ACFE Foundation awards scholarships in 20th year of Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program


The ACFE Foundation has awarded $53,000 to college and university students through the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program for the 2014-2015 school year. 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 students worldwide who have an interest in pursuing a career in fraud examination or similar field. Candidates must be enrolled in accounting, business administration, finance or criminal justice higher-education programs. ACFE chapters and ACFE members help underwrite the scholarships with donations. Also, royalties from books written by ACFE founder and Chairman Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, help fund the scholarships.

The ACFE Foundation is managed by five directors. Its members include Joseph Ford, CFE; Thomas Shaw, CFE; ACFE Vice President and Program Director Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, CVA; Vice President of Administration Jeannette LeVie, CFE; and Vice President and General Counsel John Warren, J.D., CFE. The ACFE Scholarship Committee reviews scholarship applications and recommends recipients to the ACFE Foundation Board of Directors.

"I know I speak for the committee when I say that we very much appreciate the number and quality of the young men and women from around the world who participated in the process this year," says R. Frank Abel, CFE, CPA, committee chairman. "Be proud of your accomplishments, and we look forward to each of you sharing a long and illustrious career as a member of our family of fraud fighters.

"I would like to express my sincere thanks to my fellow scholarship committee members for their diligent efforts — Julienne Armbrust, CFE, CPA, vice chair; Lynn Norton-DeMets, CFE; Cindy Greenman, CFE, Ph.D.; and Richard Hurley, Ph.D., J.D., CFE, CPA, CFF. Each of them provided sincere and honest considerations of each applicant's potential as a scholarship participant.

"I want to also sincerely thank Lupe De Leon [ACFE scholarship committee liaison] who provided us with direction, support, advice and friendship. The scholarship process was seamless in large measure because of Lupe's hard work and thoughtfulness," says Abel.

ACFE Foundation Board of Directors' member Dorris says that the ACFE Foundation is grateful to the members who contribute to the scholarship program. "So many in the fraud examination profession realize the importance of perpetuating quality anti-fraud work by supporting budding fraud examiners in higher education," Dorris says.

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.

For more information about the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program and applying for the 2015-2016 academic year, visit

Following are the recipients for the top seven awards:

  patricia-suchan   $10,000 scholarship: Patricia Suchan, High Point University
Patricia Suchan clearly subscribes to the belief that service isn’t a slogan but a way of life. A college junior majoring in accounting and minoring in computer science, Suchan maintains a 3.98 GPA and augmented her classroom education with a volunteer summer internship working with an FBI forensic accountant in Washington D.C., and assisting with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, a partner of both City of High Point, North Carolina, and AARP Tax Aide. She was among the youngest selected as an FBI intern. By summer’s end, she was approved to transfer and continue working in the local FBI office through the school year. Suchan plans on working to obtain her CFE and CPA and hopes to work for the FBI.
Christopher   $5,000 scholarship: Christopher Grassano, American University
Chris Grassano has the drive and dedication to meet his goals of becoming a forensic accountant with the FBI. In his first year at college, Grassano interned with the local police department to increase his understanding of law enforcement and its interaction with other organizations. With a major in accounting and a minor in criminal justice, he maintains a GPA of 3.93 and eagerly awaits an internship with KPMG’s Federal Audit Division.
  Aimee  $5,000 scholarship: Aimee Rosenbaum, University of Pittsburgh
Aimee Rosenbaum maintains a 3.74 GPA and is dually enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University to take advantage of Carlow’s forensic accounting curriculum. An internal audit internship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center helped Aimee gain a strong interest in the fraud examination field. She envisions that the CFE and CPA credentials will lead her to a successful career. Rosenbaum will begin a new internship this summer in the audit department of Deloitte & Touche.
  aaron   $2,500 scholarship: Aaron Burgoyne, University of Utah
Aaron Burgoyne is a self-described “numbers guy” with an interest in the forensic and anti-fraud areas of accounting. He maintains a 3.6 GPA as he pursues a master’s degree in accounting. Burgoyne’s internships in the private sector and his volunteer work for not-for-profit organizations have led him to explore the methods used to extract and process evidence and to deduct conclusions from the findings. Burgoyne’s goal is to become an auditor/fraud examiner for a financial institution.
  Michelle   $2,500 scholarship: Michelle Chapman, University of South Carolina
Michelle Chapman maintained a 4.0 GPA as an undergraduate. She has been accepted into the Master’s of Accountancy program at the College of William and Mary. As an intern with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the FBI, Chapman helped with investigations and trial preparation. Following graduation, she aims to work for a forensic accounting firm and eventually become an FBI special agent.
  jared   $2,500 scholarship: Jared Platt, Utica College
While Jared Platt pursues an economic crime investigation bachelor’s degree with a concentration in fraud detection and prevention, he also works on fraud cases as a volunteer with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. He maintains a 3.91 GPA and after graduation, he wants to earn his MBA and CFE credential. Platt would like to work in a money laundering prevention department of a bank to gain experience for the FBI or start his own fraud consulting company.
william   $2,500 scholarship: William Ranish, Duke University
William Ranish is passionate about technology’s role in fraud prevention, detection, analysis and reporting. He interned as a senior associate at PwC in its Forensic Technology Solutions group working on cybercrime and eDiscovery engagements and then earned his CFE in 2012. He left his full-time job to complete his MBA at Duke University where he maintains a 3.48 GPA. Ranish, as a volunteer, helps underprivileged middle and high school students who are aiming to be first-generation, college graduates.

