Joined USJ: 1984
Steven Jarett recalls when, a couple of decades ago, a Saint Joseph student switched her major to Accounting. Her father called, distraught. How could he allow that to happen? Women did not become accountants, the dad declared. Jarett held firm, asserting the students’ preference, and her latitude to decide. The father hung up in annoyance, and his daughter went on to not only graduate — but become a stand-out Certified Public Accountant at a leading firm in Connecticut, a sought-after expert and appreciative alumna. Jarett has always stood up for students, especially when they’re determined to enter the accounting profession. “You need to love what you’re doing,” Jarett says, “then it’s a career, not a job.”
Jarett provides thorough preparation for students, not surprising for a proficient professional who has served on the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) at both the National and Regional levels, including two terms as President of the Northeast Region. He has also served as President of the Board of Directors of Accountants for the Public Interest (six years) and Community Accounting Aid and Services (two terms), just to name a few of his numerous industry involvements and honors.
His students begin their internships well prepared for the challenges they will be facing in the workplace. “We bring our work experience into the classroom — theirs and mine. Accounting comes to life, and when they seek employment, they’re ready to hit the ground running. They know accounting.” Jarett brings practicing professionals in to share expertise, broadening students’ knowledge of career paths. USJ graduates have had successful careers at the IRS, in state government, at Big 4 accounting firms, local and regional accounting firms, industry, and the not-for-profit sector. Having been elected into the ACBSP’s Northeast Region Hall of Fame, the caliber of Jarett’s teaching is recognized by academic and professional colleagues alike.
The accounting profession is in the midst of a strong comeback after some years under fire, Jarett says, with interest in forensic accounting particularly strong and new federal and state regulations intensifying the pivotal role of accountants in navigating the regulatory waters. Recalling a time when relatively few women entered the field, Jarett indicates that now more than half of those sitting for the annual CPA exam are women. He foresees more opportunities as the field grows, and fully expects confident, satisfied employers to look to USJ graduates.
M.P.A., University of Texas at Austin
B.S., University of Richmond