Joseph Cassata (BUS ’10) was among the 2018 winners of the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells Award. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountancy (AICPA) gives this award annually to high-performing candidates who pass all four sections of the CPA exam on the first attempt, and obtain a cumulative average score of 95.5 across all four sections. The 110 individuals who won the award were among 86,000 candidates who sat for the CPA exam in 2018. The AICPA has offered this award since 1923, named after Sells, one of the country’s first CPAs who helped to establish the AICPA.
Cassata remarked on his approach to the exam: “I studied every time that I wasn’t working, and sometimes when I was at work during breaks. I brought my books and tablet with me everywhere.” Cassata met his now wife, Meghan, while they both attended community college. They transferred to DePaul together and supported one another through the completion of their college degrees.
“DePaul provided a great foundation for my career,” Cassata said. “During my undergraduate degree, I actually got placed as an intern at Delnor Hospital, through my audit professor Michael Trendell.” This set up him to continue in his early career as a general associate accountant. Cassata is currently assistant controller for Wellen Capital, a Chicago firm which provides capital solutions to small and mid-sized businesses.