 The ACFE Foundation awarded these students $1,000 scholarships:

 emily  Emily Babski, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Emily Babski is working toward a double major in accounting and finance and is focused on becoming a CFE and CPA. She was competitively selected as Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business Ambassador and is a member of the Business Horizons team. She’s received occasional instruction from a bank examiner at Old Pointe National Bank for the past two years, and she hopes to pursue a career as an agent in the FBI financial crimes unit. Emily maintains a 3.68 GPA.
 robert  Robert Broccoli, Utica College
Robert Broccoli is working towards his economic crime investigation degree and maintains a 2.89 GPA. In addition, Broccoli volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and the Masonic Care Community, and he’s a member of the Knights of Columbus. His career goal is to secure a position with a reputable organization at which he can use his skills and continue to learn.
courtney  Courtney Caldwell, University of Houston
Courtney Caldwell is pursuing a Master’s in Accountancy, maintains a 3.48 GPA and plans to earn the CFE and CPA credentials. Last summer, she interned in the SOX 404 group at Marathon Oil Company and is a leader and active participant in student affairs at the University of Houston. Caldwell’s long-term goal is to work in an anti-fraud field specifically related to non-profit organizations.
 julie  Julie Ciak, College of New Jersey
Julie Ciak is the vice president of the accounting club and arranges forensic accounting professionals to speak on fraud prevention. She competes on the women’s club lacrosse team and is a representative of her college’s honors program. Ciak wants to pursue the CFE and CPA credentials and eventually work in the FBI’s forensic department. She maintains a 3.95 GPA.
 michael  Michael Consenza, La Salle University
Michael Consenza studies accounting and maintains a 3.69 GPA. He’s a coordinator for AIDS Outreach and is involved in Pheed Philadelphia, a program that feeds the hungry, and Team La Sallians, which provides tutoring for inner-city children. He plans to pursue the CFE and CPA credentials and become a forensic accountant in the law enforcement industry — preferably the FBI.
 mallory Mallory Coulombe, Southern New Hampshire University
Mallory Coulombe is a member of the university’s honors program and shows great leadership skills. She plans to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a minor in music. Coulombe is interested in enhancing her interviewing and fraud prevention skills. She plans to earn the CFE and the CPA credentials and become a finance director. Mallory maintains a 3.97 GPA.
 Roberto  Roberto Galvan, University of Denver
Robert Galvan is pursuing his undergraduate degree in accounting while working full-time at a small accounting firm as an auditor. He maintains a 3.95 GPA and will complete an internship with EY this summer. The university named him to dean’s and president’s lists numerous times. He wants to continue to gain experience so he can earn the CFE and CPA credentials. He’s working toward a position in forensic accounting.
 nataliya  Nataliya Hammond, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Nataliya Hammond’s interest in fraud detection and deterrence began when she worked at a retail store implementing internal controls. She now works as a senior internal auditor assessing financial, regulatory and operational risks of various functions and departments at Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Hammond maintains a 3.67 GPA and is very active in many charitable communities. Hammond has her CFE, CIA and CRMA credentials and is working on her MBA.
 oscar Oscar Harvin, Florida Atlantic University
Oscar Harvin maintains a 3.41 GPA as he works towards obtaining his doctorate. His goal is to pursue the CFE, conduct fraud-related academic research and teach forensic accounting in a university. During his law enforcement career, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Secret Service recognized him for his criminal investigation efforts.
 Heller  Timothy Heller, Georgia Southern University
Timothy Heller majors in accounting, is pursuing a minor in fraud examination and maintains a 3.25 GPA. The accounting scandals at General Motors in 2008 influenced him to pursue an anti-fraud profession. He will pursue the CFE, CPA and CFI credentials to become an effective fraud-fighting professional. Heller is active in the Association of Black Accountants.
 vinicius Vinicius Hiratuka, Mississippi College
Vinicius Hiratuka, a Brazil citizen, is an accounting major, and he plans on pursuing his Master’s of Accountancy at Vanderbilt University following graduation. He interned during the summer at Workman Forensics under the supervision of Leah Workman, CFE. During his time at Workman, he became interested in fraud, joined the ACFE and decided to pursue an anti-fraud career path. Hiratuka maintains a 3.94 GPA.
 karen  Karen Machin, La Salle University
Karen Machin is enthused about pursuing an anti-fraud career because she conferred with an educator CFE about anti-fraud opportunities. She’s an officer of Beta Alpha — a local accounting honors society — and she participated in KPMG and PwC case competitions. This summer, Machin will intern at KPMG. She maintains a 3.35 GPA, and she hopes to obtain both the CFE and CPA credentials.
  Ashley Manley, University of New Mexico
