Stetson Graduate Student in Accounting Receives National Scholarship

Adeline Weems

A student in the Stetson Master of Accountancy program has received a $10,000 merit scholarship and been named a PCAOB Scholar for the 2020-21 academic year.

Adeline Weems received the scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a nonprofit corporation that oversees auditors. Weems earned her bachelor’s degree from Stetson in December, graduating with a double major in accounting and finance.

Afterward, she interned with Ernest & Young in Orlando and enrolled in the Stetson MAcc program. Now, she has been hired by EY and will start work as an auditor in Orlando in January, shortly before graduating with her master’s degree next spring. 

She said she was very surprised to learn that she had been nominated for the scholarship by the accounting faculty.

“Honestly, I was shocked. I had no idea I had such a reputation within the Accounting Department,” she said.

The scholarship came at an opportune time for Weems. She currently is taking the four-part CPA exam, which costs $300 per exam and requires review materials that typically cost about $3,000. In addition, she is finishing her master’s degree and wondered how she would afford tuition on top of the exam expenses.

“I was trying to figure out how I was going to piece it together. And then finding out that a check was going to be in the mail was just unbelievable and it took a huge weight off my shoulders trying to get through the rest of this year,” she said.

Educational institutions nominate students for the scholarship, which is funded by monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB in its disciplinary proceedings. Last year, another graduate student in the Stetson MAcc program, Robert Connell, won the $10,000 national scholarship.

The scholarships are “highly selective” and recognize exceptional students who are likely to become accountants and auditors.

“Adeline Weems has been an outstanding student in our accounting programs, and embodies the criteria associated with the PCAOB Scholars program,” said Maria Rickling, PhD, chair of M.E. Rinker, Sr. Institute of Tax and Accountancy, and director of the MAcc program. “She not only demonstrates a strong aptitude in accounting and auditing, but is an excellent communicator, exhibits high ethical standards in her leadership and work ethic, and is on a trajectory to be very successful in the profession.   

Maria Rickling, PhD

“She is a pleasure to have as a student in the M.E. Rinker, Sr. Institute of Tax and Accountancy and I couldn’t be more pleased that Adeline was selected to be a recipient of this highly selective scholarship,” Rickling said.

The 21-year-old Weems credited the Accounting program for her success.

“The Accounting Department at Stetson was absolutely phenomenal. For the longest time, I was planning on going the finance route and had accounting as my backup. But I could give you a list of professors who just did more than go out of their way for me and really made it possible for me to go the accounting route. I really do attribute all of my success to that department,” she said.

A transplant from Colorado who didn’t like the cold, Weems said she hopes to be in the “forefront” of her profession in the use of data analytics, information systems and advanced technology.

“Even though accounting is considered a long-lived profession, where nothing really changes, I think what a lot of people don’t know is that a lot is changing,” she said.