Lexi Koon, graduating senior accounting and major from Denver, Colorado.
Lexi Koon is a senior accounting and management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Denver, Colorado. She is in the integrated Masters of Accountancy program and wants to pursue a career as a CPA after graduation. We asked Lexi a few questions about her time at ACU. Read her answers below!
Q: How has your education at ACU, especially in your department, prepared you for the future?
A: My education at ACU has taught me a lot about learning how to see the world from other people’s perspectives and to be a better listener. That applies primarily to my classes outside of my business classes such as my bible classes, my communications classes, and other electives I have had to take over the years. As far as my education in the accounting department, I feel as though I have been prepared by the accounting department to understand the technical skills I will need to further my career as a CPA. It feels really great to come out of four years of school and know that I actually have the skill sets to be successful in a specific field and to also know that I will use what I learned in those classrooms every day in my career. In the business management department, my professors prepared me for my future by exposing me to different aspects of business as a whole, they inspired me to set extraordinary goals and challenged me to dream big (like in entrepreneurship class with Jim Litton), and above all else, they prepared me by showing me they believed in me.
Q: What has been your favorite thing/memory about your time at ACU and COBA?
A: Wow, that is a really hard question. I don’t know if I can necessarily pick a favorite, but it’s more-so a combination of all the times professors tried really hard to make bad jokes in class, when they invited us over for “Grilleniums” or when they invited us to worship events at their church. My most cherished memories have been when professors stopped class to give us a “real talk” about life or when they shared what was going on in their lives to give us encouragement in ours. My favorite experience at ACU by far has been getting to have my professors over and over again in class and building relationships with them to where I know they actually care about their students. From book club with Dr. Laura Phillips to bible study with Dr. Easter, they all have made a huge impact on my life as a student at ACU. The professors at ACU are funny, they are thoughtful, they are kind, and they are beyond caring.
Q: What was your favorite class in the accounting department?
A: Answering this question is difficult because the professors are all so different. All of the professors are great and they all bring a different character to the classroom. Content-wise and professor-wise, I would have to say Income Tax with Dr. Fowler has been my favorite class as an undergraduate. I dreaded having to take that class because, well, who wants to learn about taxes? I found that Dr. Fowler is one of few people in the world who can actually make learning about tax fun. He made us laugh almost every day and he challenged us, but he also believed in us. I’m also currently in his Corporate Tax class in the MAcc program and I can say that may be the hardest class I have ever taken but I still love it because he teaches it and constantly re-affirms us that we can do it.
Q: Who was your favorite professor and why?
A: I spoke a little about Dr. Fowler in that last question, but to answer this question, Dr. Fowler was my favorite professor because he went above and beyond to make us know that we are more than just a number in his class. He is typically known for teaching some of the hardest classes in the accounting department but he is also the professor that sends us emails to tell us he believes in us, that he is proud of us, and that he is here for us. Almost every day in class, he tells us a funny story to make what should be boring content enjoyable, and several times throughout the semester he has stopped class to point out seasons of celebration in our own lives and other times he took the time to be real with where he’s at and the hardships that life faces us all. He made our classes become family and I would go back and take those extremely hard classes again as long as I knew he was teaching it.
Q: If you could talk to a prospective student considering coming to ACU, why would you tell them to choose ACU?
A: I would tell them to choose ACU because it is like no other college they will go to. The “ACU Difference” is the community that you find along the way. This should be apparent in my responses from earlier questions, but the professors, the faculty, and the students have shown me what it is to look at those who are different from me and want to learn from them, to learn how to love them, and to be surrounded by a circle of people who have your back 100%. As I leave ACU, I feel completely supported and surrounded by an extraordinary amount of love and I am thankful. You will never be a number here. The first year is tough at any college, but as you continue to grow your experience here, you will walk around and be known, and that is what the walking in the Kingdom looks like.
Our last installment in our COBA Study Abroad series highlights the MAcc (Master in Accountancy) trip to Australia and New Zealand, led by Dr. Curtis Clements and Dr. Kyle Tippens. MAcc students received credit for International Accounting and Financial Reporting and International Financial Markets. We can’t think of a better way to learn about global business than being immersed in it! We asked Dr. Clements to tell us what it’s like to learn in the land down under.
What made your destination a unique place to study?
We didn’t really have a home city. Instead, we traveled to three cities: Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand. We chose Australia and New Zealand because we had business contacts there and for their diverse cultures.
What businesses were you able to visit?
We visited a number of companies and organizations. These include PWC, KPMG, EY, the Sydney Wool Exchange, The Australian Accounting Standards Board, The Australian Auditing Standards Board, ANZ Bank, Australia-New Zealand Chartered Accountants, and Xerox.
Did you take the students on any sight seeing tours?
In Sydney we went to Taronga Zoo. Taronga is a world-class zoo with many different animals from around the world. We also took a nighttime harbor cruise during the Vivid Sydney festival, which was outstanding. In Melbourne, we took a trip outside the city on a train powered by a steam engine. In New Zealand, we toured Hobbiton where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed as well as the Hobbit movies. We also went to the Te Puia Maori Village cultural center in Rotorua. On their own, the students also traveled to the Blue Mountains, Manly Beach, and Bondi Beach in Sydney. They attended an Aussie Rules football game, went to Brighton Beach, and watched the penguins come ashore in Melbourne. In New Zealand, the students traveled to several locations outside of Auckland.
