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The Science of Gratitude

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Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and now is a perfect time to reflect on the meaning of this holiday – giving thanks. Isn’t that a wonderful idea? Place thankfulness at the top of your list, front of mind. The upcoming national holiday is a chance for all of us to take a moment, with family, friends and ourselves, and think about everything we are thankful for this year. This concept is important, both on this special day and in our everyday careers and lives. Did you know there is a science behind gratitude?

Those who express gratitude on a regular basis are said to feel more positive emotions, sleep better and express a deeper sense of compassion and kindness to those around them. When you consider what you are grateful for, what comes to mind? Is it a grand occasion or something that happened to you on the way to work? Research shows that those who regularly practice gratitude increase their well-being, improve their state-of-mind, lower their blood pressure, sleep longer and feel a heightened sense of joy and optimism. So, do not concern yourself with waiting for a major life-change to occur before you feel gratitude, but instead take the time to look around and appreciate the everyday wonders.

New to the idea of practicing gratitude daily? An easy way to maintain your level of gratitude and improve your daily outlook is by keeping a journal. This is a great way to track your thoughts and add to your gratitude list as the day passes. Remember, you can write down anything you are grateful for, no matter how small. Did you receive a free cup of coffee today? Write it down! As you write down these small occurrences, you will notice you have more and more to be grateful for while at school, work or in your personal life.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Scary Workplace Habits Professionals Should Avoid

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As the days of fall carry on, we can’t help but see the signs everywhere – the leaves change color, pumpkin décor is displayed in almost every window, cups of cider in hand and more. Perhaps what is the most fun about fall is the celebration of Halloween. Everyone, from children to adults, can dress up in costumes and enjoy sweet treats. How fun is that!? However, what is a bit scary are some bad habits that professionals can’t avoid in the workplace. Do not fear, for we have some tips and tricks for you!
When in the workplace, be sure your requests come across as wishes (what you would “like” someone to do) and not demands. By changing your tone and approach, you are more likely to get the best out of your coworkers and teammates. Your approach is also a sign of respect. As a leader, be sure to respect those around you and approach each situation in a courteous way.

In addition, be sure to hear those around you and not simply listen in order to respond. When teammates exhibit moments of vulnerability and concern, be sure you are attentive to their needs in order to resolve the situation in the most appropriate way. If someone does not feel heard, he or she is less likely to bring up issues in the future and may delay discussing matters that could easily be resolved.
Lastly, be present. Today, it is very easy to become distracted. With technology and other distractions, our focus can be everywhere. However, it is important to stay focused on the task at hand or conversation taking place. Be mindful of your reactions, moods and tendencies to procrastinate, as they can lead to a distracted day.

Avoiding these bad habits are sure to make your workday less of a fright.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

StudentCPT Alumni Spotlight: Tony Bartolomucci

Meet Tony Bartolomucci, StudentCPT alumnus and FSO assurance staff member at Ernst & Young (EY). In May of 2019, Tony graduated from Ohio University where he served as StudentCPT chapter president. He attended the 2018 StudentCPT Leadership Conference (SLC) in Orlando, FL, led his chapter to Golden Star status, and helped create a winning video for the 2019 Ethics in Action Video Competition. This bright young professional is no stranger to hard work! He also started two companies, I&T Landscaping Inc. and OGLegends Clothing Co., before the age of 22! Learn more about Tony’s time with his StudentCPT chapter, advice he has for current students, what it’s like to be in the corporate world, and much more.

What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities as an FSO assurance staff member?
My day-to-day responsibilities include ongoing collaboration with the client and my team regarding issues or questions we come across during the audit. Right now, I am doing a lot of walkthroughs with the client to gauge the reliability of their accounting systems and internal control. This process includes reviewing and marking many workpapers to identify areas of risk and preparing tactical questions for our meetings with the client.

What is your favorite memory while serving as StudentCPT chapter president?
My favorite memory as StudentCPT chapter president was our involvement in the Ethics in Action Video Competition this past year. We had a great group of people who came together and created a video that demonstrated the importance of ethics in day-to-day activities, and how certain actions can impact those around you. It was so much fun planning and making the video with such an animated group of people. Also, I really enjoyed participating in the community service events each year and providing support within the community. It’s a great way to give back and meet people who I may not have connected with otherwise.

