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Ways to Practice Gratitude

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In October, the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) hosted its annual fundraiser in conjunction with NASBA’s 116th Annual Meeting in New York, NY. As a new employee with NASBA and it being my first fundraiser with the CPT, I wasn’t sure what to expect in the way of proceeds raised and the overall success of the event.

Our fundraiser was themed “Cuffed for a Cause.” A total of 10 ethical leaders within NASBA were invited to participate in the fundraiser and agreed to be handcuffed, taken into custody and held in the “CPT Jail” for silly ethical violations, until they each reached their fundraising goal (i.e., bail) of $2,000 in donations.

Our 10 participants did an amazing job soliciting contributions from their family, friends, colleagues and fellow Board of Accountancy members, making the “2023 Cuffed for a Cause” fundraiser the biggest in CPT history.

As donations poured in and we skyrocketed past our goal, I began to think about the gift of giving and how giving is a form of gratitude.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation and kindness. Each day presents us with an opportunity to express appreciation and kindness. Holding the door open for the person behind you, leaving an extra tip to the extraordinary server for their service, or writing a thank you note to someone who’s made a difference in your life, are all ways to practice gratitude.   Whether giving a donation, feeding the unhoused or volunteering one’s expertise, being willing to share what we have with others, big or small, all serve as examples of ways to outwardly express gratitude. While gratitude can be shown any day of the year, the holiday season is an especially great time to practice this form of gratitude.

-Sharrona Reaves, Director of Programs and Development

How to Celebrate World Kindness Day 

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November 13 is World Kindness Day! World Kindness Day began in 1998 and was started by the World Kindness Movement. This organization was formed in 1997 when Japan brought kindness organizations from across the globe together at a Tokyo conference. Currently, the organization is comprised of over 28 countries.  World Kindness Day is observed in multiple countries, such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.  

The purpose of World Kindness Day is to highlight and encourage good deeds in communities across the world. The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) believes that ethics matters and that without kindness, there can be no ethics. Here are a few ways to inspire kindness in the workplace this year: 

  • Smile at a coworker as you pass by 
  • Write positive messages on sticky notes and leave them around the office 
  • Hold the door or the elevator for someone 
  • Ask your coworker about their day before jumping into a meeting discussion 
  • Send encouraging messages to your team members 
  • Pay for a coworker’s coffee 
  • Bring in treats for the office  
  • Let your coworkers know you appreciate their efforts 

Be sure to celebrate the good deeds that others do and show some kindness around your workplace today and every day!  

-Gia Tims, Communications & Digital Media Specialist

Don’t Be Afraid to Do the Right Thing 

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As a young professional, it is important to understand your role to effectively complete the tasks assigned when at work. You also must understand the corporate culture and be aware of ethical dilemmas that can derail your career. 

A Harvard study of young professionals uncovered alarming data. Young professionals aged 30 and younger with two to five years of work experience surveyed shared that there was a prevalence of ethical issues in the workplace, many of which were justified by co-workers and leaders in the organization. Because there is a lack of deep mentoring, young professionals expressed that it can be challenging making the right decisions when leadership is encouraging them to do something totally opposite and unethical. 

Ethical decision making is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. Imagine being a young professional in an environment where ethical dilemmas are prevalent and the leadership team is aware, but they turn a blind eye because business is going well and driving profits. How do you hold firm to ethical behavior when it seems that others are being rewarded for bending the rules? 

The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) provides ethics training for students and professionals to give them the tools needed to make ethical decisions. One of the tools used in ethics training is the RAISE Model for Ethical Decision Making. A few of the key components of the RAISE Model are using ethical courage to do the right thing, standing strong even when doing the right thing is not the popular choice, having confidence in decisions and commitment to ethics, and trusting individual processes. Using these components of the RAISE Model for Ethical Decision Making can give young professionals the courage needed to not be afraid to do the right thing.  

If you or your organization would like more information on the RAISE Model for Ethical Decision Making and to schedule a training, please contact the CPT by emailing us at  

-Sedrik Newbern, Consultant, NASBA Center for the Public Trust

Cuffed for a Cause

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The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT), is excited to serve as host to the “Cuffed for a Cause” themed annual fundraiser. The event will be held during NASBA’s 116th Annual Meeting on Monday, October 30, in New York, NY.  The CPT will be revisiting a popular and successful fundraiser originally held in 2014, where over $32,000 was raised in donations to support CPT programming. Not only was the 2014 fundraiser successful in donations, but it was also considered as one of the most memorable fundraisers for the CPT.

As part of this year’s event, 10 of NASBA’s most ethical leaders will be handcuffed and taken into “custody” for silly ethical violations. These violations range from putting decaf coffee in all NASBA break room coffee pots to replacing all the candy at the NASBA Halloween party with fruits and vegetables. The donation goal each ethical violator must reach to be set free by the CPT is $2,000. Ethical violators will be kept in “custody” and remain handcuffed inside of “The CPT Jail” until their donation amounts are reached. As donations come in, onlookers will see how close each violator is to reaching $2,000 and being set free by the CPT, on a big screen TV that will update donations in real time.

By supporting the CPT’s Cuffed for a Cause Campaign, you are supporting the development of ethical leaders. The CPT provides forums for ethics education, affirms and encourages what is ethical, showcases best practices and promotes a positive perspective in the workplace.

With 54 active collegiate chapters, the Student Center for the Public Trust’s (StudentCPT) chapter program spans across the United States, the Virgin Islands and Guam, providing interactive programming to thousands of college students. In addition to impacting college students, the CPT provides virtual and in-person training on ethical leadership for hundreds of professionals each year.

Stay connected with what’s happening at the CPT by visiting, and by following our social media platforms: 



FACEBOOK: NASBA Center for the Public Trust 

LINKEDIN: NASBA Center for the Public Trust

-Sharrona Reaves, Director of Programs and Development

Goal Setting for the School Year

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As you continue through the new semester, it is important to prioritize the tasks ahead. Between classes, assignments and exams, there may be a lot on your mind. Don’t panic! Now is the time to breathe, focus and organize to ensure a successful year.

It will be very helpful if you set SMART goals. What does this mean? SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. Be specific when setting your goals. Get clear on exactly what it is you are working toward. Also, make sure the goal is measurable. Is there a way to measure the success of your goal or its completion? Additionally, make sure your goal is attainable and relevant to you, whether in the area of your education, career or professional growth. And lastly, set deadlines but be realistic. Be sure you have enough time for big goals and don’t give yourself too much time to procrastinate on the smaller ones.

Track your progress. It is crucial to know if you are making any progress and to understand how close or far you are from your goal. It may also be beneficial to have an accountability buddy. Ask someone you know and trust to help you stay on track by checking in with you frequently to ensure you are staying focused and organized. Staying focused, positive and driven, can help you to reach each one of your 2023 goals.

Lastly, remember to try and stay positive because you’ve got this! One way to remain optimistic is to practice positive thinking. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. Try to focus on the good, rather than expect the bad. This may not come naturally, but with practice, this will become second nature. So, through the long study hours, sacrifices and mountains of information, remember to breathe and stay focused and positive.

-Dina Barabash, Content Development & Web Specialist

Better Speaking Creates Better Leading at Any Level

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Ethics Matters

Q3 2023

Speaking effectively is important for leading.  An influential voice is extremely important for ethical leaders who desire to influence more people. Think about it – one of the most effective ways to get people to buy into a concept or follow you as a leader is to articulate points that will inspire them. The good news is that any leader can become a competent, even inspiring, speaker

I continue to learn this valuable leadership lesson through my own actions and those of others. Often, I leave the stage having given a presentation or led a workshop to hear compliments about my leadership ability. In most of these situations, I felt like I was only speaking. However, in my speaking, I was also influencing, which is leading.

Even when I think about famous coaches and business leaders, many of them are labeled great leaders. I would argue that one of the things most of them have in common is they are inspiring others, through speaking and motivating, to give their best. 

Often, leaders speak to instruct. Consider mentors and how they use their words to instruct, advise and teach us to move forward. Even today, one of my mentors teaches me new information about leadership nearly every time we talk. He speaks to me in a way that facilitates learning for me.

Often, leaders speak to encourage. I once took a job at a company that was completely outside of the industries I was familiar with. I never would have considered the industry. However, the CEO invited me to an event and while there, I watched him speak to his employees. He spoke to them with such encouragement that every person at the company treated him like he was their favorite uncle. I went to that company to learn and to be encouraged by a leader who could speak to me in a way that led to my success.

Often, leaders speak to challenge. It is impressive to see a leader masterfully challenge his or her team to get the best performance from them. When I played football in college, one of my coaches challenged me every day in practice. He knew the right things to say to engage my competitiveness and make me excel. He is still one of my favorite coaches of all time.

In conclusion, I challenge you to think about this statement; “You cannot be your best as a leader until you are a speaker.” I encourage you to take a class or join a club focused on improving your public speaking skills. Competence at speaking will help you be a better leader at any level.

How To Best Plan Chapter Meetings

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Need help organizing your chapter meetings? Below is a comprehensive outline for conducting NASBA Student Center for the Public Trust (StudentCPT) meetings. Highlighting expectations and chapter requirements to stay on course for the semester is key to a successful StudentCPT year. Creating a calendar that aligns with what the StudentCPT national office and your campus needs will allow you to run your chapter smoothly. Please feel free to use one of the three templates to track your year. Good luck on your journey to becoming a Golden Star Chapter! 

