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Financial Executives International honors accounting students
April 02, 2013

Financial Executives International (FEI) Detroit chapter honored master of science in accounting student James Ciennik IV and undergraduate accounting and finance major Olta Sota on March 14 at the Detroit Athletic Club. The Financial Executives International Academic Award recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students with degrees emphasizing accounting or finance.

“When I found out that I had been selected as a recipient of the FEI award, a wave of shock washed over me,” Ciennik said. “I immediately began to reflect on my experiences at WSU and how they have shaped me into the individual I am. WSU has presented endless opportunities [for me] to accomplish my personal and professional goals and has put me in the position to be considered for such an award.”

Students from six universities, including WSU, receive this award annually. FEI selects two students, one undergraduate and one graduate, for this honor. Professors at the universities nominated the students.

“Being recognized as a high-performing student in the fields of accounting and finance gives me great strength and confidence to continue to pursue these fields once I graduate,” Sota said. “More so, this award means that all the hard work that I put in throughout my time at WSU has been noticed by academia.”

Ciennik and Sota considered reasons for being nominated.

In 2010, Ciennik was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma; however, he was still able to complete the semester while maintaining dean’s list status.

“I feel that my ability to overcome adversity resonated with the faculty committee. During my battle with cancer, I chose to attack the disease and my school work with a positive attitude and a ‘will-to-win at all costs’ mentality,” Ciennik said.

He has celebrated two years cancer free.

“Being a part of the Business Student Senate, a founder of WSU’s chapter of the Financial Management Association and peer mentoring allowed me to show professors, who I did not have for classes, my work ethic and ambition,” Sota said.

“They are outstanding students and I am proud that they received this recognition,” said Margaret Williams, interim dean of WSU’s School of Business Administration. “It is always an honor to see our students excel and be recognized for all the hard work they do both inside and outside the classroom.”

Since 1931, Financial Executives International has aided public and private senior-level financial executives with financial solutions through independent research.