Click here to watch Ohio University StudentCPT’s Ethics in the Small Things winning video. (Views Choice Runner Up- Short Film Category)

How did the StudentCPT help prepare you for your current position?
The StudentCPT prepared me for my current role in several ways. First, the networking experience gained at the SLC was exceptional. I have connections all across the globe now because of the people I met there and can apply this experience for the rest of my life. Next, the StudentCPT helped me understand the importance of ethics in the workplace, and how to effectively identify and respond to difficult ethical dilemmas. Finally, the StudentCPT was one of the biggest points I talked about in each of my interviews and is something that set me apart from my peers. Being a part of this wonderful organization has set me up for success entering the professional workplace and beyond.

If you could go back and share a piece of advice with your 18-year-old self, what would that be?
I would tell my 18-year-old self to go out of the way to meet new people, try new things, and consistently work to be outside of my comfort zone. I would also share this advice with any student who is currently in college or about to embark on the journey. If you set this as a goal for yourself and maintain it, I can guarantee the results will positively impact you for the rest of your life.

Describe your transition from the college campus to the corporate world.
The transition from college to the corporate world was surprisingly smooth for me. I’m the kind of person who needs to be busy in order to be happy, so having a consistent schedule and workload has worked out quite well. It’s a completely different change of pace from college, but it’s been a nice challenge adapting and adjusting to these differences. The only thing I have found difficult is balancing my at-home schedule to include routine exercise, but I am working to improve that deficiency!

Ashley Metivier, Student Programs Manager

Conferences Begin Offering Childcare and Other Services for Parents

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Many parents today are forced to forgo the opportunity to attend a desired conference, miles from home, due to a lack of childcare. For far too long, business professionals with children have had to ask themselves, “Is this trip feasible with a baby or small child?” If the answer is no, they miss out on conferences that offer career-changing opportunities and information, such as breaking developments and industry insights. A recent article shed light on this issue and explained that some conferences are beginning to examine the issue and are committed to making changes.

The 2019 KDD conference, the premier interdisciplinary conference bringing together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics, and big data, introduced childcare services, and subsequently, saw the number of female attendees increase from the previous year. With such positive results, the KDD conference in 2020 will again offer childcare facilities throughout the event.

Many other conferences, in varying industries, are realizing that inclusivity should be a priority. Professionals of young children deserve the opportunity to attend and contribute to conferences, and we must make it possible for them to do so.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Taking a Stand: Michigan is First State to Ban Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes

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To date, seven people have reportedly died from vaping-related causes. These cases stretch across the country, including California, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon. This is a national issue and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is actively working to try and find answers.

In the meantime, it was announced that Michigan is the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to help curb potential use amongst teens. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules that immediately ban the sale of flavored vaping products that contain nicotine, both in store and online. Furthermore, her office announced that she will limit the marketing of such products. The objective is to prevent these companies from marketing their products as “clean,” “safe” or “healthy.”

Gov. Whitmer’s imposed six-month ban can be renewed for another six months, if deemed necessary. According to a September 2019 Time Magazine online article, the CDC identified 380 confirmed and probable cases of lung disease associated with vaping in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“As governor, I’m going to do it unilaterally until I can get the legislature to adopt a statute and write it into law,” Gov. Whitmer told MSNBC. “This is too important.”

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

How to Maintain Loyal Employees

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Employers know that the cost of replacing an employee is high. Between time spent interviewing new candidates and leadership’s time away from daily responsibilities, the entire process is costly. Therefore, employee loyalty and longevity are an asset to any company. Organizations fortunate enough to retain top talent for extended periods of time not only benefit financially but may even see improvements in other areas.

The question is, how do you encourage employees to stay loyal to your company and avoid a high turnover rate? One way is to understand your workers. Who is excelling and who appears bored, underwhelmed and not challenged? Focus on the employees who seem restless and do not appear committed. Improve employee outlooks by deciphering the challenges or obstacles that may be preventing them for fully engaging. What is holding them back? You may need to have one-on-one meetings with some of your staff or initiate other popular methods of investigation that include surveys and anonymous questionnaires.

When leading employees toward success, it is important to give them the opportunity to shine. When employees feel as though they are contributing to the collective good, by using their skills, they feel valued and respected. You want your employees to feel needed, and their experience and skills are being recognized and appreciated. If your team feels needed by you, they may not feel the need to go elsewhere.

Company culture is another key aspect of employee retention. Create an environment that breathes warmth, kindness, tolerance and patience. One way to do this is by emphasizing collaborations. Whether on projects that include most of your team, or are much smaller in size, collaborations are a great way for team members to feel their voices are being heard and they are contributing to the success of the company.

Lastly, be a good listener. Questions, concerns and personal matters are unavoidable in the office. To improve employee outlook, you must also improve working conditions, and this includes the ways in which matters are addressed. Listen to your staff and understand what it is that they want, fear or desire. You may not be able to resolve every concern, but you can be present and make sure they feel heard and comfortable speaking up when a matter does arise.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

Sunday, October 27, 2019 – CPT Ethics Workshop

Earn 2 hours of behavioral ethics CPE at the NASBA Center for the Public Trust’s Ethics Workshop.

