Accounting student Angela Truesdale honored as recipient of prestigious Remington R. Williams Award

by | Jul 8, 2024

Truesdale, who is interning with Boeing's finance department this summer, was nominated for the award by Marcia Countryman.
Angela Truesdale

Graduate student Angela Truesdale has been a very active part of UMSL’s accounting community. She was elected as president of the Accounting Club for the 2024-25 school year. (Derik Holtmann photo)

Angela Truesdale, a graduate accounting student, has held tight to a simple philosophy during her time at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“Every time I’ve been presented an opportunity, I’ve said yes,” Truesdale said with a smile. “UMSL is a really unique place because everyone here wants you to do well. And it sounds cheesy saying that, but there’s such a community of support at UMSL. The academic advisors want you to do well, the faculty members want you to do well, and they will provide opportunities and push for opportunities. And because of that, I’ve gotten to do a lot of very cool things.”

Truesdale has twice traveled abroad with an UMSL program, studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom in 2022 and again traveling on a 2023 trip to Bremen, Germany. She’s been an officer in the Accounting Club and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, Beta Alpha Psi and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was named the Center for Teaching and Learning Student of the Year in April 2024. She was a part of the Triton eSports inaugural season on the junior varsity League of Legends team.

She’s a two-time recipient of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants scholarship and recently received the Becker CPA Exam Review Course scholarship. She finished an internship at Vantage Point Financial and is currently interning in Boeing’s financial department this summer. She already has an internship lined up for next summer at RubinBrown.

As part of UMSL’s Accelerated Master’s program, Truesdale graduated summa cum laude in May with a BS in accounting with dual minors in information systems and international business, and she was the College of Business Administration student marshal at the ceremony. She’s on track to finish her MAcc next spring.

But Truesdale’s lasting impact on UMSL rests in her eagerness to help her fellow students through her tireless work as a Head Supplemental Instructor for the Managerial Accounting class and through her passion for UMSL’s thriving Accounting Club, which has around 120 registered members. She was on the club’s executive council for two years as the treasurer, and she was elected as the president for the 2024-25 school year.

And it’s that type of devotion that made Truesdale a natural choice for the Remington R. Williams Award, an honor given to six students throughout the University of Missouri System. The award is given by the UM Board of Curators, recognizing “exceptional student leaders who have made an impact on their respective institution, inspired growth and development of fellow students in both academics and extracurricular activities, and exhibited outstanding character and collaborative spirit at all times.”

Williams, who was a student representative for the Board of Curators, was a graduate of the University of Missouri–Kansas City and was pursuing his MBA at UMSL when his life was tragically taken by a drunk driver on June 8, 2022. Award recipients receive $1,000 and are given a special medal to wear at commencement.

Marcia Countryman, an associate teaching professor and the sponsor of the Accounting Club, had Williams in class, and she knew Truesdale was a perfect choice for the award.

“Angela embodies the memory and spirit of Mr. Williams as an outstanding student leader,” Countryman wrote in her nomination. “Remington was a student in my graduate MBA Financial and Managerial Accounting course the same semester I met Angela in my undergraduate course in Fall 2021. I’m excited that she is being recognized and rewarded for her commitment to her fellow students and her dedication to her accounting studies.”

“I’m incredibly honored,” Truesdale said. “I was picked from a phenomenal group of people. I read the bios of the previous winners and to be counted among them is really special.”

Truesdale started her UMSL career during the COVID-19 pandemic after finishing her associate degree at St. Louis Community College. She planned to study in UMSL’s College of Business Administration but wasn’t sure what exactly she wanted as a focus. That is, until she took Fundementals of Accounting with professor Paul Van Wert, with Sara Hegger as the SI, in the spring of 2021.

“They just made me fall in love with accounting,” Truesdale said. “I was like, ‘This clicks with my brain. This is what I want to do.’ And as someone who spent the early years of her adult life having absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life, it was very relieving to feel that click, ‘I know what I want to do.’”

The next semester, she took Countryman’s Managerial Accounting class, with Haley Longhibler as the SI. She knew she wanted to help other students the same way Longhibler helped her.

