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AICPA Announces Recipients of Teaching Awards

The AICPA and CIMA have announced the recipients of the Bea Sanders/AICPA EDGE in Teaching Award, and the George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award.

AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, have announced the recipients of the Bea Sanders/AICPA EDGE in Teaching Award, which recognizes exceptional teaching in introductory accounting courses, and the George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award, which recognizes and disseminates successful leading-edge practices in the teaching of junior- or senior-level accounting courses.

This year’s honorees are Tracie Miller, PhD, CPA, chair of the accounting program at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and Wendy M. Tietz, PhD, CPA, CGMA, CMA, CSCA, MCT, accounting professor at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, who received the Bea Sanders/AICPA EDGE in Teaching Award for their development of an environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) module students complete in their introductory accounting courses.

Daniel E. O’Leary, PhD, CPA (inactive), professor at the Leventhal School of Accounting, in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, is the recipient of the George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award for his development of a case in analytics for upper-level courses.

“This year, I am so pleased to recognize several instructors for their work to increase interest and engagement in the accounting field of study, as well as preparing students for a vibrant and interesting career as accounting professionals,” said Jan Taylor, CPA, CGMA, PhD, academic in residence and senior director of academic and student engagement at the AICPA. “These educators have years of study and experience behind them and have contributed so much to accounting education, yet they continue to innovate in the classroom, bringing the topics of today to life for their students.”

Additionally, Vernon J. Richardson, PhD, of the University of Arkansas, was awarded the Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of accounting education as a teacher and researcher and particularly for his impact on nationwide accounting curricula in the United States. This prestigious annual award honors full-time college educators who are distinguished for excellence in teaching and have achieved national prominence in the accounting profession.

Bea Sanders/AICPA EDGE in Teaching Award in an Introductory-Level Course

Through the Bea Sanders award, the AICPA recognizes the value of introductory courses in accounting education in enhancing the attractiveness of the accounting major.

Tracie Miller and Wendy Tietz are recognized for their development of an ESG module students complete in their introductory accounting courses. The module, “ESG Projects for Introductory Accounting,” consists of a series of projects students must complete, from analyzing organization dashboards and reports to comparing organizations’ ESG performance. Not only is ESG an important business topic in the accounting profession today, but it is also of great interest to young students entering the field of study. The AICPA recognizes Miller and Tietz’s work capturing students’ interest in this topic and preparing them for the modern world of accounting.

Honorable Mention

Jennifer M. Cainas, DBA, MAcc, CPA, professor of instruction at the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy at the University of South Florida, and Margaret B. Shackell, PhD, CMA, CPA (Ontario),  associate professor of accounting and director of graduate business programs in the Ithaca College School of Business, receive an honorable mention for their teaching case for managerial accounting students, “NASCAR: Using a Lean Mindset,” which uses real NASCAR data to reinforce lean accounting concepts in a nonmanufacturing setting.

George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award in a Junior- or Senior-Level Course

The George Krull/Grant Thornton award, established by the AICPA in partnership with Grant Thornton, aims to both recognize and disseminate successful leading-edge practices in the teaching of upper-level accounting courses that continue to enhance accounting majors’ interest in the field of study and to encourage pursuing the CPA profession as a career. The AICPA gratefully acknowledges the contribution that Grant Thornton makes in funding this award.

Daniel E. O’Leary is recognized for his instructional case study, “Purchase Order – Analytic Audit,” which he has taught within courses both at the upper undergraduate and graduate levels. O’Leary developed and published this case study in response to PWC’s suggestion that faculty provide a data analytics practicum allowing students to solve business issues using data analytics. The course focuses on communicating the results of analysis in an understandable way, including through data visualizations. O’Leary’s case study allows for integration between accounting information systems classes and auditing classes, creating valuable connections for students. 

Honorable mention

Lucy Diala, DBA, assistant professor at the accountancy department of the Craig School of Business, California State University, Fresno, receives an honorable mention for her instructional case study, “Costing Breakage — Implementing Waste Reduction to Foster Sustainability,” which provides students with the opportunity to utilize data analysis tools such as Excel, Google spreadsheets and Bing AI (artificial intelligence) and demonstrates how these tools could be used in similar scenarios in the accounting profession.

All winners of the Bea Sanders/AICPA EDGE in Teaching Award and the George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award will present their winning submissions at the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting (CTLA), August 10–11, 2024, and the American Accounting Association Annual Meeting, August 12–14, 2024, both being held in Washington, DC.

All winners and honorable mentions will be recognized and given their awards and certificates during the CTLA luncheon on Saturday, August 10.

Award winners also receive a monetary prize of $5,000 for each winning submission, and honorable mentions receive $500 per submission.

Winning submissions can be found in the Academic Resource Database on