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Aug 10, 2021 2021-08 Accountancy Student

Two Gies PhD students win AICPA Fellowship

Two PhD students in the Gies College of Business Department of Accountancy have been award 2021-22 AICPA Minority Doctoral Student Fellowships. Jessica Thornton and Isaac Yamoah are among the short list of 25 fellowships granted nationwide. The fellowship, which carries a $12,000 award, is open to students across all years in a doctoral program.

“To me, this fellowship is confirmation that I am on the right path,” said Thornton. “It will not only lessen the financial burden associated with pursuing a PhD in Accounting, but also provide me with opportunities to meet and network with faculty and students who have similar interests.”

“It is indeed an honor and a blessing to win this award,” added Yamoah. “While I am humbled by this recognition, I feel equally challenged to work diligently as a doctoral student.”

Yamoah and Thornton are both entering their first year as doctoral students at Gies. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Thornton spent four years in audit and advisory at KPMG before deciding to pursue her doctorate. She plans to conduct financial research on topics such as investors’ judgment and decision making as well as non-GAAP disclosures.

“I was really drawn to Gies by the top-ranked, diverse faculty as well as the breadth of methods and topics available to study,” she said. “I am most excited to collaborate with the faculty and dive deep into research projects.”

Yamoah, a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University and Webster University, brings ten years of experience in the audit industry. He says he was drawn to the Gies doctoral program because of the distinguished success and productivity of the highly ranked accounting faculty, the flexibility to explore various research methods as a doctoral student, and the College’s reputation for placing PhD students at top research universities.

Being in the auditing profession for almost a decade with no firsthand research experience, I am excited about leveraging my professional experience to generate research questions that are both timely and relevant to practitioners,” said Yamoah, whose research explores factors that influence auditors’ judgment and decision making with broad interests in emerging technologies, internal controls, and enterprise risk management. 

The Gies College of Business Department of Accountancy combines rich heritage with a steadfast commitment to delivering the latest, leading-edge curriculum. The first PhD in accounting was issued at the University of Illinois in 1939, and for 80 years Gies College of Business has been a destination for top scholars entering the accounting professoriate. With the largest alumni network in the discipline and the most productive faculty in the world, a Gies PhD delivers a proven track record of success in academia.