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MAcc student training with 2012 Olympics in sight

November 08, 2010, Whitney Schaefer

${image-alt} Master of Accountancy student Jeff Schirmer

Jeff Schirmer is not your typical student. After graduation, while most other students will be starting their first career, Schirmer will begin his career as a professional runner and will begin training to try out for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Now a master of accountancy student, Schirmer spent his undergraduate years running for both SIU’s cross country and track teams. This year, he is still eligible to run for the track team because he was redshirted as a freshman. During his last two years in cross country, Schirmer was named NCAA all-American.

Schirmer began running cross country as a junior in high school, and his records have shown improvement every year. “During my senior year of high school, I finished 43rd at the state championship. Finishing 19th in the nation at the NCAA Division I Championship last year is a huge improvement from four years ago,” Schirmer said.

Once the track season ends, Schirmer’s goal is to sign with a running group that will financially support him and help him accomplish his goals of making the Olympic Trials and eventually the Olympic Games for the 10K race. He qualified for the U.S. Trials last year for the World Championship, but did not race in them.

After he retires from professional running, Schirmer will use his master’s degree to pursue a career in taxation. Dr. Julie Sobery, Director of the Master of Accountancy program, said, “It’s been a pleasure having Jeff in our MAcc program, and we wish him the best of luck with his new venture.” Dr. Marcus Odom, Director of the Accountancy program, agreed saying, “Jeff is a good representative of our program. He keeps his studies up while excelling as an athlete. Because of Jeff’s example, other students are considering the MAcc program.”