Business Student Group Honored for Service and Involvement

Jun. 3, 2013

Whether it is helping low-income taxpayers get refunds or sorting Christmas toys for needy children or helping prepare the next generation of Pan-Asians to become business leaders – Ascend student organization members stayed true to their motto: “Connect. Inspire. Ascend.”

Ascend VITA Volunteers, UT Dallas

Students Help Needy Tax Filers Get Refunds

UT Dallas students with the award-winning Ascend student organization volunteered with the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program to help needy taxpayers maximize their IRS refunds before the April 15 deadline.  read more

The Asian-based student organization recently was named the Outstanding Student Organization of the Year award out of more than 220 groups on campus. The University’s Student Organization Center recognized the group for professional development, campus involvement and community service.

Ascend’s UT Dallas chapter president, Summer (Ruolin) Wang, attributes the success to the quality and quantity of the group’s programs.

“In the past year, Ascend has held many events and workshops to help students on campus develop soft skills and expose them to more professionals,” Wang said. “Also, Ascend plays the role of stage between students and the community. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program gets accounting students involved with the community, and both sides benefit."

Ascend also helps its officers and members develop their communication and teamwork skills, she said.

Ascend at the UT Dallas Homecoming Parade

Ascend members joined the Homecoming Parade last fall.

“The support we have received from the University, the Naveen Jindal School of Managment, Ascend’s professional chapter and members of an organization that partners with us on several initiatives – the Accounting Leadership Association (ALA) – all contributed to this award,” said Ascend advisor and accounting Senior Lecturer Mary Beth Goodrich. “I am so privileged to work for a university so committed to the total development of students, not just their academic development.”

Ascend, said Goodrich, during the last eight years has grown to about 240 members, making it one of the largest student groups on campus. Striving to prepare future Asian finance, accounting and business leaders, the group offers mentorship programs, leadership training, resume and interview critique, company visits, networking events, professional development courses and volunteer opportunities.

As its students have continued to build a better, stronger organization and membership quickly began to expand, Ascend began forming numerous committees equipped to coordinate the growing number of events and help operate the organization.

“We want to build connections through fun activities, volunteer activities and professional activities. We want to inspire each other, and with this, 'ascend' and get better.”

Mary Beth Goodrich,
senior lecturer and
Ascend’s faculty advisor

“I believe Ascend’s success lies in getting committees to work together on initiatives. There has been great strength in spreading out the work that needed to be done,” said Goodrich, who is also a senior accounting lecturer in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

The UT Dallas Ascend chapter is one of 28 student chapters in the U.S. and Canada. There are 16 professional chapters nationwide and in Canada.

“Our chapter experienced huge growth during the past year. I think one aspect of that growth was that our team worked hard to market our organization and expand Ascend to all majors in the Jindal School, not just accounting majors. We set our goal to enhance the reputation of Ascend, and our students became more and more motivated to get involved in organization activities,” Wang said.

“Our motto says it all: Connect. Inspire. Ascend. We want to build connections through fun activities, volunteer activities and professional activities. We want to inspire each other, and with this, 'ascend' and get better,” Goodrich said. “If there is some type of activity that can help us do any of these three, we participate.”


Media Contact: Jill Glass, UT Dallas, (972) 883-5989, jglass@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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September 1, 2014