Summer Plans Series: Levan Bokeria ’14 Receives Internationally-Competitive Golden Key Award

By Caitlin Mack ’12(T5)
Univ. Communications

Levan Bokeria ’14, a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society chapter at the University of Rochester, was awarded a Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Award.  The award, valued at $5,000, recognizes undergraduate members for their outstanding commitment to the Golden Key pillars of academics, leadership, and service.

Bokeria’s achievement is especially notable in light of the competitive nature of the award; while 924 individuals applied for the prestigious prize, only 20 were granted.  Bokeria is one of 12 winners from the USA and two winners from region 10, which represents New York and all of New England.

“Finding out about the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Award was extremely exciting for me,” said Bokeria about receiving the award.

Bokeria, a philosophy and brain and cognitive sciences double major, is from Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. He is the current president of the Undergraduate Philosophy Council and held dual titles as Honorary Members and Campus Officials Liaison and Education and Literacy Service Director for the Golden Key Society during the 2012-13 academic year.

This summer, Bokeria is taking courses at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, as part of a summer program offered by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies. The classes will prepare Bokeria for a Take Five year studying the fundamental principles of political science and the recent history of Eastern Europe.

“Such merit scholarships are an important boost for academic confidence as they serve as an implicit confirmation of successful undergraduate performance,” said Bokeria. “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me become the person I am, especially my professors, fellow students, and staff members at the University of Rochester.”

This story is part of the Summer Plans Series, a collection of stories about how undergrads at the University of Rochester are spending their summer. Know of someone doing something cool over break? Email The Buzz (thebuzz@rochester.edu) and tell us all about it!

Simon Students Awarded Accounting Scholarship

Univ. Communications – Every year since 1990, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and its Foundation for Accounting Education honors accounting students from New York with their scholarships. Of the forty-four recipients this year, two are from the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business.

Both Joseph Greene and Michael Czlonka are enrolled in the Simon School’s master’s program in accountancy. At the end of the one-year program, they will be qualified to sit for the Certified Public Accountant examination in New York State and subsequently obtain a license. Their NYSSCPA scholarships, awarded based on merit and financial need, are worth $2,500 each, and will aid in paying for the cost of the program. The scholarship also is designed to encourage graduating accountants to remain and practice in the state.

Green, who grew up in Syracuse and graduated from SUNY Geneseo last year, has been interested in accounting since high school. He majored in accounting as an undergraduate and after an internship with KPMG, a major international accounting firm, decided to pursue a master’s degree. He has already been offered and accepted a position at KPMG in Rochester upon graduating from Simon. Green, whose father also is an accountant, enjoys the problem-solving aspect of the profession. “Each day presents a different set of challenges and different ways to benefit your client,” he said.

Czlonka, a Rochester native, graduated last year with a degree in finance from St. John Fisher College. “There is demand for accountants and being in public accounting is definitely a good place to start your career,” he said, explaining his decision to pursue this career. He has also accepted a job offer, with PWC, another major accounting firm, where he will work in auditing.

Czlonka describes accounting as “the language of business,” and both see it as an appealing and advantageous starting point for many careers in the world of business and finance. “I think that if you look at the typical career path of an accountant, especially one that starts with the Big Four [firms like KPMG and PWC], they typically will end up either as a partner or move to a major corporation. In terms of growth, it is probably one of the lowest risk-highest reward career paths that anyone can take,” said Czlonka. Both students also are drawn to the people-oriented nature of the profession as well as the data-based problem solving they are required to do.

Czlonka and Green were nominated for the scholarship by Heidi Tribunella, clinical associate professor of business administration. Every year, Tribunella pursues potential recipients, who have to be New York State residents and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and encourages them to apply. For the past four years, students from Rochester have received the scholarship every year. “I try to get as many as I can,” Tribunella said. “If I had a third New York State resident, I would throw them into the pool.”

Article written by Maya Dukmasova, a Take 5 Scholar at the University of Rochester and an intern at University Communications. She majored in philosophy and religion and focused her Take 5 year on researching the way American media covers current events in the Muslim world. An aspiring journalist, Dukmasova has freelanced for Rochester Magazine, the Phoenix New Times, and the Daily News Egypt in Cairo. She also maintains two blogs, one devoted to culture and society in Russia (www.out-of-russia.com) and the other to photography (www.myorientalism.com).