Accounting Major Earns Scholarship from Pennsylvania CPA Institute

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rising senior and accounting and business intelligence and analytics major Elizabeth Fuentes earned $7,000 in scholarship funds from the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), recognizing academic excellence, leadership and an intent to pursue an accounting career.

The Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, native’s first introduction to Saint Joseph’s University was through the Ignatian College Connection (ICC) when she was just a freshman in high school.

The ICC offers talented, motivated high school students from underrepresented populations an additional source of pre-collegiate guidance and an introduction to the SJU campus.

“Through the ICC, I learned about the business school at St. Joe’s, and I knew it was where I wanted to be,” says Fuentes.

As soon as she set foot on campus, she began to shine.  A member of business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, Jesuit honor society Alpha Sigma Nu, co-ed honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi and business intelligence honor society Alpha Iota Delta, Fuentes is also a Sutula Scholar, an honor granted to exceptional students studying accounting.

As a junior, Fuentes also served as a supplemental instructor for Joseph Larkin ‘78, Ph.D., CPA, chair of the department of accounting, in both financial and managerial accounting courses. She held recitation sessions for the students twice a week, receiving positive reviews from her peers.

Fuentes also prioritized service to others, participating in weekly service as an after-school program coordinator in partnership with Living Waters Baptist Church, serving the communities of Appalachia as part of APEX and volunteering to prepare personal tax returns for low-income residents through SJU’s VITA program. 

In 2016 under the mentorship of Larkin, she completed a Summer Scholars project that summarized the characteristics accounting firms look for when hiring new college graduates. She conducted her research via surveys, visiting virtually all of the accounting-related classes offered on campus.

Aptly, Fuentes exudes many of the desirable traits she defined in her research. “Liz embodies scholarship, loyalty and service to others,” says Larkin. “Working with her throughout the summer, I was impressed by her thirst for knowledge and her inquisitive mind. She works diligently, showing initiative, self motivation and determination.”

Beginning in June, Fuentes will intern at KPMG’s Philadelphia office. After graduation next spring, Fuentes plans to obtain her CPA license and pursue a career in accounting.

“I feel very prepared for my future career,” she says. “The Saint Joseph’s Jesuit education focuses on developing well-rounded individuals, offering enriching exposure to the arts and sciences, while the accounting curriculum is really tailored to making sure students have the necessary skills and experiences to compete in the job market.”


About PICPA: The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) was founded in 1897 and is the second-oldest CPA organization in the United States. Membership includes practitioners in public accounting, industry, government and education. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PICPA has a government relations office in Harrisburg and a western regional office in Pittsburgh. Affiliation with the PICPA represents commitment to the CPA profession, including adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct and to a stringent set of professional and technical standards.

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