Ashley Manley, as the social media officer of the ACFE New Mexico Student Chapter, strives to raise student and alumni awareness of fraud schemes. She plans on pursuing both the CFE and CPA credentials and would like to work for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to prevent tax fraud and evasion. Manley maintains a 3.88 GPA.
 Wesley  Wesley Middlebrook, Oral Roberts University
Wesley Middlebrook says he’s excited about the fraud examination profession and using the skills he has learned from his course work. Middlebrook, who maintains a 3.94 GPA, is the tutoring director of the accounting society and was nominated as the ORU’s Department of Business “Student of the Year” in 2013. After graduation, Middlebrook will begin an auditing internship with EY. His eventual career goal is to become director of the FBI.
 salome  Salome Ndackson, Roosevelt University
Salome Ndackson, a Nigerian citizen, maintains a 4.0 GPA as she completes her Master’s Degree in Accounting with a concentration in forensic accounting. She has a strong interest in fraud examination and litigation and recently passed the CFE Exam. Ndackson is a fundraiser for World Vision and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is an active volunteer in the community through her local church.
 hunter Hunter O'Donnell, University of Missouri, Columbia
Hunter O’Donnell became very interested in fraud examination while competing in the American Institute of CPAs’ forensic accounting competition and later became a member of the ACFE. He has served as both president and treasurer of the local ACFE student chapter. O’Donnell is a senior in the accounting program at his university with a 3.65 GPA. He plans on pursuing both the CFE and the CPA credentials and would like to work for a law enforcement agency.
 michelle  Michelle Odudu, University of Portsmouth
Michelle Odudu, a citizen of Nigeria, maintains a 3.0 GPA while conducting her doctorate research into the manifestations of fraud in various Ghanaian and Nigerian socio-culture settings and the relative effectiveness of legal remedies imposed by anti-fraud and corruption agencies. She gained greater insight into forensic accounting and fraud examination during a PwC internship. Odudu’s goal is to head a counter-fraud research unit in an African country.
 jude  Jude Okanya, Pain College
Jude Okanya, a citizen of Nigeria, wants to pursue an MBA in forensic accounting and use his knowledge and skills to prevent fraud and prosecute fraudsters. He’s president of the Paine College Honors Organization and has raised money for children living with cancer. Okanya maintains a 3.92 GPA and hopes to work with an audit company to help combat fraud in the business environment and elsewhere.
 charles  Charles Osivwemu, Mills College
Charles Osivwemu became involved in the Mills College MBA program after attending an accounting career panel at his school. Panel members encouraged Osivwemu to participate in workshops, explore internship opportunities and take challenging courses that would help him prepare for a career in anti-fraud investigation. He’s a member of Mills College Net Impact Chapter, a nonprofit that empowers individuals to use their careers to drive change in the workplace. Osivwemu maintains a 3.8 GPA. His career goal is to work in an accounting and finance-related field.
 bernard  Bernard Rafferty, Carlow University
Bernard Rafferty is interested in fraud activity within the IT industry and how business is using technology to combat it. The global financial meltdown, which began in the late 2000s, influenced Rafferty to pursue a career in fraud examination and forensic accounting. He plans to obtain a Master’s of Science in Fraud and Forensics and pursue the CFE and CPA credentials. Bernard maintains a 3.94 GPA.
 lindsay  Lindsay Rogers, American University
Lindsay Rogers is working on her Master’s of Science in Accounting with a 3.16 GPA while also working as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Defense. With her math and critical-thinking skills, and her wide range of participation in local accounting-related organizations, she realized that forensic accounting was the profession to pursue. She plans to sit for both the CFE and CPA exams.
 john  John Stokes, North Central University
John Stokes is pursuing a doctorate in business administration and is a special agent in the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. He received an Army Commendation Medal for his accomplishments while serving as the Economic Crimes Team chief. His career goals include obtaining the CFE credential and working in a federal or government agency. Stokes maintains a 4.0 GPA.
 uyen Uyen Truong, Luthor College
Uyen Truong has seen firsthand the implications of fraud while growing up in Vietnam. She wants to help encourage youth to pursue anti-fraud career paths and educate Vietnamese about the dire need for anti-fraud measures in business, thus helping build a more ethical environment. Truong studies accounting and maintains a 3.87 GPA. She’s an international student assistant at the Luthor College Diversity Center and a mathematics tutor at the Student Academic Support Center.

Read more insight and discuss this article in the ACFE's LinkedIn group

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners assumes sole copyright of any article published on or ACFE follows a policy of exclusive publication. Permission of the publisher is required before an article can be copied or reproduced. Requests for reprinting an article in any form must be emailed to