Ilitch Business accounting student wins PCAOB scholarship

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has announced its 2022-23 merit-based scholarships, which are awarded to students who show a serious interest in pursuing a career in auditing. Mike Ilitch School of Business student Samantha Tirakian is among this year’s recipients of the $10,000 award.

Tirakian maintains a 3.95 GPA in her accounting major and is a member of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. She qualified for the Ilitch School’s Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program, which allows top students to enroll simultaneously in an undergraduate and graduate program. Tirakian plans to graduate from the Ilitch School with her M.B.A. in May 2023. She currently works in the accounting department for Ebbco, Inc., where she specializes in delinquent accounts. Tirakian also works as a seasonal audit intern for KPMG, LLP, where she will begin working full-time as an audit associate in fall 2023. In recognition of her many accomplishments, she was selected as a member of the Ilitch School’s prestigious 25 Under 25 award class for 2022.

“I am incredibly honored to be a recipient of the PCAOB scholarship,” Tirakian said. “In receiving this scholarship, I can further pursue my dreams of becoming a CPA and promote compliance to protect companies and investors. Above all, the support and acceptance I have received from the accounting faculty at Wayne State is, and continues to be, beyond extraordinary.”

In its 12th year, the PCAOB’s scholarship program aims to provide financial support to one student from each participating academic institution. Funds are made possible through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed in 2002, which requires that monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB in its disciplinary proceedings be used to fund a merit scholarship for students in accredited accounting degree programs. 

Students who qualify for the award must be enrolled in an accounting bachelor’s or master’s program at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university; show appropriate interest and skill in accounting and auditing; and demonstrate high ethical standards. Participating institutions are encouraged to consider awarding students who are typically underrepresented in the accounting field today.

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and the public interest by promoting informative, accurate and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which created the PCAOB, required that auditors of U.S. public companies be subject to external and independent oversight for the first time in history.

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