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Nataly Keeton, a senior at East Central University, has been awarded a $3,000 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students for the 2008-09 academic year.

A graduate of Dickson High School and a member of the Choctaw Nation, Keeton also has received a scholarship from the Oklahoma Society for Certified Public Accountants and scholarships from the ECU Foundation Inc.

"I am extremely grateful for the scholarships," Keeton said. "I would have had to take out additional student loans without them. Now I do not have to work as many hours so I am able to focus on my studies more."

"I love ECU," she added,"because it offers small class sizes, professors are very personable and you can talk to them about anything."

With encouragement from her accounting professors, Dr. Sarah Holmes and Dr. Yvette Harjo, Keeton applied for several national, state and local scholarships.

"What a joy Nataly is to have in the classroom," said Holmes, chair of the Accounting Department. "She is one of those students who never disappoint you. Nataly is a first-generation student who creates a quality output in all her academic work."

The AICPA is committed to promoting awareness and integration of the accounting profession to ethnically diverse populations. To achieve this goal the AICPA provides scholarship support to outstanding minority students. This year the AICPA and its minority initiatives committee awarded scholarships to 137 accounting students.

Keeton is a student member of the AICPA and the OSCPA. Next year she will be an officer in ECU's Accounting Club.

She plans to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in accounting and then pursue a master's degree in accounting at ECU. She is the daughter of Rusty and Sherry Keeton of Ardmore.

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