Stephen F. Austin State University

Rusche News

Accounting faculty members recognized by state organization

SFA's Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy has a reputation of excellence. Graduates from this school can be found across the globe in various prestigious positions. However, despite the far-reaching talents of our students, this success often begins with a single person-a professor. This year, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants recognized two individuals who demonstrate excellence and ensure the success of our students.

Ms. Marie Kelly, lecturer, was recognized as one of four outstanding accounting educators in Texas in October at the annual Educators' Conference in Austin. Candidates for this award are judged on classroom innovation, learning opportunities for students, involvement in accounting organizations on student and professional levels, and research publications and recognitions. Kelly has been working in the Gerald W. Schlief School for nine years. She began in 1987 and worked for four years, and then returned in 2011. Kelly currently teaches financial and managerial accounting principles.

"Receiving the 2015 Texas Society of CPA's Outstanding Accounting Educator Award is truly an honor," Kelly said. "I am grateful for the freedom and opportunity SFA's Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy has given me to try new and exciting innovations in the accounting classroom in order to engage and motivate students."

In addition, Dr. Kelly Noe was recognized as one of 18 Rising Stars. Rising Stars are CPA's in Texas who have demonstrated innovative leadership qualities and active involvement in TSCPA, the accounting profession and/or their communities. Noe worked at SFA as a lecturer in 2005 and 2006. After that, she left to work on her doctorate at the University of Texas at San Antonio and returned in 2010. She currently teaches intermediate accounting II, accounting information systems and graduate accounting research. Noe also was recognized as an outstanding educator in Texas by TSCPA last year.

Hall awarded prestigious research grant

Professor Ashley Hall, a lecturer in the Department of Business Communication and Legal Studies, was recently awarded the Margaret Baker Graham Research Grant at the Annual International Conference of the Association for Business Communication in Seattle, Washington. This cash award is presented each year to doctoral students engaged in research within the discipline of business communication. Currently, Hall's research focuses on managerial communication in times of organizational change and how individual employee attributes impact the relationship between managerial communication and employee job satisfaction during times of change.

The grant money was used for travel expenses related to data collection and for gift cards to incentivize participation in the electronic survey.

Hall received her undergraduate and master's degrees from SFA and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Brown, Wilson named associate deans

Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Ann Wilson will join Dr. Timothy Bisping, dean, as permanent administrators in the Nelson Rusche College of Business. Brown and Wilson have served in interim positions, and will continue on a permanent basis effective Feb. 1. Brown will serve as associate dean of faculty and administration and Wilson will serve as associate dean of student services.

"Having highly qualified individuals in these two positions is crucial to advancing the mission of the college, and I am elated that we were able to secure two exceptional candidates in Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Ann Wilson," Bisping said. "These positions are at the very foundation of an exceptional administrative team that is devoted to success of our students, and the support of outstanding faculty and staff members and programs."

Marleta Chadwick student financial advisors serve campus, community

The Rusche College of Business' Marleta Chadwick Student Financial Advisors' benefits are twofold. Not only do the advisors offer students and the community free financial advice and money management tips, but advisors also are practicing skills that will benefit them once they leave the university and begin their careers.

The Rusche College of Business created the Student Financial Advisors organization in 2014 to emphasize financial literacy and smart money management to help people dealing with financial crises. The advisors assist individuals with budgeting, credit card and debt management, identity theft, and fraud.

Student director and SFA business administration graduate student Brian Cook has been with the program since its inception and is looking forward to the program's development. "We counsel people financially. We help them make smarter decisions and realize the impact these decisions have on their lives," Cook said.

Four student assistants work alongside Cook as student advisors. Mi-Kayla Lemon, Clark Taylor and Flo Soto specialize in community efforts, while Corey Belcher and Cook focus on the SFA campus. In addition, Soto handles Web and media projects and Belcher is in charge of the organization's social media presence.

The five-member group shares their financial knowledge through presentations to community and campus organizations, groups and teams. Women's and homeless shelters, United Way, and churches are some of the organizations the advisors assist.

The advisors also reach out to students at both SFA and beyond. Lemon explained the organization works with Center High School students to help them prepare for the real world, and at SFA, the advisors talk to SFA 101 freshmen seminar and other students to help educate them on financial issues.

"I feel students have a closer connection with us because we can relate to them," Lemon said. "It's a good feeling to see the transformation when students understand their financial situation."

Last semester, the organization moved into a new office on the first floor of the R. E. McGee Building, Room 169. This location has a reception area and private offices for each advisor to counsel individuals on sensitive financial issues.

Cook said the new location also enables advisors to meet with walk-in clients. Walk-ins are welcome from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Fridays. Visitors also can schedule advising appointments.

"It is an easy process. Clients can come in and fill out a quick form telling us the area they want to focus on," Lemon said. "It takes less than 20 minutes."

Cook encourages visitors to partake in this free service and stresses that the advisors have all been in their shoes and know the struggles they may be facing.

"We have people from all walks of life come here. We never talk down to or judge anyone," Cook said. "We are here to help and genuinely want to meet our clients' needs."

Dr. Banker Phares, SFA economics and finance professor and director of the financial banking program, is impressed with the students' work and dedication. "Their commitment to helping others reassures me that this generation of students is going to make a significant and positive contribution to society," Phares said.

The office and program's growth is a result of a gift to the university by the Marleta Chadwick Trust. This gift resulted in the naming of the Marleta Chadwick Student Financial Advisors, as well as the Chadwick Family banking program within the Nelson Rusche College of Business. The college also is working on getting a banking major approved for fall 2016.

"We are so appreciative of the generosity of the Chadwick Family, as these programs will support hands-on learning experiences that are very beneficial to our students and will be an asset to the entire community," Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the Nelson Rusche College of Business, said.

The gift also will support a scholarship program for Center High School graduates who wish to pursue degrees in either SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education or the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

"We have a great relationship with the Chadwick family and this has opened so many doors," Cook said. "Having the capital to set long-term budgets, goals and grow the program as needed is great."

To take advantage of the free services and schedule an appointment, email Request a presentation by accessing and click on the "Request a Presentation" tab. Several