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Global Association Honors Internal Audit Profession’s 2012 Highest Achievers

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA – Each year, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) recognizes select professionals around the world for their significant contributions to the internal audit profession. The 2012 awards were presented at The IIA's International Conference in Boston, July 8-11.

Victor Z. Brink Award for Distinguished Service  

Named for one of the founding members of The IIA, this prestigious award recognizes IIA members who have made extraordinary contributions to the internal audit profession through consistent and exemplary IIA involvement and service. This year’s award went to long-time IIA member, Louis Vaurs, MBA, Ph.D.

Vaurs ' service to the profession and membership in the IIA span 37 years. He has demonstrated exemplary leadership, serving as an executive board member of IFACI (IIA France) in various capacities from 1981 to 2000 – including serving as vice president from 1981 to1985 and chairman from1986 to1988. In 2001, he transitioned to an operations role as IFACI’s chief executive officer, serving for nine years. Beyond helping the profession to evolve in his home country of France, he has maintained an active role on the international internal audit stage by holding various positions on IIA global committees for more than two decades including:  Membership, Professional Issues, International Conference, Global Advocacy, and International Relations. Additionally, he assisted in the development and growth of the internal audit profession in French-speaking African countries, providing training for IIA members and support for IIA leaders in those areas.

William S. Smith Certification Awards

The Certification Awards recognize the highest scoring candidates for The IIA's Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam. Robert Bruce Marsden, CIA, received the William S. Smith Gold Award for earning the highest score on the exam during 2011. Douglas Scott Schmidt, CIA, received the A.J. Hans Spoel Silver Award for earning the year’s second highest score on the CIA exam. Ömer Kerem Seçkin, CIA, received the William S. Smith Bronze Award for earning this year’s third-highest score on the CIA exam. The Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Award went to Jeffrey S. Littlejohn, CIA, IIA-Dallas, the student candidate with the highest CIA exam score in 2011.

John B. Thurston Award for Literary Excellence (Publication)

This award is presented to the author(s) of the most outstanding article published by Internal Auditor magazine from January through December of the preceding year the awards are distributed. Written by Michael Jacka, CIA, CPCU, CPA, CLU, and Peter Scott, APR, “The Whole World’s Talking," provides an overview of the risks and opportunities that organizations need to consider relating to social media. It addresses specific components that should be included in a social media strategy that internal auditors can evaluate to determine the level of maturity of an organization’s approach. Most importantly, it outlines value-creating strategies in auditing social media. 

Ted Keys Award

This award – named in honor of Elmer Theodore Keys Jr., a long-time chairman of The IIA’s Editorial Policy Committee and a regular writer for the Internal Auditor magazine – is presented each year for the most outstanding article submitted to one of the magazine’s departments. The selected article, "Auditing Cookies,"  by Bruce D. Woods, ran in the December 2011 issue of the magazine. The article discusses what internal auditors need to know in developing an audit approach for managing cookies and minimizing risk.

Outstanding Contributor Awards

Awards are presented annually to authors of five articles published in Internal Auditor magazine that are evaluated and selected by The IIA’s Communications Advisory Committee. The Institute of Internal Auditors presented the following authors with the Outstanding Contributor Award during for their articles published in 2011:

  • Dennis L. McGuffie, CPA for “Taming the Beast: Reining in Health-care Fraud”
  • Norman Marks, CPA for “Navigating Risk Management”
  • Richard Mosher, CISA, CISSP, CBCP, CGEIT and Denise Mainquist, CISA, QSA for “The Outsourcing Relationship”
  • Brad Ames, CPA, CISA, and Frederick Brown, CISA, for “Auditing the Cloud”
  • Will McMillan, CIA, CPA, and Christine Miller, CIA, CPA, CFE for “Big Ideas for Small Audit Shops”

Esther R. Sawyer Research Award

This award recognizes an internal audit student or graduate from an Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) school, based on the submission of an original manuscript on a topic related to modern internal auditing. This year’s recipient is Jonathan E. Bayhi, a student pursuing a Bachelor and Master of Science in Accounting, with a specialization in internal auditing, at Louisiana State University.  His submission, “Internal Auditing and Its Stakeholders: Understanding Perceptions, Achieving Potential,” addresses strategies internal auditors can apply to meet stakeholders expectations to maximize their value add without compromising their independence and objectivity. The paper identifies internal audit’s key stakeholders, examines components of successful audit strategies, and explores the future of internal audit’s value proposition.

Donald E. Ricketts Chapter Research Award

This honor recognizes IIA chapters submitting the best research projects during the year. This year’s first place winner is the IIA-Dallas Chapter for its research submission, “Cloud Computing: A Study of Internal Audit’s Preparedness in the Dallas Area.” The project was designed to define cloud computing as it relates to internal auditing and uncover strategies practitioners are using to measure and mitigate the associated risks.

This year’s second place winner was the IIA Austin Chapter for its submission, “Best Practices in Implementing Quality Assurance & Improvement Programs.”

Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Grant

Sylvie Harbour, a doctoral student at Université Laval in Québec, Canada, received The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation’s Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Award in support of her dissertation, “The Role of Internal Audit in the Corporate Governance Process.”  Twice annually, The Foundation accepts applications for the grant from doctoral candidates conducting research relating to the profession of internal auditing.

The IIA Research Foundation has provided grants to doctoral candidates since 1982. In 1990, the award was named The Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Grant in memory of a man who spent his life advancing internal audit research and education. In addition to holding countless IIA leadership positions, Dr. Barrett DBA, CIA, served as chairman and professor of the accounting department at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Neb. He was instrumental in establishing internal audit courses at the universities where he served and encouraged course development at educational institutions around the world.


About The IIA

Established in 1941, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is a global professional association for internal auditors around the world, with headquarters located in Altamonte Springs, Fla., USA. The IIA serves more than 175,000 members from 165 countries by providing professional development, guidance, and certification.