Students from the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) student chapter at Athens State University recently enjoyed an exclusive opportunity: the chance to attend a professional one-day workshop, thanks to the chapter’s ongoing and good relationship with the IMA Gulf South Regional Council.

According to student chapter faculty advisors Dr. Diann Hammon, CPA, and Emily Corzine, CMA, CPA, the workshop provided students with a great educational experience. More than 30 students were able to attend, along with four faculty members from the Athens State accounting department.

Pictured below are members of the Athens State accounting department [from l. to r.]: Professor Chris Nelson; Professor Stacie Hughes, department chair; Professor Corzine; Dr. Hammon; and Dr. John Berzett.

Athens State

The workshop was held on Friday, February 21, at a hotel close to the Athens State campus in Athens, Ala. It ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and featured several guest speakers. The morning sessions included presentations on employment law updates and a discussion about immigration law best practices. Gulf South Council President John Redmond led a session on how to handle ethical situations that arise in the workplace. He also discussed how to address the ethical challenges around family members who are coworkers.

Following lunch, Ed Reed from the Alabama Securities Commission provided insight on the laws of buying and selling stock in the state of Alabama. He also discussed cryptocurrencies. The event concluded with a talk by Bruce Henderson from the law firm Phelps, Jenkins, Gibson & Fowler. He covered topics related to human resources, including payroll taxes, immigration laws, and how to handle harassment in the workplace.

“We’re very grateful to the Gulf South Council for hosting this event close to campus,” noted Hammon. “They hold these events at regular intervals, and they understand how difficult it is for our students to attend. They were willing to arrange this meeting at a location that was easy for our students, and it afforded them a great opportunity to interact with practitioners and gain valuable educational insights.”

Added Corzine about the event, “IMA really made it affordable for the students. The cost for them was just $20, and our chapter was able to pay for half of that. For just $10, the students really got to learn so much from the experience.”

Accounting department professors also made attendance worthwhile for students: Those who attended received extra credit.

The experience clearly made an impression on the student attendees. Noted Savannah Smith, secretary of the Athens State student chapter, “The conference was a day filled with inspiring speakers and stimulating discussions that enabled many of us to increase our understanding of ethics, securities, and human resource obligations.”

“I’m so grateful for the Gulf South Council for giving us this sensational learning opportunity,” said Tiffanie Duke, another student chapter member who serves as communications director. “It was such a privilege to attend this conference, which was not only educational but allowed us students to interact with professionals in the field.”

With more than 70 members, the IMA student chapter on the campus of Athens State is very active. For more information about the IMA student chapter at Athens State, please visit