FHSU alumnus is one of 10 national honorees for CPA exam excellence

HAYS, Kan. -- Seth Albin, CPA, a 2005 and 2007 graduate of Fort Hays State University, was honored with a reception today at the university's College of Business and Leadership for his accomplishment as a winner of one of the 10 Elijah Watt Sells Awards issued by the American Institute of CPAs for 2010.

The award was announced by the AICPA earlier this year. About 90,000 people took the test that year, said Dr. Charles Gnizak (pronounced KNEE-zack), professor of economics, finance and accounting at FHSU.

"I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to attend FHSU. I've greatly benefited from the high quality educational experience FHSU provided me," said Albin. "I hope this award reflects positively on FHSU as well as the countless faculty, friends and family members who took a personal interest in my life. Above all, I hope that I am able to honor God with all aspects of my life, including this award."

Albin is the chief financial officer at Exacta Aerospace Inc., a leading supplier of high precision aerospace parts and assemblies. Prior to Exacta, Seth was a commercial loan officer with Commerce Bank focusing on the manufacturing sector. He has also worked in public accounting with Kennedy and Coe’s manufacturing group.

"The CPA exam is a daunting professional exam that intimidates many takers," said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Leadership at FHSU. "To place among the top ten test-takers in the nation is akin to winning the national championship in NCAA basketball. This is a remarkable achievement."

The Elijah Watt Sells award program was established in 1923 by the AICPA to recognize outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination. Current criteria call for Sells awards to be presented annually to 10 candidates. These candidates must have completed testing during the previous calendar year and passed all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination on their first attempt, earning the highest cumulative scores. Only one Sells award category currently exists. Plaques from the AICPA are presented to all selected winners.

"Seth's success reflects on his intelligence, the hard work he devoted to preparation and the quality of the accounting program and faculty at Fort Hays State," said Gnizak, who was also one of Albin's professors. "The accounting program has historically been very strong at Fort Hays State and produces alumni who work in public accounting and corporate settings across Kansas and America."

Albin graduated summa cum laude from Fort Hays State University in 2005 with a B.B.A. in accounting. He also earned an M.B.A. in accounting from Fort Hays State in 2007. He was a 2001 graduate of Quinter High School.

He serves on several local boards and is the second vice president for the Wichita Manufacturers Association. He is a member of the Kansas Society of CPAs. He and his wife, Ericka, enjoy helping at their church, NewSpring.

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