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Out with the Calculators, In with the Hammers Pt. 2

Accounting Students Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

This year for Accounting Day of Service, the students taking Advanced Accounting (the final class with Prof. Stichter taken by mostly seniors) helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity. If you drove through the local, quiet neighborhood on the south side of Warsaw, Indiana, you would see the Grace charter bus conspicuously parked in the street. You would find a house with wooden beams and concrete slabs in the middle of construction. And you would recognize 20 Grace students in work gloves with tools in hand, and Dr. Roger Stichter in a ball cap and dirty jeans orchestrating it all. These accountants volunteered their class time—leaving behind their pencils and calculators—and trading them in for hammers, rakes, and gloves.

The group was tasked with raking to make sure the ground was level, moving boards, and assisting in any way that they saw fit. Although the students were eager helpers, the experience was aimed toward learning what Habitat is and serving the community. We joined the crew at the worksite and heard the reflections and thoughts from several of the students hard at work.

Ashley Beer, a senior accounting student exclaimed, “It’s special because this is the last class that you take with Prof. Stichter as an Accounting student.” To most students studying at large universities, the last course with a professor doesn’t evoke any sad feelings. But Ashley explained what it is that sets Stichter apart, “He really cares for every single one of his students. He invests in us,” she exclaimed.

Brenna Christenberry agreed, “Stichter is the best professor ever. He encourages us to be career-minded when we graduate—to not just look for any job, but for something we are energized to get up and do every morning.” Brenna told us that this project was just the start for her volunteering with Habitat; “After this experience with Habitat, I want to start volunteering here regularly. I’ve been wanting to find a project to get involved within the greater community—and I think I just found one!” This is what the service day was all about—exposing students to service for a long-term vision of impact.

While this was a game-changer for Brenna, for a few students, this was not their first experience working with Habitat.

Shailyn Brainerd and Bethany Okupski interned at BKB, an accounting firm in Fort Wayne this summer. The two landed the positions at the Accounting Job Fair of 2018. They explained that the week of the fourth of July, interns were given the opportunity to work on a Habitat house. Several other Grace students were a part of that experience as well, including Cooper Parish, Keianna Stoll, and Micah Simonton.

“Last time we volunteered, the house was in its final stages,” said Shailyn. “Our job was to do a lot of finishing touches like painting, finishing doors, and nailing down baseboards. It was really cool that we got to see the finished product and meet the parents of the family moving in!”

Although the house was in the early stages this time, the girls were thrilled to be a part of the organization once more. “When we found out we were going to do another building site with Habitat, we were excited to do it again!” exclaimed Shailyn and Bethany.

This group of accountants gets it. 

We’re excited to see how this 2019 graduating class of Accounting students impact the world—through calculators and numbers, and maybe even occasionally through gloves and hammers.

Read about how this service day came to be in our previous article about Accounting Professor, Roger Stichter. Stay tuned for a final article about the family who moved into the Habitat house worked on by the Accounting students!

To learn more about the Grace College Accounting Department, recognized as a top program in Indiana, visit

Tagged With: Accounting, Connected Community, School of Business