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Released September 23, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS STUDENT WINS STATEWIDE ACCOUNTNG AWARD

HATTIESBURG - A senior accounting major at The University of Southern Mississippi has been named the recipient of the state's top honor from the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Julie Michelle Keen of Picayune, the daughter of Tommy and Jan Keen, is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor society, and is the vice president of membership for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Keen currently works at Hancock Bank and is an accounting clerk for Gray Co. Systems.

"I am very honored to receive this award; it is truly a blessing. It is so encouraging to have organizations like the MSCPA that are gracious enough to help support my academic endeavors. I look forward to the opportunity to support students through scholarships as this organization has done for me," Keen said.

The award process begins when university scholarship committees throughout the state choose one representative of either junior or senior standing in the field of accounting who exhibits academic excellence. He or she is guaranteed a $1,000 scholarship. The state committees then review all candidates, and one is awarded the MSCPA Hamp King Award and an additional $1,000.

"It is a distinct honor for a scholarship winner to earn the designation as the Hamp King Award winner. Each year, scholarship applications from accounting students across the state are reviewed by the MSCPA awards, education and scholarships committee and only one applicant, based on academic achievement and campus involvement, earns this designation," said Jack Coppenbarger, MSCPA executive director.

Keen will be honored by the MSCPA in a ceremony on Nov. 5 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. Stan Clark, professor of accounting, said this award will bring both Keen and The University of Southern Mississippi recognition.

"Julie is a very strong student with a good attention to detail, which is critical to accounting. Classroom performance has shown her to be a top-notch student. She has proven Southern Miss graduates can compete at the highest of levels," said Clark.

The MSCPA is an active professional organization of over 2,600 certified public accountants working together to improve the profession and better serve the public.

For more information, contact Jana Bryant at (601) 266-5854.

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October 22, 2004 5:47 PM