AICPA Honors University of North Carolina at Charlotte Student with Medal of Inspiration Award

Lauren Peck

Published August 6. 2020

Durham, NC. (August 6, 2020) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce Joyce Chung, an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been awarded Beta Alpha Psi’s Medal of Inspiration Award. 

The award, sponsored by the AICPA, is given to a Beta Alpha Psi student member who has experienced extreme hardships and demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. The award, which was presented during the Beta Alpha Psi virtual annual meeting, includes a $5,000 cash stipend.

Chung is an active member of Beta Alpha Psi, having served as her chapters mentorship chair and was recently elected as Vice President of Operations. She just completed one internship, accepted an offer for another internship with a Fortune 500 Bank and intends to earn her CPA certification after she graduates in May 2021. 

“Joyce’s academic success despite challenges growing up is what makes her a fitting recipient of this award,” said Amy Merletti, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Senior Manager of Academic and Student Engagement.

Chung was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. two months later. Her mother passed away from breast cancer when Chung was 10 years old. At an age when most children spend their day playing with their friends and enjoying school, Chung had to take charge of household responsibilities, including cooking, cleaning and raising her three younger brothers. 

Her father remarried but her step-mother passed away from brain cancer when Chung was 15, pushing her back in the role of caring for her family. As a result, Chung struggled through high school and had a hard time fitting in and feeling accepted. 

Chung enrolled at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which allowed her to commute from home. However, the challenge of attending college while working to help her father with the bills and taking care of her younger brothers took a toll on her. As a result, Chung, took a two-year break from school to focus on her mental health.  

She planned to move to Raleigh and attend North Carolina State University to complete her college education, but her father was diagnosed with colon cancer and soon passed away. At 23 years old, Chung officially became the head of the family and the legal guardian of her younger brothers.

While working full time, Joyce took a personality test and found that she was a good fit for accounting. She re-enrolled at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and soon after joined Beta Alpha Psi. She continues to live with her three younger brothers as their primary caregiver.

“Joyce has been selfless in every aspect of her life. Her story is a testament that hard work, determination and kindness in the face of adversity can overcome long odds,” said Merletti. “The AICPA is proud to sponsor this award and wishes Joyce much success on her path to complete her education and become a CPA."


About Beta Alpha Psi

Founded in 1919, Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization for financial information students and professionals. The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service, and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social and public responsibility.

Headquartered in Durham, NC, Beta Alpha Psi has over 300 chapters on college and university campuses in the United States, Australia and New Zealand with over 300,000 members initiated since Beta Alpha Psi's formation.

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 429,000 members in the United States and worldwide, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 657,000 members and students across 179 countries and territories in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.



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Protiviti finds importance in supporting organizations who build well-rounded individuals. Beta Alpha Psi students graduate with strong academic credentials that align well in our consulting business.

Casey Jo Chapman