AICPA Honors Ohio Northern University Student with Medal of Inspiration

August 6, 2016

Baltimore, Md. (August 6, 2016) – The American Institute of CPAs is pleased to announce Julya Faulkner, a graduate student at Ohio Northern University, has been awarded Beta Alpha Psi’s Medal of Inspiration Award. The award was presented today at the Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

The award, sponsored by the AICPA, is bestowed upon a student who has experienced extreme hardships and demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. The award includes a $5,000 cash stipend.

Today, Julya Faulkner is a standout student who holds a stellar academic record, volunteers in her local community and runs her own business. Her road to get there, however, is what makes her remarkable.

At the age of eight, Faulkner was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The next chapter of her life was filled with surgeries, chemotherapy and medical procedures to alleviate the effects of radiation treatment. And while her cancer thankfully entered remission, the challenges of the illness follow her to this day.

Despite these hardships, Julya went to graduate with honors from high school, and was accepted to Ohio Northern University with a full scholarship.

“Julya is a perfect example of why the Medal of Inspiration Award was created. From a very young age she experienced extreme hardship in her life, yet continued to persevere and achieve all of her academic goals,” said Yvonne Hinson, AICPA Academic in Residence. “She is truly an inspiration to her peers and anyone who hears her story. The AICPA is proud to sponsor an award that recognizes courageous students like Julya.”

While at ONU, she served on the executive board of her Beta Alpha Psi chapter, tutored fellow students, and worked with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free income tax preparation assistance. She was recognized for her exemplary leadership when awarded the DeBow Freed Award, the highest honor bestowed on an Ohio Northern University student.

Outside of school, Faulkner runs a successful cake decorating business, Cakes by Julya, which often provides desserts for events on campus. She also volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and has initiated numerous programs to raise funds for the organization, including the annual Ride-For-Wishes event. For her business success and community involvement, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) awarded her the American FFA Degree, an award that celebrates members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA values.

“While Julya’s challenges in life may be more than the average young adult, she is determined to tackle every obstacle and achieve the goals she set for herself both personally and professionally,” said Matthew A. Phillips, Ohio Northern University Assistant Professor of Accounting.

For thirteen years, Julya Faulkner has faced extreme adversity brought on as a result of her illness. She has met the challenges head-on, overcoming cancer and embarking on a career in the accounting profession. She is now a graduate of Ohio Northern University, a Master of Science in Accounting candidate, and will begin the next phase of her career at EY LLP.