Cooper, an internationally-recognized speaker on business ethics, will share the story of how her team unraveled the fraud at WorldCom – the largest fraud in United States history. The author of “Extraordinary Circumstances,” a book that discusses her experiences as a corporate executive, Cooper previously served as the chief audit executive for MCI until July 2004. Prior to joining MCI, she worked in public accounting in Atlanta, Ga., for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche.

In 2002, Cooper was named one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year.” Two years later, she was inducted into the AICPA Hall of Fame – the first woman to receive this distinction. Cooper is also a past recipient of the American Accounting Association’s Accounting Exemplar Award, presented annually for notable contributions to professionalism and ethics in accounting practice or education. She is the first woman to receive this award. Cooper received her undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University and her master’s of accountancy from the University of Alabama.

A photo of Cynthia is available for download at

Made possible by the Volk Symposium Fund and the Beacom Opportunity Fund, “Ethical Leadership for the 21st Century” is free and open to the public. This event is also sponsored by The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business and USD's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national honors fraternity for financial information professionals. The Volk Symposium honors the legacy of Arthur A. Volk, who joined the USD faculty in 1948. During his 36-year tenure at The U, he taught every accounting course offered by the school as well as other business courses. The Symposium was established as a fund to bring together students, academicians and business leaders for discussion of current topics of interest.

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