Eastern Michigan University student chapter of National Association of Black Accountants honored as one of four best in the country

National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), EMU Chapter

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and its president, recent EMU graduate Brionna Bryant, have been honored as one of four outstanding chapters in the country for 2020.

The notification came this month, from Walter J. Smith, president and CEO of the NABA, congratulating Eastern’s chapter for its outstanding campus engagement, student conference involvement, timely reporting and overall student leadership.

“Your dedication, commitment and talents are invaluable assets to NABA, and your efforts were recognized by your peers,” Smith wrote to Bryant.

Bryant and Eastern’s chapter were recognized at the virtual 2020 National Convention and Expo, held earlier this month.  Bryant graduated from EMU this year and is heading to The Ohio State University to pursue a graduate degree in accounting.

Great opportunities for chapter members

“This recognition is a wonderful and richly deserved tribute to the phenomenal work Brionna and faculty advisor Anthony Kurek (a full-time lecturer in accounting), have done to make our NABA chapter the best anywhere and to create unprecedented opportunity for its members,” said Kenneth Lord, dean of the EMU College of Business.

“I am extremely proud of my work in NABA over the last 4 years,” Bryant said. “Having served as the community service chair, vice president, and two terms as president, I am thrilled with the impact that was created, the volunteerism provided to the community, and the various opportunities bestowed upon our members. I am looking forward to seeing what the new leadership team has in store, and will be there to provide support along the way, exemplifying our motto ‘Lifting As We Climb.’

The annual winners of the award are chosen from four regions around the country. Student chapters are nominated by professional chapter presidents to the regional president.

Exceptional leadership

Kurek says that since he took over as faculty adviser of the EMU NABA chapter four years ago, two students have each served two-year stints as president of the club. Those were Jaleah White for the first two years and Bryant for the most recent two. White graduated in April through the 150-hour accounting program, earning both her bachelor’s of business administration in accounting and master of science in accounting degrees simultaneously.  She is starting as a full-time staff accountant in public accounting with Plante & Moran in Southfield.

“In this short time, these two, along with a select few other outstanding student executive-board members, have helped to grow NABA from what was, essentially, an organization on hiatus, to what can now officially be described as an award-winning organization,” Kurek said. “Brionna, especially, has been instrumental to the success of NABA during this time, and this honor is evidence of that. 

“She is truly going to be missed.  Ohio State is gaining a superstar in Brionna, and I, along with her successors, have a lot of work ahead of us to fill her shoes.”

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

July 15, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom