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Alec Epkes, a WIU MBA student, will accept a certificate of distinguished performance on the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) exam.
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MBA Student Wins Award for CMA Exam Distinguished Performance

March 28, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- In June, Western Illinois University MBA student Alec Epkes (Moline, IL) will travel to Las Vegas (NV) to attend the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) annual conference to accept a certificate of distinguished performance on the CMA (Certified Management Accountants) exam.

Of the 4,728 individuals who took the CMA exam in English during the September/October testing, distinguished performance certificates were awarded to six people, including Epkes, for earning one of the top scores in the world.

"Our CMA certification is widely recognized as the leading management accounting credential in the world—and certainly the only one prominent in both of the world's two largest economies, the U.S. and China," said Samuel C. Weaver, ICMA (The Institute of Certified Management Accountants) Board of Regents chair.

Epkes came to Western after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011 with a degree in services administration and working for a few years.

"After spending a couple of years developing my career, I quickly recognized the value of obtaining my MBA," said Epkes. "Western Illinois University was my first choice because of the beautiful campus, convenient location and affordable tuition."

Epkes said after beginning classes at Western, he developed a particular interest in the accounting field. He then researched certifications, Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA), that might complement his degree best for what he plans to do after graduation.

"Amy Ford [accounting instructor] and Martin Coe [accounting professor] were incredibly helpful to me during this time, as they answered my questions and helped me navigate the process of preparing me for these exams," Epkes said.

Epkes took both sections of the CMA exam in Fall 2015.

"Though the preparation process was rigorous for the CMA exams, being awarded the Certificate of Distinguished Performance for my exam results was rewarding," Epkes added. "Winning this award validated the investment I had made in my study preparations."

Epkes is now focusing his studying efforts on the CPA exam. He has taken two of the four and plans to have completed them all by July.

"I have had a fantastic experience at WIU, and I am grateful for the professors who have supported my development and the student relationships I have established during my time at WIU," said Epkes.

Epkes recently accepted a position with Deloitte & Touche LLP, which he will begin in a few months.

For more information on Western's MBA program, visit

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