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SCPT Launches Chapters in Knoxville and Newark (Jan/Feb 2012)

This past fall, the Student Center for the Public Trust (SCPT) headed to "Rocky Top" Tennessee and Newark, New Jersey.

Peyton Sweeney-UTK Chapter President

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UT) became the third university to establish an SCPT chapter. Student leaders hosted a lively kick-off meeting on October 27, joining Lipscomb University as the second school in Tennessee to boast a student chapter.

"We’re really excited to work with the University of Tennessee to establish our second SCPT chapter in the state of Tennessee," said Alfonzo Alexander, incoming President and CEO of the Center for the Public Trust (CPT). "We see tremendous potential with the University of Tennessee chapter because of its strong reputation with its business school, in particular among the university’s accounting leadership."

Stella Continanza-Rutgers Chapter President

Earlier that same month, an informational session about the Student CPT chapter benefits was held at Rutgers

University in Newark, New Jersey, now the fourth university to establish a Student CPT chapter. On November 30, the second of two visits was made to Rutgers for their highly successful inaugural membership meeting where 28 students attended.

"Rutgers University will prove to be one of our strongest chapters," said Amy Walters, Manager of Programs for the Center for the Public Trust. "This chapter is led by a diverse group of strong student leaders representing various majors including accounting, finance and marketing."

One of the many benefits of belonging to a chapter of the SCPT is getting a hearty introduction to the business world through learning about the experiences of some of its most well-respected denizens. Alexander, who is also the Chief Relationship Officer of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), gave inspiring talks at both meetings on keys to success in the business world.

At the University of Tennessee meeting, he also offered great advice to those in attendance about leadership success and which companies to target during job searches. The Rutgers University meeting finished up with an engaging question and answer session about resolving conflict through collaboration as opposed to compromise.

As Chief Relationship Officer of NASBA (recognized as one of Nashville’s Best Places to Work), Alexander oversees several important departments, including Human Resources, Communications, Marketing and Information and Research. Alexander is the perfect example of the caliber of meaningful and inspiring speakers the SCPT is able to provide for chapter meetings.

Walters also spoke about additional benefits of the SCPT during the chapter meetings, including leadership development, networking opportunities and community service – things that will benefit students both during school and after graduation.

In June 2012, the SCPT will also host a Student Leadership Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference will occur alongside the NASBA Eastern Regional Meeting.

"The Student Leadership Conference is a tremendous opportunity for students to mingle and network with fellow students and professionals attending NASBA’s Eastern Regional Meeting," said Walters.

Twenty-one college students, including UT-Knoxville Chapter President Peyton Sweeney, Rutgers Chapter President Stella Continanza, and Rutgers officers Adrian Budny and Tyrone Heggins attended the inaugural Student Leadership Conference last year in Point Clear, Alabama. In its second year, attendance at the 2012 Leadership Conference is expected to grow significantly.

If those benefits weren’t enough, students nationwide also have a shot at winning some money. The SCPT is gearing up for its second "National Ethics in Action" Video Competition. The Competition offers students a chance to flex their creative muscles, demonstrating how they see, interpret and portray ethics and ethical issues of today. Selected videos have a chance of winning cash prizes, with $1,000 going to the first place submission. The Competition, sponsored by The Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity at Lipscomb University, officially launched January 17, 2012.

SCPT chapters focus on educating and engaging future business leaders on ethics, accountability and integrity. The chapters are interdisciplinary, student-run organizations committed to understanding, addressing and promoting ethics. More information about the SCPT can be found on its website at