Plank on point
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, senior Catie Plank has left a lasting impact on the Quinlan School of Business community. In November 2022, Quinlan recognized this by selecting her as the school's President's Medallion recipient.
"There are a lot of great people who have won it," said the economics and accounting double major. "I don't really stop to look at my accomplishments, so it means a lot that I have people that recognize those attributes in me, and I'm extremely grateful to represent this school. Quinlan has changed a lot of my life and the last four years have been great. It's truly an honor."
Three years before receiving this honor, Plank arrived at Loyola as an economics major, an interest she picked up in high school from her teacher Mr. Parson. Accounting wasn't part of her plans. To her, it seemed the most boring subject.
"If you had asked me freshman year if I would have been an accounting major, I probably would have laughed in your face," Plank said.
However, her perspective was challenged almost immediately by Senior Lecturer Lisa Gillespie in an Introduction to Accounting 201 course.
"In the first minutes of class, Professor Gillespie said, 'Accounting is the language of business.' I still haven't figured out what that means, but it stuck with me," said Plank. "For the rest of that class, hearing her passion for the subject, really what it is, inspired me to do it. I attribute selecting that major to her."
Leaving a legacy
Plank's legacy at Quinlan includes helping launch a new student organization and co-authoring research on diversity, equity, and inclusion in accounting with her professor.
The student organization she helped found is the Loyola Economics Forum. Before sophomore year, Plank received an email about the launch of the forum. She applied to be part of it and became a founding member.
"I got to help write the constitution, which was a really cool experience," Plank said. "I got to help design the logo. That was fun because I don't really get to use art skills day to day in econ and accounting."
As a senior, Plank now serves as the president of the forum. She has also served as secretary and director of programming, where she organized a networking roundtable for the organization's members.
She also worked with Professor Brian Stanko on his research into diversity, equity, and inclusion in accounting. As a co-author, Plank wrote the introduction and prior literature sections of the research paper.
Into the future
Plank's time at Quinlan has set her on the path to a bright and busy future. Before she graduates, she hopes to travel as part of a Quinlan study-abroad course in January. Upon graduation, Plank will work with Deloitte in its audit and assurance program.
"When I think of Loyola, I think of the mentors I've met who have become a support system for me," Plank said. "My family and friends have been with me through the best and worst of times, and I want to celebrate my success with them."