GS:      Where are you from?
ID:       I am a proud New Yorker! I was born in New York City and raised between New York City and New Jersey. Upon meeting and marrying my wife, a Birmingham native, I relocated to Birmingham in 2006.

GS:      What degree will you receive and when?
ID:       I have a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. I hope to receive my Master of Accounting (M.Ac.) degree in December of 2010.

GS:      How long have you been at UAB?
ID:       I have been at UAB since 2006. As a previous Economics major, I spent my first three semesters at UAB working towards an accounting equivalency. I am currently in my second semester of the M.Ac. program.

GS:      What is your research?
ID:       Currently, I am not conducting any type of research. However, I appreciate the scholarly contributions my professors are making to the accounting field.  I believe that having professors actively involved in research significantly enhances the program and student’s experiences. As I progress in my studies, I would like to probe how changes in accounting standards influence firm behavior.

GS:      What made you choose UAB for your graduate studies?
ID:       I thoroughly enjoyed taking undergraduate accounting classes at UAB. Both my professors and classmates were and continue to be exceptional. Dr. Richard Turpen, Director of the M.Ac. program, worked with me, a nontraditional accounting student, to ensure that I was transiting from the undergraduate accounting program to the graduate program at the right time. Dr. Turpen advised me not only on the courses I needed to take, but he also advised me on when to begin taking the CPA exam. Other factors that influenced my decision were the program’s accreditation and the program’s first time CPA pass rates.

GS:      Have you received any awards or honors?
ID:       I am a member of Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics Honor Society), and Golden Key International Honor Society.

GS:      What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?
ID:       Personally, the most rewarding experience I have had is transiting from undergraduate course work to graduate course work. As the subject matter has elevated so have conversations with my professors and fellow classmates.

GS:      Who has been your greatest influence here at UAB and why?
ID:       Dr. Frank Messina, Chair of the Accounting program, has had the greatest influence on me. When I met Dr. Messina I had just relocated to Birmingham. Upon relocating, I knew that I wanted to further my education. Having an undergraduate degree in economics, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to become an accountant. On a Friday afternoon with no appointment, an economics degree and 5 years of accounting experience, Dr. Messina spent over an hour letting me know that sometimes the best accountants didn’t have an undergraduate degree in accounting. He reassured me that the UAB School of Business was committed to helping nontraditional students achieve their goal of becoming accountants. He talked me through the journey I would need to take to become an accountant and today I am journeying toward my goal of becoming a CPA.  Meeting Dr. Messina changed the course of my professional life. The help, encouragement and guidance did not stop with Dr. Messina. Each and every professor has had a profound impact in shaping me as an accountant. The amount of encouragement they give and energy in which they convey the material is outstanding.

GS:      What is your motivation in your academics/research?
ID:       I find the material to be very enjoyable. Virtually every facet of society is impacted in some way by accounting.

GS:      What are your plans after graduating and for the future?
ID:       I plan on starting the CPA examination process later this year, and I am interested in obtaining a PhD in accounting.

GS:      Is there anything else you would like to say?
ID:       “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”
-         Peter Drucker

Ian’s advice for other graduate students:
Keep it simple and have fun!

Graduate School News

Student Spotlight- Benjamin Owusu

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