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Professor Ed Scott Builds Awareness of Accounting Careers

acap_rial_190The Point
Fall 2014

Alumnus Edward Scott (BUS 1989), the George Rowland White Endowed Professor of Accounting and Finance at Point Park, says he never had the pleasure of meeting George White, who died in January 2012, but did have the opportunity to interact with Kathleen White after his arrival on campus in 2012.

White attended one of his first campus presentations, and afterward made a point to compliment him. “She came up to me and said that she knew I would do well here because I’m a good communicator,” recalls Scott. “It was great to receive that comfort and support, particularly from the person who made it possible for me to return to Pittsburgh and Point Park.”

After spending many years in the corporate world, including serving as vice president of international purchasing for the Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCSR), Scott says he believes he is “doing what he was always meant to do” by focusing his career on teaching.

In addition to courses in accounting at the School of Business, he also leads the Urban Accounting Initiative to encourage education and careers in accounting and finance, particularly among young minority students. In summer 2014, Point Park hosted the second annual Accounting Careers Awareness Program (ACAP), welcoming 22 students from high schools across the Pittsburgh region.

As part of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., ACAP’s goal is to increase understanding among high school students in underrepresented minority groups about the field of accounting and its career opportunities. Scott is the leader of the six-day program, which includes a full schedule of educational, networking and recreational activities.

Throughout the week, students heard from guest speakers presenting on a variety of topics from financial literacy and accounting careers to public speaking and essay writing. Students also attended a business etiquette workshop dinner with local business professionals and toured several public accounting firms in the city. Fun activities round out the week, which wraps up with a closing ceremony featuring student presentations and awards.

"Job growth and strong compensation packages are common in the accounting profession. We want to get the word out to young people about these opportunities," says Scott. He also makes a point to talk to the students about his life and what led him to where he is today. He recounted the struggles and triumphs of his high school and college years, and the people who inspired him to enter the accounting profession. "You always have a need for mentors in your life," he told the students.

The program is already bearing fruit, according to participants. “My week was very exciting. I got to see what an accountant does and how many big corporations there are in Pittsburgh,” according to Tanisha Debold, a student at Pittsburgh’s Urban Pathways Charter School who took part in ACAP 2014. “I learned that each type of accountant is very different. This week opened my eyes to what I can do. I’m definitely considering accounting.”

Photo by Martha Rial.
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