ACFE awards 29 scholarships in 18th year of Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program

ACFE News 

The ACFE Foundation has awarded $52,000 to 29 college and university students through the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program for the 2012-2013 school year. The foundation awarded one scholarship for $10,000, two for $5,000 and four for $2,500, in addition to 22 $1,000 scholarships. In addition to the scholarship award, each recipient also will receive a one-year ACFE student membership. 

The ACFE Foundation, a nonprofit entity, raises funds to support the scholarship program for the education of collegiate accounting, business, finance and criminal justice students around the globe. ACFE chapters and ACFE members also help underwrite the scholarships with donations. 

An independent board of directors manages the ACFE Foundation. Its members include Mark J. Sullivan, CFE, CPI, CPP, chairman; Christine A. Dever, CFE, CPA, vice chairman; Christopher J. Rosetti, CFE, CPA, treasurer; Scott Phillips, CFE, CIA, CPA, secretary; and William J. Kresse, JD, CFE, CPA. Sullivan and Dever end their terms in June and will be replaced by newly elected board members Joseph L. Ford, CFE, and Thomas Shaw, CFE.

The ACFE Scholarship Committee reviews scholarship applications and recommends recipients to the ACFE Foundation board of directors. For the first time, committee members used a paperless web-based scholarship application management system through ScholarshipExperts to obtain, organize and score scholarship applications from students worldwide. 

"We had a record number of applicants who began the process and in the total number of applicants who made it through the qualified stage," said R. Cameron (Cam) McFadyen, CFE, chairman of the committee.

"I offer my congratulations to each of our winners," McFadyen said. "The bar for this annual competition is set quite high so each of them can be very proud.

"I sincerely want to thank my fellow scholarship committee members for their careful, tireless attention to assuring that each applicant received thoughtful consideration: Frank Abel, CFE; Julie Armbrust, CFE, CPA; Richard Hurley, Ph.D., J.D., CFE, CPA; and Larry Marks, CFE. 

"I especially want to thank Lupe DeLeon [ACFE membership coordinator] for her hard work and diligent guidance throughout this process," McFadyen said.

The ACFE's Board of Regents voted to name the scholarship program the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarships in 1998. Tracy Ritchie, CFE, and Larry Jennings, CFE, CPA, were killed Nov. 12, 1997, in Karachi, Pakistan, when terrorists fired on their vehicle during a business trip.

See Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program for more information and to apply for the 2013-2014 academic year. 


Following are the recipients for the top seven awards and the scholarship committee's comments:  

 JulyAug-thi-tra   $10,000 scholarship: Thi Tra, 
University of Houston – Clear Lake 
Thi Tra, a Vietnam native, has demonstrated quite vividly that she has great passion and a desire to be successful in the accounting and finance profession. She already possesses experience in the field, is an ACFE member with plans to become a CFE and serves as an officer in the local ACFE student chapter. Tra has combined volunteer work with her course studies. She's excelled as a student and as a caring, determined individual. Tra has leadership skills, accumulated many accolades and is actively pursuing her goals. She holds a 3.8 GPA.
 JA-wells-80x80  $5,000 scholarship: Joe Wells,* 
Utica College 
Joe Wells has demonstrated a strong interest in fraud prevention and detection, which extends to money laundering and economic crime investigation. He's pursuing a criminal justice degree. His application shows that he has a natural curiosity and interest in the anti-fraud field. Wells has the desire and intelligence to succeed in reaching his ambitions and meeting his life goals. He holds a 3.9 GPA.
*Wells isn't related to Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder and Chairman of the ACFE.
 JA-leicht-80x80  $5,000 scholarship: Peter Leicht, 
University of Missouri – Columbia
Peter Leicht is active in the local ACFE Student Chapter, promotes fraud awareness and has participated in a national fraud case competition. He desires to become a CPA and maintain his membership with the ACFE. Leicht has a variety of interests, which include soccer, running and volunteer work. He plans to make a difference in the anti-fraud work force. Leicht holds a 3.7 GPA.
 JA-moritz-80x80  $2,500 scholarship: Paul Moritz, 
University of Missouri – Columbia 
Paul Moritz is the epitome of the type of student that we want to see in this competition. He's genuinely interested in anti-fraud work, and it's obvious that it's captured his full attention. Moritz is an ACFE student member and was elected president of his local student chapter after serving in several positions. His student anti-fraud team finished in the top 10 in a national fraud and forensic accounting competition. Moritz's passion is in the forensics field; this year he received an investigations/forensic internship with KPMG. He plans on earning his CFE credential. Moritz spends much of his time as a volunteer. He holds a 3.8 GPA.
 JA-hosuer-80x80  $2,500 scholarship: Kristen Houser, Messiah College 
Kristen Houser is an exceptional student who's intelligent, driven and very active. She demonstrates a positive zest for life and volunteers for several community service projects. Houser is focused on reaching her clear career goals; she wants to become a CFE and work for the FBI. She's demonstrated leadership capabilities through various groups and associations. Houser has a strong aptitude for accounting and has wisely continued to develop those skills. She holds a 3.9 GPA.
 JA-zander-80x80  $2,500 scholarship: 
Molly Zander, Montana State University 
Molly Zander is a strong-willed and successful achiever. She dedicates her time and energy to course work and extracurricular activities, including various volunteer activities, and mentors a second-grade student. She'll intern with a CPA firm and plans to obtain her master's degree and the CFE credential before pursuing a career in auditing. Zander holds a 4.0 GPA.
 JA-sekowska-80x80  $2,500 scholarship: 
Malgorzata Sekowska, John Jay College of Criminal Justice 
Malgorzata Sekowska, a native of Poland, will use her degree in international crime and justice to follow her interest in deceptive practices and financial fraud. She's also interested in investigating corporate fraud or misuse of funds in the public sector. Her job allows her to gain experience in insurance fraud and prosecution. Sekowska's future goal is to work for the United Nations or the International Monetary Fund. She holds a 3.8 GPA.


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