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Shafayat Chowdhury ’09 (Centreville, Va.) won first place in the statewide Student Manuscript Writing Contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).

Chowdhury, a mathematics and economics & business double major, is the first Lafayette student to win the award. He entered the contest after Rose Marie Bukics, acting dean of studies and Jones Professor of Economics and Business, offered it as an extra credit opportunity in her Financial Theory class.

“The topic seemed interesting enough to warrant a search on Google,” says Chowdhury. “After looking through the information, I felt that I could learn something by writing the paper.”

He will receive a $2,000 scholarship and the College’s accounting program also will receive a $1,000 prize. In addition, Chowdhury’s article will be published in an upcoming issue of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal, which is sent to all certified public accountants (CPAs) registered in Pennsylvania and is published online.

“I was really happy when Professor Bukics emailed me about the results,” Chowdhury says. “I never expected to win, but the news was definitely welcome. To me, the most important aspect about winning the contest is the fact that my paper will be featured in the Pennsylvania CPA Journal; I see that as much more of an accomplishment than winning a scholarship.”

This year, PICPA’s topic was “Assessing the Impact of Frequent Financial Information Restatements: Does Frequency Lead to Expectation?”

In response, Chowdhury’s winning paper was titled “The Frequency, Trends and Impacts of Earnings Restatements in the Post-Sarbox Era.” The paper discusses the general trends in the frequency of earnings restatements in the post-Sarbox era, as well as the impact these restatements have had on the financial industry.

Chowdhury recommends entering the contest to other Lafayette students.

“The PICPA topics for the past two years were very interesting and educational. Irrespective of whether somebody wins or not, there is much to be learned from the research and writing process itself,” he says. “I learned quite a bit from my research and it complemented my Financial Theory course. It also played a role in building my interest in the world of finance.”

Chowdhury credits Bukics for his interest in accounting and finance.

“If there was one person who I would attribute my success to, it would be Professor Bukics,” he says. “Besides informing me about the contest, she was the one who introduced me to the world of finance and got me interested in accounting and finance. Her Financial Theory course was amazing, and I have probably learned more in that class than in any other class at Lafayette. She is also an excellent adviser, and I was very glad I took her course because it helped me gain the understanding and the context required to write the paper.”

Chowdhury also praises the College Writing Program for helping him hone his writing skills.

“I would say that the mandatory writing courses at Lafayette were also crucial in developing my writing skills,” he explains. “The First-Year Seminar and the Values and Science/Technology (VAST) courses deserve a mention because they encourage writing research papers, and the lab portions of courses such as psychology helped me become familiar with different writing styles and proper methods of citation.”

VAST courses are writing-intensive, interdisciplinary classes that incorporate approaches from the natural and social sciences, humanities, and/or arts in a fundamental way. Each course examines a topic, problem, or issue sufficiently large and complex that there is more than one way needed to look at it. The program’s goal is to help students see and understand science as a functioning part of their daily social world.

Chowdhury will study abroad in Amsterdam next fall. He previously performed EXCEL research with Robert Allan, associate professor of psychology, focusing on the way behavior is organized according to the passage of time. He is a member of Investment Club and International Students Association.

Categorized in: Academic News