University News

Area Students Take Part in WIU Accounting Challenge

April 13, 2010

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MACOMB, IL -- Area high school students demonstrated their financial accounting knowledge on Western Illinois University's Macomb campus last Friday (April 9) at the Fifth Annual Accounting Challenge. Sponsored by WIU's accountancy department, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) and the Illinois CPA Society, the event not only provided area students a chance to showcase their accounting skills through a written competition, but it also provided them with information about Western's accountancy department and the College of Business and Technology. For the fifth annual event, six area high schools and a total of 73 students competed.

According to BAP Faculty Adviser Cheryl Westen, while the exam was being administered by Charles Pryor, assistant professor in Western's accountancy department, and BAP students, the high school students' teachers participated in an Educator Roundtable, which included discussion about the accounting profession, accounting education and the CPA (certified public accountant) exam.

Western faculty leading the discussion included Westen; Hassan Espahbodi, interim chair of the accountancy department; Gregg Woodruff, associate professor of accountancy; and Susanna Pendergast, graduate adviser of the master of accountancy program at WIU.

"This year we were excited to announce that we were able to double the prizes and scholarship money," Westen said. "Schools were placed in one of two divisions, based on school enrollment, and prizes were awarded to individual students and to teams in each division. Individual awards were given to students who placed in first through fifth places. In addition, the first, second and third place team winners from each division received $500, $300 and $200 scholarships, respectively, to major in accountancy at WIU. Scholarship monies are provided through the WIU Department of Accountancy Foundation," she added.

Individual Awards

Division I

First Place: Caleb Markey, Macomb High School

Second Place: Greg McCullough, Macomb High School

Third Place: Matt Sullivan, Macomb High School

Fourth Place Tie: Luke Buwick, Macomb High School; Anna Powers, Macomb High School; and John Johnson, Macomb High School

Division II

First Place: Austin Kestner, Central High School (Camp Point, IL)

Second Place: Sarah Kurfman, Central High School

Third Place: Jacob Burrus, Triopia High School (Concord, IL)

Fourth Place: Katie Heiderscheit, Triopia High School

Fifth Place: James Gorham, Hamilton High School (Hamilton, IL)

Team Awards

Division 1

First Place: Preferred Stock, Macomb High School

Team members included: Luke Buwick, Caleb Markey and Anna Powers

Second Place: Intangible Assets, Macomb High School
Team members included: Matt Sullivan, Madelyn Schluter and Ben Streit

Third Place: Capital Punishment, Macomb High School
Team Members included: John Johnson, Nick Anderson, Clarke White and Chris Poffenberger

Division II

First Place: Panther I, Central High School

Team members included: Sarah Kurfman, Stephanie Friedhoff, Austin Kestner and Abby Wiewel

Second Place: Triopia Team 2, Triopia High School
Team members included: Jacob Burrus, Jansen, Joehl and Katie Heiderscheit

Third Place: Anti-Numerophobias, Hamilton High School
Team members included: Samantha Heaton, Abbie Thompson and James Gorham

Other Awards
Best Dressed Award: Hamilton High School
Most Dedicated Team: Triopia High School

For more information, contact Westen at (309) 298-1152 or Learn more about WIU's accountancy department at

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing