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August 11, 2009
By Claudene Wharton
Danielle Farris, a University of Nevada, Reno College of Business accounting student, is the first Nevada student ever to be awarded the prestigious title of William G. McGowan Scholar. This is the first year that the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business has been designated as a McGowan Scholar Institution, and the College is one of only 82 institutions in the country to receive the designation this year.
Named in recognition of William G. McGowan, a pioneer in the telecommunications industry, as well as founder and longtime chair of MCI Communications Corp., the McGowan Scholars program provides a small group of select colleges and universities with scholarships to assist their top students pursuing a business education. The program recognizes leadership and academic excellence of students nationwide and will provide Farris a full-tuition scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year.
A committee of University of Nevada, Reno business faculty selected Farris from a group of students nominated by each department within the College of Business. The committee reviewed each student’s academic performance, evidence of success in leadership roles, and essay submissions detailing the candidate’s career aspirations and the contributions of William G. McGowan to today’s business world and to the telecommunications field.
Farris, a senior entering Nevada’s masters of accountancy program in the fall, is the president of the Beta Alpha Psi accounting fraternity and serves on the College’s Accounting Advisory Board. She has volunteered her time to help low-income residents file tax returns and has been involved in Greek life at the University. Farris’ goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). In order to take the CPA exam, she needs 150 college credits, so she set her sights on graduate school.
“The funding issue was going to be a struggle, so I was hoping something would come up,” she said. “I was going to be left paying for graduate school myself, and this will now pay for the entire year.”
Farris is especially grateful for the financial assistance because she says it will allow her to stay involved in other school activities, instead of having to work full-time.
“This will allow me to still be involved in other activities in college,” she said. “I think it’s important to be involved and to broaden your horizons outside of the classroom.”
Farris is a Las Vegas native and earned the Millennium Scholarship, so she knew she wanted to stay in state for college.
“When I visited the campus in Reno, I loved the atmosphere and the college feel,” she said. “I really liked UNR, and it was an easy decision after my visit. I knew I wanted to go here.”
Farris says she is glad to continue her graduate education at Nevada, commenting that, “The professors are great and always willing to help.”
After graduate school, she hopes to work her way to the top of a large accounting firm and stay in Reno.