TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Angela Bassani

Angela Bassani is an optimist and as a result, has seen great success in her life. She believes that with hard work, everything you dream is possible. As a member of the accounting faculty at Penn State Scranton, she reminds her students of this every day.

Bassani is passionate about her work and never feels like she is "working" at her job.

"I approach each day feeling extraordinarily blessed and grateful," she said. "I surround myself with people and things who inspire me endlessly and ... always leave things better than you found them."

Teaching a variety of accounting courses full-time in the business program at Penn State Scranton, she also advises students and serves on various committees. She is the director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne counties, a national program sponsored by the IRS to provide free federal, state and local tax preparation for low-to-moderate income families.

"Our specific program is responsible for providing these services to nearly 3,000 families in northeast Pennsylvania each year in partnership with the University of Scranton VITA office, making it one of the largest VITA sites in Pennsylvania," she said.

She combines her two roles to complement each other, taking her accounting students out into the field to serve as interns in the VITA program. "It's an amazing thing to witness their transformation from their first day on the job to their last day, and I am so grateful to get to be a part of it," she said.

Bassani also served as an undergraduate intern in VITA.

Bassani earned her bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in finance and her master's in business administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of Scranton. She became a licensed Certified Public Accountant and is currently completing her doctoral degree in higher education leadership and management at Drexel University, expecting to defend her dissertation this summer.

Having been blessed with so many wonderful mentors throughout her life, she says Joe Hammond, CPA, who introduced her to the VITA program during undergrad has taught her so much; Peg Kopko, vice-president of United Way, supporting her as director; and Dr. Barbara Burkhouse, for encouraging her in becoming a great educator.

Her late grandmother, Dolores LaMarca, had a great impact on who the young woman is today.

"She defined what it was to be a strong, independent woman and always absolutely radiated love and laughter from every pore in her body, and I learned that it is okay to let the world make you strong and tough, but never hard," she explained.

Her parents raised her with endless love and the unwavering belief that she could accomplish anything, and that was all she ever needed was to believe the same.

"I would not be the person I am today without them in my corner always," Bassani said.

She is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the Education and Schools and Colleges committees.

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