“To be recognized by such an organization is an award in and of itself. This generous endowment to my education is such a blessing because of the financial relief it has given me,” Graham said. “I am passionate about accounting, and this recognition only serves to further drive me in my studies and career.”
The PCAOB scholarship program provides funding to encourage outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a career in auditing, according to the organization’s website.
Each year the PCAOB selects educational institutions and invites them to nominate a student recipient for the scholarship. The student must be enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program in accounting at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university; demonstrate interest and aptitude in accounting and auditing and high ethical standards; and not be a PCAOB employee, child or spouse.
Graham transferred to SFA from Angelina College and quickly adapted to college life. Currently, she works as associate auditor for Axley & Rode, LLP, a certified public accounting firm.
“At one point, I doubted if I was fit for college, but I decided to take the risk and quickly found myself at ease with my studies,” Graham said. “Every step of the way my professors from both Angelina College and SFA have encouraged me to set higher goals for myself and helped me see my potential. In fact, it was because of the nomination by the Schlief School of Accountancy that I was eligible for this scholarship.”
Dr. Kelly Noe, director of SFA’s Schlief School of Accountancy, has worked with Graham while she studied at Angelina College, and Noe served as Graham’s internship supervisor.
“Skylan was impressive from the start, and she has continued to perform at the highest level. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA while working close to full-time hours,” Noe said. “Her dedication and academic aptitude made her a great candidate for the scholarship.”
Graham is enrolled in SFA’s five-year master’s accounting program and hopes to graduate in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Professional Accountancy.
By Kasi Dickerson, senior marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.