Passion

As current president of Beta Alpha Psi, I am very excited to be leading this superior chapter! I am so proud of our chapter's accomplishments thus far, and I know we will continue to excel. This semester some of our projects consist of: presenting at the regional meeting in Orlando, throwing a Valentine's Day party for the children at Homes of Hope, touring the Beau Rivage Casino with the Beta Alpha Psi Epsilon Beta chapter from the University of South Alabama , and participating in the Big Event here at Southern Miss. The members of Beta Alpha Psi will also tutor accounting students on campus. This is the first time we will be presenting at a regional meeting, and I hope it will become a tradition for our chapter. The hardworking, generous members of Beta Alpha Psi continue to astonish me with their dedication to this organization and their passions for giving back to the community. I look forward to continuing Beta Alpha Psi's tradition of excellence this semester!

Thank you for supporting the Beta Alpha Psi Zeta Mu chapter!

- Vanessa Mitchell

New Opportunities at the BAP Regional Meeting 2014 in Orlando, FL

This is our chapter’s first year to present an operations presentation at the Southeast Regional Meeting in Orlando, FL. The topic for discussion is how we achieved Superior Status from a Mission-based chapter beginning in 2012. I am extremely proud of all the hard work from our faculty adviser, Ms. Valerie Simmons, and our members. Without their hard work to achieve Superior Status, the presentation would simply not have been possible. I would also like to give a special thanks to my fellow committee members: Julia Bradley, Ellen Bailey, Kristy Wilson, and Vanessa Mitchell. I greatly appreciate everyone’s hard work, and this is a great step in the right direction for our organization.

– Jay Babington

The Road to Membership

This semester (Spring 2014) our chapter has 15 pledges seeking membership. As Vice-president of Pledges, I am charged with the duty to obtain and guide new accounting students in becoming members of Beta Alpha Psi. My goals this year are to make the pledges feel comfortable during our meetings, leave none of their questions unanswered, and make sure they are initiated with the ability to ensure Beta Alpha Psi will continue to thrive. Also, our new members will participate in many chapter and community service events such as the entertaining the children of Homes of Hope.

- Ellie Bailey

Professional Growth and Development

Spring 2014 semester is well underway. A calendar full of events have occurred, yet we still have more to come. There are a variety of speakers who have hosted professional meetings for the Chapter, including: a New Hire Panel, Haddox Reid, Eubank and Betts (formerly known as Haddox, Reid, Burkes, & Calhoun), Horne LLP, Ernest & Young, KPMG, and Regions. Along with our planned professional meetings, we will participate in the Big Event which is a university- wide clean-up day and lunch to better and build a stronger relationship with the community. In addition, we will celebrate Valentines Day with the children of Homes of Hope children on February 7th. Another event planned will involve the BAP chapter from the University of South Alabama. We will journey to the Beau Rivage to gain further insight in the fraud and forensics operations at the casino. Finally, at the close of the semester the chapter will be conducting petty cash audits for the University again. We are all looking forward to finishing the semester strong, as usual, to continue growing academically and professionally.

Quick Stats

  • Number of December graduates: 4
  • Number of new initiates: 14
  • Number of pledges this semester: 17
  • Current chapter size excluding pledges: 25
  • Total current chapter size: 42

Recent Placements

Here are some of the recent and soon-to-be graduates and their employers:

  1. Anna McLain: Ernst & Young
  2. Courtney Cox: Ernst & Young
  3. Ellie Bailey: Ernst & Young
  4. Julia Bradley: Harper, Rains, & Knight
  5. Kylie Harrel: Horne LLP
  6. Melissa Pigott: Horne LLP
  7. Preston Skinner: Sanderson Farms
  8. Shayne Davis: Horne LLP

Also, here are some of the students that are interning this spring:

  1. Ashley Foley: Palazzo & Co. LLC
  2. Blythe Dunaway: Deloitte LLP - London
  3. Jessica Rowe: Horne LLP
  4. Zachary Fetcko: KPMG – South Africa

From Our Beloved Advisor

As I reflect on our chapter’s activities these past few years, it is exciting to see what our members have accomplished. Attaining the level of Superior Chapter requires much hard work and numerous hours from each and every member. We are now making a difference in so many ways of which I am extremely proud, including participating in campus-wide recruiting events such as Black and Gold Day and Honors Day, hosting an annual tailgating with the College of Business, and taking part in great service projects such as tutoring and Homes of Hope. With our professional programs, we have hosted Beta Alpha Psi alumni and numerous influential speakers from all different walks of life and also toured many different types of enterprises. Through the funds from our annual CPE event and also the financial support of the School of Accountancy, many of our members now attend both the annual and regional National Beta Alpha Psi meetings. Of special note and many thanks to member Jay Babington, our chapter will be undertaking the first-ever presentation by a USM chapter at the regional meeting in February! As well, I must also recognize the efforts of member Shayne Davis with this outstanding newsletter that we now have to keep you informed of our chapter events and happenings. I am truly honored to work with such an amazing group of students and to watch their growth and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to take our Beta Alpha Psi program to the top!

-Valerie Simmons, Faculty Advisor

Our Leadership

Need More Information?

We always welcome the opportunity to reconnect with BAP alumni (recent or not). If you are interested in presenting at a professional meeting, joining our efforts to service the community, reconnect with the chapter, or something else, please contact any of the officers (listed above). Help us build and prepare aspiring accountants and CPAs for a successful career.