IMA’s initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion (D&I) continue to achieve new milestones. Last month, Coppin State University, located in Baltimore, became the first HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to establish an IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) student chapter on campus.

According to Linda Devonish-Mills, CMA, CPA, CAE, IMA director of diversity and inclusion, the establishment of the chapter is the result of a collaborative outreach between members of IMA’s D&I Committee – specifically Mills and committee chair Derek Fuzzell, CMA, CSCA, CPA – that began more than two years ago. Mills and Fuzzell established a connection with Coppin State University accounting professor Loretta Baryeh, which led to an on-campus visit by Fuzzell in 2018.

Explained Mills, “A targeted outreach to faculty, as well as students, at HBCUs aligns with IMA’s D&I initiative. Through outreach such as establishing IMA student chapters on campuses, we are helping to develop a diverse leadership pipeline, which includes informing students about the benefits of IMA membership and earning the CMA certification.”

Mills noted the importance of establishing personal connections, as she sees a clear link between outreach that begins with discussions with faculty members at HBCUs and those who develop stronger connections with IMA. Those discussions often start with exploring the IMA Higher Education Endorsement Program, which has led to extending invitations to faculty and students to attend IMA’s annual student leadership conferences and, in the case of Coppin State, establishing an IMA student chapter.

The establishment of this new student chapter is also part of a broader initiative to inform faculty at schools in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area about a generous scholarship from IMA’s Nation’s Capital Chapter and the Potomac & Chesapeake Council, where Fuzzell serves on both boards. The chapter and council will sponsor up to 200 nonmember students to attend IMA’s annual student leadership conference, which includes one year of IMA membership. Currently, approximately 100 students from Morgan State University, University of the District of Columbia, and Coppin State – all HBCU schools – have registered to attend; registrations are also expected from students at three other HBCU schools: Hampton University, Howard University, and Bowie State University. Twenty-six students from Coppin State are currently registered.

To learn more at Coppin State University, please visit More information about IMA’s D&I activities can be found on the Diversity & Inclusion webpage.