Published 04/28/17

Catherine Parente '78: Breaking barriers, giving back

Catherine Parente ’78 was a pioneer at Bryant and in the workplace. She chose to major in accounting at a time when the field was dominated by males. “Sometime I was the only woman in my class,” she recalls. She became one of Rhode Island’s first female partners in a CPA firm in 1987 and is the first woman to be named a partner at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP, where she specializes in fraud examination and financial forensics.

The hard work Parente invested to graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors at Bryant also is evident in the professional certifications she has earned: Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF), and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).


It’s a work ethic she saw modeled by her late parents, Ernest and Grace D’Acchioli. “I was a first-generation college student and my parents worked very hard to give me and my sister that opportunity,” says Parente. 

To honor their memory, Parente established the Parente Accounting Scholarship Fund in 2014. “The idea of establishing a scholarship was intriguing to me as a way to help another student in some small way.”


She found it gratifying to meet the scholarship recipient, Alex Brady ’17, knowing full-well the focus it takes to achieve success at Bryant and beyond. Brady has accepted a full-time position with the Hartford office of PwC, where he completed a summer internship. His connection to Bryant and drive to success will continue with his enrollment in the University’s Master of Professional Accountancy program.

Brady believes that his academic achievements are, in no small part, the result of the scholarship he received.  “With the financial burden reduced, it makes it that much easier to focus on my studies,” he explains. “Additionally, it is a source of pride that my achievements as an accounting student and my sacrifices to perform well in school are recognized.”