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Monday, February 24, 2020 - 12:15pm

Denise Stefano, associate professor of accounting and accounting program chair at Mercy College, was recently nominated to serve a three-year term of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) as an At-Large Board member. Official elections for board member positions, and other leadership roles, will take place in May at the association’s annual meeting. In this role, Stefano would continue to help lead the premier professional association for certified public accountants (CPA) in New York, and oversee policies and programs aimed at growing the CPA industry.

Since the organization’s inception in 1897, NYSSCPA has provided educational and networking opportunities for current and prospective CPAs. Membership of the association includes CPE courses and conferences, relevant publications and journals and committee opportunities with in-depth focuses and specializations. Today, NYSSCPA consists of more than 24,000 CPAs, lawyers, bankers and other professionals from associated industries.

A member of the NYSSCPA for 20 years, Stefano has risen in the ranks to hold numerous leadership positions, most recently serving as vice president. Due to her staunch participation, Stefano has keen knowledge of innovations and changes in the field, especially academic initiatives that effect undergraduate program requirements and exams. This firsthand information informs her curriculum, as well as her efforts to connect Mercy students with accounting professionals and facilitate job and internship opportunities.

“As an active member in NYSSCPA, I can be an advocate for the accounting and finance fields, as well as an advocate for my students,” Stefano explained.

In her ninth year as accounting program chair, Stefano has successfully elevated Mercy College’s brand recognition in the accounting and finance marketplace. The NYSSCPA has been crucial in her goal to forge connections with “Big 4” employees, individuals working at the largest accounting firms in the world: Deloitte; PwC; Ernest & Young and KPMG, on behalf of Mercy College. Through these connections, Stefano has opened vast doors for Mercy students’ futures, and many have realized their dreams of achieving employment with top companies in New York City, the center of American finance.

She has also personally benefitted from NYSSCPA membership as she is exposed to some of the most high-level practitioners in the accounting industry. Stefano also appreciates the professional growth and self-development opportunities that NYSSCPA provides, and the success of her published books are due large in part to her association connections. “Involvement with the association has catapulted my career,” Stefano said.

The continued success of her students further motivates Stefano to cultivate connections on behalf of Mercy, help shape industry policies and programs and increase access to opportunities for young people. “There’s nothing I love more than recognizing a bright light in the classroom, breaking them out of their shell, getting them placed at a top company and watching their careers take off,” Stefano reflected.

“It’s enlightening and gratifying to have a hand in changing Mercy students’ lives, especially first-generation students who may have never had these career opportunities elsewhere.”