Date: October 27, 2019 (3:30p.m.-5:30p.m.)
Location: The Westin Copley Place – Boston, MA (America South 4th Floor)
Presenter: NASBA Center for the Public Trust
Presentation Title: Ethical Leadership: The True Sustainable Leadership

Session Description:

In this engaging and interactive session, participants will be introduced to a new and effective model for ethical decision making. During the session, participants will engage with each other while learning how to identify and resolve difficult, but common ethical issues. Participants will gain greater insight on how to empower those around them to lead with ethics and integrity. The True Sustainable Leadership educational program is prefect for leaders at all levels of an organization.

Conference Policies:

No fee is required to attend this conference.

For more information regarding program concerns and/or cancellation policies, please contact our offices by sending an email to

cpe2The Center for the Public Trust is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


  • No fee is required to attend this workshop
  • Workshop attendees can earn up to 2 Behavioral Ethics CPE credits
  • Email to register

Additional Information


No prerequisites are required to attend this workshop.

Who Should Attend?

  • Accounting Professionals
  • Ethics and Compliance Officers
  • Finance Professionals
  • Legal Professionals
  • Medical Professionals
  • Sales and Marketing Professionals
  • HR Training Staff
  • Managers and Directors with Direct Reports
  • Corporate Executives

Advanced Preparation:

No advanced preparation will be needed before attending this workshop.

Program Level:


Delivery Method:


This workshop is hosted by the NASBA Center for the Public Trust

Tips for Your Next Job Interview

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Now that you are ready to become an ethical leader in the workplace, you must first ace the job interview before you set off on your successful career path. Many can attest to the fact that the interviewing process can be stressful, intimidating and even a bit confusing. However, with preparation and anticipation, you can avoid the perspiration. How can you prepare before the big day? Below are a few tips and tricks to review before your next job interview.

First, it is important to do your research on the organization or firm that will be interviewing you. Understand the company’s history, strengths, competitors and what sets it apart, just to name a few. This step is crucial as it will prepare you for the many different questions you may be asked and will help you familiarize yourself with the company.

To anticipate questions you may be asked, there are a few things you can do. Be sure to put yourself in interviewer’s position and ask yourself, “To fill this role, what might they want to know about me?” This may be an opportunity to recall many of your successes or achievements you would like to highlight. Additionally, be sure to research commonly used interview questions online. There is no guarantee these questions will be asked during your interview, but it can help get you into the mind of an interviewer.
Remember, being punctual is key! Being “on time” does not mean arriving at the exact time of your scheduled interview, it means arriving between five and 10 minutes early. This allows enough time for the receptionist to alert your interviewer and have you fill out necessary forms, if applicable.

Understand that the interview process can be challenging. If you remain calm, do your research, prepare and arrive on time, you’ll be better equipped to put your best foot forward. The world is waiting to see what you can do, so go with gusto!

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist

2019 CPT Golf Classic

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Ethics Matters

July/August 2019

On July 8, the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) hosted a golf fundraiser at The Governor’s Club in Brentwood, TN. Twelve teams competed in a scramble tournament to help support student chapter programs across the nation. Those in attendance included current and past chair of the CPT, Donny Burkett and David Costello (2012 – 2018), current members of the NASBA Board of Directors, Jimmy Burkes (Treasurer) and Mike Fritz (Secretary), past chair of NASBA, Michael Daggett (2010 – 2011), NASBA employees, and business professionals representing the Middle Tennessee area.

Special thanks to the event sponsors, hole sponsors and players: RN’B PARTS, CGI, Smokin sensations.

If you are interested in participating in next year’s tournament, please contact Sara Urbaniak at or for sponsorship and event details.

Student NEWS

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Ethics Matters

July/August 2019

Do you want to start a StudentCPT Chapter in your state? Contact Ashley Metivier, Student Programs Manager,

See Why Herb Chain, Assistant Professor at St. John’s University, Incorporates the Ethical Leadership Certification Program Into His Classes.

“I have required my students to complete the NASBA Center for the Public Trust’s Ethical Leadership Certification Program as part of our graduate accounting degree capstone course, Accounting Ethics and Professionalism.

I have found it to be a valuable supplement to our class discussions and required preparation materials, and recommend its incorporation into other, similar courses.”

Herbert M. Chain, MBA, CPA
Assistant Professor
St. John’s University
Retired Deloitte Partner