By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University’s Master of Accountancy faculty Gary Weber and Sara Melendy will be honored with the 2010 Mark Chain/Federation of Schools of Accountancy Innovation in Graduate Teaching Award at the American Accounting Association’s Conference on Teaching and Learning Aug. 6 (2011) in Denver.
Weber and Melendy will receive the award for their breakthrough Justice for Fraud Victims Project. The initiative started out as a forensic accounting lab last spring semester and rapidly became a valuable community resource for law enforcement and fraud victims. The program will be expanded to help victims in other cities and allow more students nationwide to obtain this valuable experience.
The project has helped victims of financial fraud in several cases where a full forensic accounting investigation would have been too costly and time-consuming. Earlier this year, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick awarded to all involved the Chief’s Citizen Award, the highest honor Spokane’s police chief can bestow on civilians.
College business students today increasingly crave opportunities to apply classroom theory to relieve real-world problems. Students in Gonzaga’s Master of Accountancy program now gain such experience while helping the community through the project.
Melendy said both she and Weber are honored to receive the award and grateful for Gonzaga’s support of innovative teaching methods and new ideas.
“The award recognizes our program as a role model for other schools that have expressed interest in adopting the program,” Melendy said.