It’s an exciting time for our Graduate and Professional Studies Division (GPS) as the College introduces the newly-approved Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree. GPS is always looking for ways to develop and launch new offerings that relate to market needs and they have worked hard to ensure that Nichols MSA degree offers unique advantages to students. Since the CPA designation requires 150 credit hours, a 30-credit MSA is a logical solution for students who desire to earn their CPA and/or work in a public accounting firm. Unlike some other programs, students will receive intensive preparation for the CPA exam instead of having to pay for outside test prep classes.
The MSA is a fitting addition to the current master’s degree programs for the working professional and an extension of our undergraduate accounting degree program. For incoming Nichols accounting majors (with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher), the MSA will offer an accelerated degree allowing students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years.
The MSA adds to our degree portfolio and further enhances our mission to transform today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders through a dynamic, career-focused business and professional education.
One of the benefits of being President of the College is having the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun and educational activities on campus. On Tuesday evening, April 14, I had the pleasure of serving as a judge for the 3rd Annual Elevator Speech Competition. At one point or another, most of us have had an occasion to describe our skills and abilities in one-minute or the amount of time it takes for an elevator ride, hence, the title, “Elevator Speech.” It doesn’t matter what one’s job is, there will always be a component that requires sales, persuasion, and presentations.
The Elevator Speech Competition gives students the opportunity to succinctly and convincingly talk about a topic in front of a large group. During the competition, the judges were required to comment and rate the contestants’ performances based on the content, amount of eye contact, poise displayed, and use of distractors such as “umms.” The top three contestants were passionate about their topic and, regardless of what they were feeling on the inside (and several students told me they were very nervous), they appeared calm and collected on the outside.
I would like to commend Professor Luanne Westerling for launching this event three years ago. Participation has grown from seven (7) contestants in the first year to 23 this year. I applaud her creativity in conceiving this idea and her careful attention to detail in its design and execution. Another signature event for Nichols College!
Written by Chad Weeks
On March 31, I had the great opportunity to trade places with President Engelkemeyer to become the “President for a Day.” When I received the congratulatory email, I felt like I had won the golden ticket just like the boy in the movie, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
One of the most surprising parts of my day was discovering how much hard work and effort goes on behind the scenes. I think most students take this for granted. We don’t realize the dedication of the faculty and staff to student success and preparing us to be leaders in our community.
During the day, I met with the different departments on campus and learned about the College finances and how the funding process works, what types of Student Services situations may arise on campus and how to manage them, and how the Center for Student Involvement operates and the plans they have for the future. When I met with academic leadership, we discussed both the undergraduate and graduate academic programs and how Nichols wants to develop them. I also learned a lot about the College’s trustees and how they contribute so much to our school. Lastly, I learned how to be a better leader and role model for the people I meet and work with. All of these lessons will not only help me as I pursue my teaching career but in my personal life as well.
Everyone I met and spoke with treated me as if I was the president, whether it was faculty, staff or students. They treated me with respect and as a leader. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or more support. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. Anyone who is presented this opportunity is incredibly fortunate and should be very proud. If I could do it again, I would!
It’s been many years since I have been in the classroom as a student, but on March 31 I traded places with senior Chad Weeks who was selected to be “President for a Day.” I had a great deal of fun in the classes and was excited to learn new information, although I am embarrassed to admit that I was up until 1:00 am preparing for class! I had the best intentions of preparing well in advance, but my job and life seemed to get in the way. I wonder if that sounds familiar to students.
As I walked across campus, I particularly enjoyed the number of students who said, “Hi Chad.” In addition, while I was studying in the library, students whom I have not talked with in the past approached me to ask questions or provide suggestions.
My first class of the day was a Statistics class with Professor Naigles. I spent the time furiously taking notes with the hope that it would help Chad prepare for his exam at the end of the week! The next class was Organizational Behavior with Professor Trottier. The topic of the day was Entrepreneurship and I was able to share some stories from when I was new graduate starting a small business. My class day ended with Professor Fleury-Lawson’s Principles of Information Systems class. I participated in a debate about the value of textbooks given the explosion of e-resources. I appreciated the team including me in the planning and presentation and hope they are happy with how it went! All three of the classes were dynamic, interesting, and great learning experiences. They reminded me of why I always hear from alumni – whether they graduated 5 or 50 years ago – that our faculty made their experience at Nichols both valuable and memorable.
I wanted to live the day as Chad does, so that even included having a lively lunch conversation with Chad’s buddies, Tyler Barnes and Christian Gil. Later in the afternoon, I received a tweet from Chad’s roommate asking if I wanted to play the popular sports video game, Madden, with them. I had a great time chatting with the guys but am really lousy at Madden.
Looking back on the experience, I am excited about the lessons I learned and the students I met and am already looking forward to the experience to the next year!
At a recent faculty dinner sponsored by Robert “Kuppy” Kuppenheimer ’69, speaker Robert Stansky ’78 shared his thoughts about “Maximizing the Student-Professor Relationship,” a topic he feels so strongly about that he established the Robert Stansky Distinguished Professorship. The professorship, which is awarded to a Nichols professor every two years, funds professional development, trips, conferences, and a number of other opportunities for faculty members and their students. Currently a group leader and portfolio manager at Fidelity Management & Research Company, Bob has achieved great success at Fidelity and is perhaps best known for his management of Fidelity’s Magellan fund in the late 1990s and early 2000s. We were thrilled that he came to speak to our faculty and students.
This event was part of the year-long Bicentennial Celebration. I was pleased to present Kuppy with the Bicentennial Medal in recognition of his significant contributions to Nichols. The sponsorship of the annual faculty dinner, which he started 16 years ago, is just one example of his commitment to the College. Kuppy firmly believes that it’s the faculty who truly make the difference for our students, and I agree! This event is an opportunity to recognize and thank our tremendous faculty for all they do and to have a speaker who can share valuable information with them. I think that those of us who attended would agree that the dinner and insights shared by Bob Stansky achieved that goal.