Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 27, 2002 - Four students at Southeast Missouri State University finished first in the nation in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) National Video Showcase Competition on Aug. 13, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Beta Alpha Psi annual conference. The accounting students are in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.) program in the Harrison College of Business at Southeast.

Sarah Berkbigler of Perryville, Melissa Bryant of Bridgeton, Jacquelyn Collins of Cape Girardeau, and Matthew Pierce of Patton submitted a videotaped presentation pertaining to the "Balanced Scorecard" to the IMA in March. Dr. Keith Russell, a Southeast professor in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Business Law, served as the team advisor.

"To achieve first place in a national competition is a huge accomplishment for the students and the University," Russell said. "It indicates the University's accounting program is very successful at generating highly competitive graduates. To be first in a national competition is a rare feat. The opportunity to be in a competition leading to a national championship happens infrequently. The students are to be commended for taking advantage of this opportunity."

Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of the Donald L. Harrison College of Business, added, "This accomplishment by these four students demonstrates the high quality of students our business program attracts at Southeast Missouri State University, the opportunity for students to be mentored by highly qualified faculty and the commitment we have to introduce business students to the concepts and practice of business. Being selected the number one team in the nation is something these students, the business faculty and the entire Harrison College of Business community can be proud of."

Students entered the competition in order to fulfill the requirements of "Advanced Strategic Cost Management." The course is taught by Russell. Students elected the option of doing the video case competition as a group project as part of their negotiated operational syllabus. Four teams submitted videos for the competition. Three of the teams were selected to the semi-final group of 10 in the IMA National Video Showcase Competition. Dr. Jim Dufek, a Southeast professor in the Department of Mass Communication, produced the four teams' tapes.

"These students did an outstanding job and deserve congratulations from the department, college and the University," said Dr. Michael Devaney, chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Business Law. "They competed with some of the best schools in the country and came out on top."

Each year the IMA sponsors the National Student Case Competition, in which teams of students respond to a published case by preparing a 15-minute videotaped presentation that is submitted to a group of practitioner and academic judges who are selected from among the IMA membership. The top four teams, as determined by the judges, are invited to make live presentations to another set of judges at the annual Beta Alpha Psi Conference, where the first place winner is selected. The four teams are honored at the conference recognition ceremony with cash awards and scholarships.

Southeast received $5,000 for placing first in the national IMA Video Case Competition. The students have chosen to donate their cash award to the Accounting and Finance Club at Southeast.

More than 1,200 students and professionals attended the awards presentation. Top executives from companies such as AccountingWeb, Andersen LLP, Baxter International, BDO Seidman LLP, Boeing, Chevron Corporation, Coca-Cola, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, Exxon Corporation and Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP were present at the awards luncheon.

With 70,000 members, the Institute of Management Accountants is one of the oldest and most respected -and most innovative -finance and accounting organizations in the world. IMA offers certificates in management accounting and financial management, continuing professional education, special interest membership groups and professional publications. Founded in 1919, the Institute of Management Accountants is based in Montvale, N.J.


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