“Managerial accounting is one of those courses that is very conceptual, and I think it’s very hard to understand conceptual concepts successfully from of a textbook,” Truesdale said. “I’m someone who has to talk about it and have visual representations to make all of the background stuff come together. I think it’s very helpful for students, especially those in an online course, to talk through difficult concepts with someone. That’s why I’m grateful for SI leaders like Sara and Haley. They inspired me to want to help other students through the same problems I faced. As an SI I’m not repeating what the professors are teaching; I’m explaining challenging concepts in a way that made sense to me when I was in the course.”

After four semesters as Countryman’s SI, Truesdale is going to be her graduate teaching assistant for the 2024-25 school year. That was an easy decision for Countryman.

“Angela was so effective as an SI,” Countryman said, “because she is passionate about her students and their success, does what it takes to connect with them, offers a learning experience that translates to improved performance in the class and proves to students the value of spending time in her sessions.”

Truesdale’s association with the Accounting Club started with that first class, too. Van Wert extended extra credit to anyone who attended a club meeting, so of course she took advantage of the offer. If nothing else, she thought, it was a chance to engage with others on campus – socially distanced and with masks, of course – while classes were held via Zoom. She felt at home right away, and the more meetings she attended, the more involved she became.

She credits the presidents before her for keeping her involved with the club. “Aurion Farhadi and Brett Paubel were so enthusiastic about the accounting club,” she said. “They welcomed a transfer student that knew no one in the middle of a pandemic into this fantastic community they were building. Their kindness was the launching point of my involvement across campus.”

Truesdale has big plans for her year as president.

“We’re trying to organize a joint FinTech meeting with the Finance Club and the Information Technology and Cybersecurity Club because financial technology is a rapidly expanding industry and people are hiring for it,” Truesdale said. “Every company wants its own app, its own payment system, its own software, etc., so our goal is to connect UMSL students with firms that are actively hiring. We’re going to have companies from vastly different industries come in and do brief presentations on what they are, what they do, and have them network directly with UMSL students from varying degree paths. Everyone is welcome!”

She wants to create a new opportunity for UMSL students, to give what people like Countryman, Jennifer Reynolds-Moehrle, Jenna Alexander, Thomas Kozloski, Monica Farrell, Sierra Phipps, Francesca Ferrari, Johnna Murray, Michael Costello and Joseph Rottman, to name just a few, have extended her way.

“Dr. Countryman has done so much for me,” Truesdale said. “Anytime I had an idea, she would say, ‘Yes, let’s figure out a way to make this happen. Let’s do this. That’s a great idea. Let’s throw ourselves behind it.’ I can’t tell you how many letters of recommendation she’s written for me.”

Truesdale’s internship in the finance department at Boeing this summer has been eye-opening.

“They told me to mainly just use it as a networking opportunity, learn what you can but don’t lose yourself in the nitty gritty,” she said. “They want us to learn about the company and their culture. There are intern info lunches where we can set up a lunch with an employee to learn what they do at Boeing. Even though I’m a finance intern and not an engineering intern, I’ve gotten to tour different production facilities around St. Louis. I’ve loved these experiences because, especially on the accounting side of things, we live on spreadsheets. To get to actually physically see what a company produces is really cool, and I like that unique opportunity at Boeing.”

Looking back on her time at UMSL – with great things still on the horizon her final year – Truesdale is quick to thank her support system.

“I’ve gotten to do a lot of amazing things because of several incredible people at UMSL,” she said. “I’m very aware of how privileged I am to be able to do these things. My parents (Carol and Jay Truesdale) have always pushed me and inspired me to do the best that I can, and I have the kindest husband (Christopher Ownbey) who supports me in everything that I do. Every time I was given an opportunity to do something, I knew I was able to say yes because I always have Chris in my corner. Having a really strong support system while you go through school is vital for any student. That was the catalyst for me to throw myself into everything I’ve done on campus, because I knew I had great people behind me.”

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Ryan Fagan

Ryan Fagan

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