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American Magazine: August 2014

international AU ALUMNI

international AU ALUMNI CURRENTLY IN PEACE CORPS SERVICE PRODUCER OF PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AMONG MEDIUM-SIZE SCHOOLS AU VOLUNTEERS IN MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES SINCE 1961 (SEE MAP) OVERALL FOR MASTER’S INTERNATIONAL (NO. 10) AND COVERDELL FELLOWS (NO. 9) PROGRAMS MEG FOWLER ’12 KNEW SHE WANTED TO JOIN THE PEACE CORPS after graduating with a dual major in international studies and economics. She packed off for Morocco, where she teaches high school students how to succeed in business, plant a community garden, and speak English. Ukraine volunteer Shelby Lane taught English, launched a newspaper for young readers, and ran workshops on topics from HIV/AIDS awareness to the environment. That experience and a Coverdell fellowship led her to AU to pursue dual master’s degrees in international peace and conflict resolution and secondary education while leading the AU Peace Corps Community and Creative Peace Initiatives and volunteering with Little Friends for Peace. What do they have in common? An urge to serve and an AU connection. AU and the Peace Corps go back, all the way to 1961, when the first groups of volunteers took off for postings in places like Pakistan and the Philippines. Back in the day the connection was simple and straight on: You go to college. You graduate. You join the Peace Corps. Bringing It Home Today, says Stephen Angelsmith, director of Peace Corps programs at AU’s School of International Service, the partnership has many moving parts, keeping students engaged in a cycle of service made possible by two Peace Corps–associated graduate programs: the Master’s International (MI) and the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows. MI students spend a year in the classroom and two years in the Peace Corps, for credit, after which they return to campus to complete their graduate work. Coverdell fellows— all returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs)—receive scholarships for graduate studies that include an internship in an underserved U.S. community, an opportunity to teach Americans about the world beyond our borders. RPCVs may donate memorabilia to the Peace Corps Community Archive, a repository of living history curated by the AU library. “I’ve realized how important it is to be a role model,” says Lane. “I believe in and enjoy service, and have seen the power it has to inspire change.” 8 AMERICAN MAGAZINE AUGUST 2014

mastery Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success offers a formula for success—being born at the right place and time and investing at least 10,000 hours in pursuit of your goal. For some, that goal emerges at an early age, and for others, like Kogod School of Business professor Casey Evans, it requires more exploration. Evans, 35, came to Washington to fight crime (“21 Jump Street was my favorite show growing up,” she recalls). After discovering an aptitude and affinity for numbers, however, she opted for a different sort of law enforcement career: chasing down white-collar criminals, calculator and spreadsheets in hand. Helped lead the FTI team investigating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, one of the largest investor frauds in American history. Working alongside the FBI, “WE PIECED TOGETHER THE STORY USING DATA AND DOCUMENTS AS OUR STARTING POINT.” Appointed Kogod executive in residence. “TEACHING WAS ALWAYS MY LONG- TERM GOAL.” The timing was serendipitous: The job came along just as the Madoff investigation was wrapping up. Son Oliver was born. Voted Kogod undergrad professor of the year by students. ILLUSTRATION BY PETER HOEY After settling on a Florida university, the Orlando resident was accepted to AU. The allure of D.C. proved too powerful to resist. “I WENT FROM WANTING TO BE A POLICE OFFICER TO AN FBI AGENT.” Switched majors from justice, law and society to accounting after taking Principles of Financial Accounting over the summer. “THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS RESONATED WITH ME LIKE NOTHING ELSE HAD.” Since AU didn’t yet have a forensic accounting track, took classes that would prepare her to investigate fraud and financial irregularities. Tutored other accounting students. Sat for the CPA after five months of intensive study. “I WOULD DO FLASH CARDS AT STOPLIGHTS ON MY WAY TO WORK.” Licensed in 2003. Earned a master’s in accounting from Kogod. Accepted an auditing job with Arthur Andersen. Graduated from the Kogod School of Business. Immediately jumped into the master’s program in order to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, which requires 150 credit hours of course work. Interned at Arthur Andersen in Tysons Corner—at the time, one of the “big five” accounting firms. Left Arthur Andersen in the wake of the Enron scandal. “MY GROUP WAS ACQUIRED BY NAVIGANT CONSULTING, BUT I DECIDED TO START FRESH.” Moved to Knoxville with boyfriend Le Evans, whom she met at AU in 1996 and who was accepted to law school at the University of Tennessee. Took a staff accountant job at McWilliams and Company doing audit and tax work. Earned the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. Transferred to McWilliams’ litigation consulting group and worked on first fraud investigation. Combed through a dentist office’s financials to discover the secretary had embezzled $150,000. Married Le. Joined FTI Consulting’s forensic and litigation consulting practice in D.C. Specialized in forensic accounting and fraud investigations generated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. Returned to Kogod as an adjunct professor, first teaching Principles of Financial Accounting—the same class she took nine years earlier. Also teamtaught Kogod’s first Forensic Accounting course before taking it over in 2008. Returned to D.C. Accepted a senior forensic accountant position at Dubinsky and Company in Bethesda, where she provided litigation support services in civil and criminal fraud cases. Created advanced forensic accounting class for grad students. Helped develop a graduate certificate in forensic accounting. Kogod’s program is unique: “OUR CUTTING- EDGE CURRICULUM GIVES STUDENTS SKILLS TO WORK IN THIS EXCITING FIELD.” Twenty students are already working toward the 12-credit certificate. Appointed program director of Kogod’s master’s in accounting program. Received university-wide award for outstanding teaching in a term appointment. Voted Kogod undergrad professor of the year again by students. FOLLOW US @AU_AMERICANMAG 9