ADRIAN, Mich. – In 2002, Adrian College hosted the first-ever seminar hosted by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRSCI) as a co-sponsor for the event. 2012 marks the ten-year anniversary of what became nationally known as ‘The Adrian Project’. It also marks the conclusion of the program with its final session to be held in the location of its origin March 17, 2012.
The training sessions have previously enlisted IRSCI agents in interactive engagement with students interested in pursuing a career with the IRSCI. These exploratory sessions offered a hands-on experience with realistic investigative simulations, such as money laundering, wiretapping, illegal drug busts, and tax evasion investigations. The goal was to increase student awareness of the career options available with the IRS.
The event was spearheaded by Professor Bill Nalepka and Agent Steve Moore during a 2001 conversation after Moore offered the opportunity to Adrian College to host. Nearly a year of development and planning ensued, and the first Saturday seminar took place in February 2002 with approximately 25 Adrian accounting and criminal justice students participating. The program was well reviewed and returned the following year for a second program.
“The first time we offered the program, the students and the professors didn’t know what to expect. At the end of the day, many of the students commented that they had never envisioned such a career path existed,” said Nalepka.
“It was an eye opener. I think one of the highlights of the program occurred when student agents “busted” the professor who was playing the role of a “shady businessman” and led him out of the room in handcuffs.”
The local newspaper, The Daily Telegram, publicized the event, resulting in its followup coverage in several newspapers and USA Today. This publicity increased awareness and interest in the program resulting in its growth in which it was offered at other colleges and universities nationally. The success borne a similar project geared to high school aged students dubbed “Little Adrian Project”.
The final program will be held in Jones Hall on Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The program is by invitation only and is expected to include students from Adrian College and Siena Heights University.