January 11, 2023

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Students Win Scholarships at National Accounting Competition

zanada-james.jpegZaNada James

javenia-and-louvenia-stephens.jpegJavenia and Louvenia Stephens

madison-canty.jpegMadison Canty


VALDOSTA — A four-student team from Valdosta State University’s Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration recently earned second place honors and $7,000 in scholarship money during Aprio’s 2022 Case Competition for Underrepresented Minorities.

ZaNada James, Madison Canty, Louvenia Stephens, and Javenia Stephens were given one week to solve a specific case — an acquisition involving one company buying a stake of ownership in another company to increase its revenues and expand its sales reach both nationally and internationally. The students were asked to prepare three Schedule K-1s and a Form 1065; provide advisory services for state tax filings, leverage risks, and capital contributions; and prepare a presentation of their findings for competition day.

“I believe the most significant part of the competition was the learning curve that we all faced,” shared ZaNada James of Indianapolis, Indiana, who anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance in May 2023. “Both Louvenia and Javenia had competed in previous case competitions, but Madison and I had not. None of us had taken a corporate tax course either. It was a great experience that allowed us to explore parts of accounting that we hadn't learned about in class and work together in a collaborative setting.”

James learned about the competition during an on-campus social event with Aprio’s Valdosta team during Fall 2022. She approached the other three students about forming a team to represent VSU at the national event.

“This was definitely a great experience,” added Javenia Stephens of Lawrenceville, Georgia. She and her twin sister Louvenia Stephens earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Minor in Human Resource Management from VSU in 2022. They anticipate completing a Master of Accountancy in May 2023.

“This competition taught us to think on our toes, and even if you do not know everything, apply what you have learned and see where it takes you.”

“It taught me to just try, even if you don’t think you know the answer,” said Madison Canty of Atlanta, Georgia, who anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in May 2023. “You are more than you think you know. This was an amazing team to work with.”

VSU is committed to promoting a culture of excellence by fostering student success in and out of the classroom. Experiential learning opportunities like the Aprio Case Competition help students by developing their self-confidence and leadership skills, expanding their knowledge and abilities, and preparing them for a meaningful and successful career after graduation.

Aprio is a global business advisory firm with nine locations throughout Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and New Jersey. Fourteen teams participated in the company’s third annual tax and advisory concepts challenge.  

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