  • Send contact information to share StudentCPT information.
  • Review officer expectations:
    • President –
    • Vice President –
    • VP of Marketing and Communications –
    • VP of External Outreach and Programs –
    • Secretary –
    • Treasurer –
    • Advisor –
  • Golden Star Chapter requirements
  • Elects officers 
    • Has a minimum of five (5) registered student members
    • Conducts at least four (4) chapter meetings (may be virtual)
    • Participates in at least one (1) StudentCPT-approved community service activity.
    • Submits Activity Reports after each chapter meeting and community service project.
    • Submits Fall and Spring End-of-Semester reports.  
    • Submits Officer Roster
    • Promotes StudentCPT ethics competitions
    • Sends students to the StudentCPT Leadership Conference
    • Conducts at least one (1) additional chapter meeting, community service project, or other StudentCPT-approved activity. 
    • Presents a Campus Being a Difference Award for a deserving student and/or faculty member.
    • Participates in Ethics in Action Video Competition or other StudentCPT-approved ethics competition.
  • Discuss events/get a working calendar in place.
  • Example: The Office Episode
    • Example: Parkinson’s Walk
    • Example: Second Harvest 
    • Example: Networking/etiquette event
      • Funding
      • Timeline
      • Invites
      • Creative thoughts/input/questions
    • Example: Ice cream to start an on-campus conversation about ethics.

-Jasmine Jenkins, Student Programs Manager

The CPT Promotes Ethical Leadership Through Partnerships

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The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) has established great relationships with various organizations to further the importance of ethical decision making. The best examples of this would be the partnerships with the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants (KyCPA) and the Alabama Association of School Business Officials (AASBO). These partnerships bring the mission of the CPT and the power of the RAISE Model for Ethical Decision Making to hundreds of professionals each year.

Every other year, the CPT travels the commonwealth of Kentucky with KyCPA to provide applied learning on ethics for more than 400 accounting practitioners. Additionally, the CPT speaks at other conferences and events hosted by KyCPA, including its Educators Conference that brings together over 100 accounting educators from across the state.

The CPT also partners with the AASBO to speak at their various conferences. These events place members of the CPT in front of hundreds of school business management officials,who are responsible for every financial and operational facet of K-12 public school across the state of Alabama.

The CPT’s partnerships with KyCPA and AASBO are highlights of how the mission of the CPT – to develop, empower and promote ethical leaders – continues to be realized. If your organization would like more information on how to bring the CPT and the RAISE Model for Ethical Decision Making to your audience, please email

-Sedrik Newbern, Consultant, NASBA Center for the Public Trust

Meet Sharrona Reaves!

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Ethics Matters

Q3 2023

Sharrona Reaves serves as director of programs and development for the NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT). In her role, Reaves is responsible for ensuring quality delivery of all CPT professional programs and services, assisting the CPT president with new business and development initiatives, budget preparation and implementation of fundraising efforts. She also serves as the staff liaison to StudentCPT chapter advisors, student officers and chapter members on various campuses. 

Before joining the CPT, Reaves served as general manager for the Rhino Hospitality Group in Savannah, GA, where she developed and implemented standards and practices for the hiring, training and onboarding of 12 fine dining boutique lounges and restaurants. As general manager, Reaves was also responsible for overseeing the management teams and operations at each location.   

In her previous role as a college women’s basketball coach and top recruiter, Reaves was known for successfully implementing standards and overseeing the recruiting operations for some of the top women’s basketball programs in the country. Having the opportunity to help build and establish the West Virginia women’s basketball program to national visibility from 2003-2006 as the recruiting coordinator, Reaves developed a recruiting system that she carried with her while serving as the recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State University and the University of Tennessee. While at Mississippi State, she was a part of the 2010 Sweet 16 team and successfully signed Top 20 recruiting classes. In her role as recruiting coordinator at the University of Tennessee, Reaves helped construct and coordinate the recruiting of an ESPN #1 and #4 class in the nation. After spending 20 years traveling the U.S. and abroad recruiting and building relationships with coaches and administrators, Reaves retired from coaching in 2019.  

Reaves received her degree in communications from the University of Alabama and was a student-athlete on the women’s basketball team. She is also a member of the 1994 Alabama Women’s Basketball Final Four team. A native of Middle Tennessee, Reaves is the mother of two, a son and daughter, and enjoys attending live music events and podcasting in her spare time. 


Good News: Airbnb Helps Hosts Become Greener

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Ethics Matters

Q3 2023

In recently published news, Airbnb announced on its website that it will offer eligible Hosts in Massachusetts up to $2,500 in grants for energy-efficient improvements that can reduce their heating and air-conditioning costs. The company is partnering with Abode Energy Management to support Hosts in Massachusetts on their sustainable home improvement journey. 

According to its press release, as part of its ongoing work to help Hosts act toward sustainability, Airbnb is launching a home energy efficiency program in Massachusetts to help Hosts in the state make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes that will reduce both their carbon footprint and energy bills. To make the home improvements affordable, Abode will help Hosts access rebates of up to $10,000 to convert to air-source heat pumps and additional rebates for weatherization upgrades, depending on eligibility. In addition to the rebates, Airbnb will provide additional grants of up to $2,500. According to its projections, between Airbnb grants and rebates, Hosts in Massachusetts have the potential to lower weatherization project costs by up to 100 percent and reduce heat pump costs by up to $12,000. 

According to the site, in 2022, Airbnb launched similar programs in the United Kingdom and France. Massachusetts marks its first home energy efficiency program in the U.S. and is the latest example of their ongoing work to help Hosts make more sustainable choices. The NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT) is always pleased to hear about these kinds of initiatives around the country. If you know of more examples, please email