LAS Alum Shulem Rosenbaum Wins Elijah Watt Sells Award for Top Performers on CPA Exam
New York, N.Y. – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) announced recently that Shulem Rosenbaum, an alumnus of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences-Flatbush (LAS), was a winner of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells award bestowed upon the top scorers on the Uniform CPA examination.
The award is presented to individuals who have a cumulative average score of above 95.5 on all four sections of the CPA exam on their first attempt. Rosenbaum was one of only six winners in New York state and is the second Touro student or alumnus to win the award.
“This is a truly extraordinary accomplishment,” said Barry Bressler, dean of the undergraduate School of Business at LAS. “Of the 91,384 individuals who took the test, there were just 60 candidates nationwide who were up to that standard. That’s about six out of 10,000, which is even better than the top one tenth of one percent.”
After he completed the multiple-choice section of the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) exam, the first of the exam’s four sections, Rosenbaum, 29, said he believed that he had “hit it out of the ballpark.” His confidence wavered, however, during the task-based simulation section.
“I was devastated,” he said, thinking that he had failed to receive a score of at least 75, the passing grade. “I was close to tears.”
His concerns were unfounded; he said he was “shocked to my core” to learn that he had received a score of 97. He was similarly successful for the other sections, scoring a 99 (the highest possible score) for Auditing and Attestation (AUD) and a 94 on the Regulation (REG) and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) exams.
Rosenbaum did not take a direct path to accounting. He had a job teaching students with learning disabilities and eventually enrolled in Touro’s School of Lifelong Education in Brooklyn before transferring to LAS, the school’s flexible schedule allowing him to continue to work full time. He planned to become a lawyer, but when the economy took a turn for the worse he decided to major in accounting instead, though he still hopes to attend law school one day.
“I thought if I ever go into business on my own that I would know what I’m doing,” Rosenbaum said. “Accounting is the essence of business. It allows you to learn the fine principles of how to run a business and is definitely the best business undergrad degree.”
While he was a student at LAS, Rosenbaum was named a “Superior Scholar” by the New York State Society of CPAs and graduated in 2013 with a 4.0 grade point average. He was hired by Roth & Company, a New York-based accounting firm, and received a promotion when the AICPA announced the results of the Uniform CPA Exam.
Rosenbaum grew up and still lives in Borough Park with his wife and four children, where he counts himself as a member of the Chasidic community. As the first in his family to pursue higher education, he said he hopes his award will help others like him realize the opportunities available to them.
“There’s a certain perception among some that Chasidic people can’t get a good education and won’t be successful,” says Rosenbaum. “However, there are many successful Chasidic professionals who took advantage of Touro’s opportunity for a higher education which allowed them to overcome inherent hurdles and challenges without compromising their values.”
The Lander College in Flatbush, with separate schools for men and women, enrolls 2,500 students annually in fall, spring and summer semesters. It offers a choice of 25 majors and pre-professional programs in disciplines including accounting (CPA program), finance, management, computer science and multimedia web design, pre-medicine/pre-dentistry/pre-pharmacy, the allied health sciences (occupational and physical therapy, physician assistant, nursing), education, psychology, biology, political science/prelaw, mathematics/actuarial studies and speech language pathology.
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. New York Medical College, Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/media/.