May 3, 2019
Crystal Wojcik '21 is the first recipient of a $5,000 scholarship from the Massachusetts Society of Certified Professional Accountants.
The first recipient of a brand-new scholarship awarded by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Professional Accountants (MSCPA) is none other than MCLA student Crystal Wojcik ’21, a business major from Cheshire, Mass.
The $5,000 Barbara Iannoni Scholarship was established this year in honor of Iannoni, who worked at the MSCPA for 20 years and established the society’s scholarship program. The award was created for a student who “embodies Iannoni’s work ethic, spirit and dedication to the accounting profession”—so it’s easy to see why Wojcik was the inaugural awardee.
“I’ve always been like this,” says the current Student Activities Council treasurer (she’s running to be president of SAC for the next academic year), National Society of Leadership and Success president, honor society member and first commuter student to become an admissions ambassador. “Since high school, I was in clubs, sports, on boards…I like the feeling of giving back to this school and the community, and also getting my ideas out there to make the campus a better place.”
On top of that, Wojcik is paying for college on her own, working to graduate with no debt—so the scholarship will come in handy. She’s been saving for college since she was 16, and currently works part-time as an access coordinator in the emergency room at Berkshire Medical Center. She’s long done work at the hospital, originally volunteering as a dietary aide at age 13.
Between all that, Wojcik found time to prepare tax returns for Berkshire County residents as part of MCLA’s chapter of Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She also did considerable work on a research paper analyzing the work of the past five Federal Reserve chairs; she presented it at the College’s Undergraduate Research Conference in April, as well as the COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference at SUNY Geneseo and the Massachusetts Undergrad Research Conference at UMASS-Amherst. Over the summer, she’ll intern at Adams, Mass., town hall, working on municipal accounting.
“MCLA has been nothing less than amazing, and has exceeded my expectations,” from leadership opportunities to valuable connections with professors, Wojcik said. Professor Tara Barboza “is basically a second mom at this point” and Professor Chali Nando mentored her on the research paper.
Wojcik and her family will travel to the MSCPA’s recognition ceremony in Quincy, Mass., on May 22. Eventually, Wojcik plans to pursue a master’s degree in accounting from UMASS-Amherst, sit for her CPA exam, and work toward the dream of becoming a chief financial officer.
“I’m kind of shocked that an MCLA student, and not a student from Harvard or another big, prestigious school, got this scholarship,” Wojcik said. “To be a person from this little town, and to get this statewide scholarship, is a really nice thing.”