Grace Students Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity for Accounting Day of Service
When someone asks what really differentiates a Grace College professor from the rest, we can’t help but give a name and story to coincide. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. One name that comes to mind is Dr. Roger Stichter.
Stichter has been an accounting professor at Grace for 24 years. He now has a network of around 300 Grace accounting alumni who receive monthly emails and Christmas cards from Stichter. If that doesn’t demonstrate the caliber of professors here, then wait until you hear this.
For the past decade, Stichter has given his accounting students a day off of class to serve the community in honor of the Indiana CPA Society’s day of service.
“The reason we do this is to give students a vision,” said Stichter, “I want to help them see that there are projects like this that they can be a part of, and show them that they can use their accounting skills to help people.”
This year, the group served at the local Habitat for Humanity ReSale Outlet of Kosciusko County, led by Grace College alumni, Ben Logan. Then the students got the full Habitat for Humanity volunteer experience. They helped out with some “house projects” around the store, including painting, organizing, and cleaning donations.
“This was tremendous help as donations have been running high since the spring. Having so many extra hands made the work much easier, and ultimately lifted a huge burden off my staff. We were very grateful for the students’ help!” said Logan.
Students were equally positive about the day.
“The day of service was like a blast. After a long week with the Accounting Fair, I didn’t have to worry about homework, what I was going to do, and when everything was due. I just got to enjoy helping alongside my accounting classmates,” said Anna Manges, a third-year accounting major.
It is unique for a professor to give up a day of coursework and instruction to give his class a day of service to help people — but even more surprising, as Anna mentioned, this workday takes place in the midst of the Accounting Career Fair, an intense, full-day event hosted by Stichter. The event packs out the MOCC with accounting firm representatives, and students are given the opportunity to interview for internships and post-graduate jobs.
“This event, while very worthwhile, is exhausting for me and the students. It’s very intentional to take that Friday off of class to demonstrate the importance of work-life balance,” states Stichter.
Stichter makes it clear that he is passionate about teaching his students something much greater than the manipulation and calculation of numbers.
“Your life is not about working hard to make a lot of money. But rather, accounting gives you a platform to go out to the world and minister to a group of people you could not otherwise reach. That is the big picture. It’s all about reaching people that you could not reach if you didn’t have this education,” he stated.
It’s clear that Stichter’s vision has resonated with his graduates, as some of his students work for nonprofits and others make millions each year, but all of his students recognize the importance of making an impact in the workplace and leading lives of purpose.
“The vision is not just about learning something,” said Stichter. “It’s giving you a platform to get you out into the world and impact the world. That is the picture.”