Campus Advocate Profile: Frank Shuman
The student chapter at Utah State University is one of IMA’s ongoing success stories. For 18 consecutive years, the chapter has achieved the Gold Level Award of Excellence. For five of those years, including 2013, it’s been named an Outstanding Student Chapter, which is granted to only a few schools each year. That’s quite a track record – and although he’s too modest to admit it, a large portion of the credit goes to Frank Shuman, CMA, pictured left, who’s been the chapter’s faculty advisor (now an IMA Campus Advocate) since that long, successful run began.
Shuman has served on the faculty of USU since the fall of 1992, following a brief career at General Dynamics. He attributes becoming an academic to “being in the right place at the right time” and admits that even when he worked in industry, he was always interested in teaching.
Just prior to starting his academic career, Shuman earned his CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification, which proved a big incentive to his willingness to become the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) student chapter faculty advisor in the fall of 1995.
“I’ve always believed in the CMA certification and in the benefits that it can offer students,” he said. “Unfortunately, management accounting has always been a tough sell because most students want to go into public accounting right after graduation. I’ve always valued the effort that IMA has expended to get students more involved and to make them aware of career opportunities in management accounting.”
As part of his commitment to students, Shuman has attended 11 IMA Student Leadership Conferences, bringing two to six students with him each time. Last November, he brought four.
This past year proved a particularly successful one for the USU chapter. Not only was the chapter named an Outstanding Student Chapter, but it also was honored with awards for best communications, best strategic plan, and best program and activities. In addition, the chapter president and past webmaster, Michael Bills, was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Stuart Cameron & Margaret McLeod Memorial Scholarship (SCMS), a $5,000 award to honor his outstanding academic achievement and contributions to IMA.
When asked why this past year was so remarkable, Shuman observed, “We really had a great group of student officers that worked well as a team. Teamwork is such a big part of what makes a chapter a success. I really consider my role as that of a basketball coach – someone who makes sure that the team is running the plays as it should.”
One tool that has particularly helped Shuman and the student chapter members is the list of requirements needed to earn an Award of Excellence. Shuman said that every year, his chapter uses that list as its planning document. “We take that as the blueprint of what we need to do. Usually, we go above and beyond what’s required, but it provides an excellent framework around which to plan our activities and goals.” Shuman believes the chapter is on track to make it 19 years in a row of earning a Gold Level Award of Excellence in 2014.
As Shuman’s experience illustrates, IMA’s Campus Advocate Program helps professors demonstrate their commitment to the future of the accounting profession by mentoring students and encouraging CMA certification. To become a Campus Advocate, academics are required to receive and disseminate IMA/CMA marketing materials; promote IMA benefits, student membership, the formation of student chapters, and the CMA credential; invite managerial finance and accounting practitioners to speak on campus; and leverage IMA resources to advance the relevancy of the accounting curriculum.
For more information on becoming a Campus Advocate, please visit the IMA Campus Advocate page on IMA’s website. While there, you can also find information about IMA’s webinar series for Campus Advocates, featuring topics such as IMA Endorsement of Higher Education Program and IMA Student Chapters - Ideas for Support and Growth. Interested faculty members are also invited to visit the Campus Advocate Facebook page to network with other Campus Advocates and share ideas.