Joshua Castille, MS’18, was honored at The Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference last November for earning the highest score of any student who took the Certified Internal Auditor exam in 2019.
Castille received the Dr. Glenn E. Sumners Student Highest Achievement Award in recognition of his feat. Long active in the institute, Sumners is an accounting professor at Louisiana State University and director of its Center for Internal Auditing.
Castille earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from LSU before coming to UT Dallas.
He prepped for the CIA exam, he said, using Gleim CIA study materials, as well as textbooks and notes from lectures in various internal audit courses he took with accounting senior lecturer Joseph Mauriello, director of the JSOM Center for Internal Auditing Excellence.
“They did not give me [my] score,” Castille said about exam results. What he knows is that “the technical achievement was [that] I scored the highest score on the CIA exam when compared to all full-time students who passed all three parts on the first try.”
Examination scores historically range from about 250 to 700, with a 600 required to pass. Joshua obtained the highest average score for a student in 2019, according to the IIA.
In that year, 8,162 individuals globally earned the CIA, with an average pass rate of 42%.
However, statistics like those were not on Castille’s mind at the time.
“My goal was just to pass the exam!” he said. “I actually didn’t even look at my final part three results until two weeks after I received them because I was nervous that I didn’t quite make it. I wasn’t even aware that awards were given for achieving certain scores, so that was not anywhere on my radar when preparing for the exam.”
Also a certified public accountant, Castille is a member of the Dallas chapter of IIA and a senior associate in Risk Advisory Services in the Dallas office of Weaver, a Houston-based public accounting and advisory firm. He joined Weaver as an intern in August 2017 and earned the Rookie of the Year Award from the Risk Advisory Services team in 2019. He now focuses on internal audit services, including analysis and documentation of key processes and internal controls.
In a news release last December, John Wauson, Weaver’s partner in charge of Risk Advisory Services, called the CIA exam “a rigorous assessment” and said “it is no surprise that [Joshua] has received top honors.”
Since the award was announced, Castille said, “the continued outreach from members of the profession has been nothing short of humbling. People have reached out to set up times to discuss tips and tricks for the exam, as well as study materials used. While I feel as though I am nowhere near qualified to provide tips on how to succeed, I was and am always willing to provide guidance as best I can.
“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the experience and thankful to everyone who has supported me along the way,” he added. “As a participant and alumnus of Dr. Sumners’ internal audit program at LSU, I couldn’t be happier to be selected as a recipient of his namesake award.”
In a video in which he accepted the award, Castille thanked his fiancé not only for her support but also for “her constant day-in, day-out demonstration of what it means to be a hard worker, to be diligent and to achieve what you set your mind to.”
He also thanked Mauriello, who, Joshua said, “is not only a key ambassador for the internal auditing profession as a whole, but he has been a key role model for me in my career.”
— Kristine Imherr