School of Business Student Honored with State Accounting Award

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Fairmont State University School of Business student has been named one of the top three accounting students in the state by The West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Zachary LeFevre of Clarksburg has been honored with the third place Outstanding Accounting Senior Award for 2013-2014, including a plaque and $500. In the fall of each year, the Recruiting & Opportunity Project Group of the WV Society of CPAs recognizes students majoring in accounting from colleges and universities across the state. To be eligible for nomination, students are required to meet the following criteria: be a student member of the WV Society of CPAs, graduate between December 2013 and May 2014, major in the accounting field, have an accounting GPA and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit a current resume, submit a transcript, provide a minimum of two references, submit an essay explaining why the student should be recognized with the award and complete a requested transmittal form.

The son of Phil LeFevre and Donetta Watson, both of Clarksburg, Zach LeFevre graduated from Robert C. Byrd High School in 2010. In high school, he took college courses at the Gaston Caperton Center to get a head start on college. A senior at Fairmont State, he plans to graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.

“I’m really excited and honored to have this prestigious award. I know how many hours of studying I have put in. I have been focused since day one. I am just thrilled to see the hard work pay off,” he said.

LeFevre currently is an intern for Arnett Foster Toothman, PLLC, in Bridgeport, one of the top 150 accounting firms in the country.

“I was very pleased to get on with them my junior year. I interned with them for tax season my junior year from January to April. They created a special summer internship for me, and I’m already locked into a position after graduation. The people there are amazing. I have gained so much by working there, there’s so much you can’t learn in the classroom,” he said.

Theodore A. Lopez, CPA, a member of Arnett Foster Toothman, wrote a letter of recommendation for LeFevre for the award calling him “the stuff good employees are made of.”

“Young people are driven by many things; their quest for excellence, praise, monetary gain, but Zach is driven by good old-fashioned integrity, dependability and a strong work ethic. He is a producer of timely prepared quality work, he possesses a strong working knowledge of accounting skills, and his attitude is one of involved, interested and high spirits,” Lopez wrote.

Mary A. “Dede" Burnell, CPA, Coordinator of Accounting and Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance at FSU, also wrote a letter of recommendation for LeFevre.

“His academic record underscores his abilities as I have seen them in the classroom. He prepares his work on time and completes the assignments in ways that reflect the spirit of the assignment rather than just the stated assignment. His scores are consistently among the top in my classes,” Burnell wrote.

LeFevre has been vice president of the Student Accounting Society at FSU since August and will become president in January 2014. He also is a member of the Student Leadership Board for the School of Business and Delta Mu Delta National Business Honor Society for which he serves as treasurer.

LeFevre credits the School of Business faculty for preparing him to win the award and to successfully enter the accounting field.

“Fairmont State’s accounting professors are top of the line. Mrs. Burnell and Dr. T. Jean Engebretson are my go-to people in the accounting department. They prepare you for everything. Mrs. Burnell gives out questions that are CPA oriented to prepare you for the CPA exam. Anytime you need help they are more than willing to help. They are great professors,” he said.

“I wanted a smaller school atmosphere. In choosing a college, I knew Fairmont State was more student-oriented. There are 10 or 15 students in my senior level accounting classes. The smaller class sizes allow you to focus on the material. The teachers know you on a first-name basis. I can text some of my professors. It’s more face to face. You can connect with your professors and not be afraid to go into their offices. Fairmont State is not too big or too small, and it’s student friendly.”