What is it like to be able to spend so much time with students in another country? How does it differ than being in a classroom setting in Abilene?
The experience was outstanding! You get to know the students so well and they get to know you beyond what they see in the classroom. It allows you to speak into their lives on a much deeper level. We learned so much about the students and, hopefully, they know us and our families better.
What were your favorite moments/experiences of the trip?
Two things stood out for me. First, my wife and I were able to renew friendships with people we haven’t seen in 27 years. As far as the academic part of the trip, there are so many things that were enjoyable and informative. I don’t think we had a bad visit and it is really hard to point to one thing. It was interesting as I was reading the students’ journals as they would say, “This is the best thing on the trip!” And then just a day or two later, they would say the same thing! As far as the sightseeing, I would have to say the trip to Hobbiton was the best thing we did.
If students could only learn one thing, what do you hope they learned?
That we live in an interconnected world. This is especially true in business. As an aside, I also hope they learned that what we teach and tell them in class really matters!
Anything else I’ve forgotten to mention that you would like to talk about?
We have some outstanding students!
COBA honored the MAcc (Master of Accountancy) class of 2018 at a luncheon on Thursday, May 3rd that was sponsored by KPMG. Special guest speaker was Cliff Crockett (’89), Partner at KPMG and father of graduating MAcc student, Daniel Crockett.
Mr. Crockett gave the students 10 tips for success as they begin their careers.
- Character and integrity count. Be trustworthy and admit your mistakes. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
- Establish goals and learn to manage yourself and your career. Begin with the end in mind and ask yourself where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Reassess your goals at different points along the way. Invest in and work to continually improve yourself. Root your goals in prayer and God. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”Proverbs 16:3
- Find a mentor(s) inside and outside of your employer, preferably someone older who can give you different perspectives. As you grow older, find someone you can mentor.
- What are your priorities in life going to be? Your priorities reflect where you spend your time.
- Be a lifelong learner. Always seek to learn something new. Continue to learn and cultivate your relationship with God.
- Be a servant leader. Put others first and be an encourager. Be salt and light in the world.
- Remember where you came from. Remember your roots – especially ACU. Stay connected to and be proud of being an ACU graduate. Remember the investment others have poured into you and pay it forward to the next generation of students that come through ACU.
- Stay involved with your church and community.
- Remember to give back. Give of your time and talents, not just your money. Make giving back the first thing you do – be intentional about it. Remember who your money belongs to.
- Keep your eyes on Jesus. Everything falls in to place if you keep your eyes on Jesus. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Kaitlyn Renner Allen and Dr. John Neill
Dr. John Neill presented the Outstanding MAcc Graduate of the Year award to Kaitlyn Renner Allen. As an undergraduate student, Kaitlyn majored in Accounting while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout the undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. She was President of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Society; a member of Phi Eta Sigma Academic Honor Society; and a member of GATA Women’s ACU Social Club. She has received the following honors: Dean’s Honor List; R.L. Money Chancellors Award; Valedictorian Scholarship, Accounting Education Foundation of the Texas Society of CPAs scholarship, and the Abilene Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs award. Last spring, she had the opportunity to intern with PwC in Dallas and she has accepted a full-time position as a Tax Staff Accountant in the Ft. Worth office starting this July.
Dr. Scott Stovall reads his blessing over the graduates
Dr. Scott Stovall gave this blessing over the graduates:
We accounting and finance faculty offer you our blessing. It has been an honor to teach and serve you. Your spirit, your curiosity, and your servant heart have lifted us up while you have been here. Your attitude has amazed us and perhaps a few times disappointed us. As you prepare to leave us, we ask that you remember a few things.
First, remember that God is Sovereign over everyone and everything. As one of His children, your sole purpose on this earth is to glorify Him. As you begin your career, remember to be the best professional that you can be. God has called you to do everything as though you are doing it for Him. Should you choose to marry someone and raise children, ground those relationships in God’s love. Follow the advice that my grandfather once gave me and choose a mate who will help you, and who you can help, get to Heaven. Show your children (and your grandchildren) what God is like.
Second, remember to take great care about wealth and money. Don’t live beyond your means. God will bless some of you with the talent to make money, and we hope that you in turn bless God’s Kingdom with that talent. On the other hand, there may be no greater threat to your spirituality than to become entangled by pursuing wealth and things. Jesus likened riches to weeds that can choke out the Word of God. Using Paul’s words to Timothy, remember that, “…godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Third, remember that Jesus is your salvation. You will fail many times over your lifetime. Remember that in Christ, failure is victory. You will glorify God if you remain in His grace. There is no failure, mistake, or sin from which Christ is unable to redeem you. God is always, ALWAYS waiting on you.
Finally, remember that we faculty, your COBA family and your Christian brothers and sisters love you. Hold each other accountable. Be transparent with weakness. Show strength by reaching out to others for help. Although you are graduating, treat us as a “city of refuge” to which you will travel to share both joy and sorrow. Be good stewards of the reputation you now have as MACC program graduates.
With paraphrased words of our Savior from many years ago, Dear Father:Bless us to be poor in spirit, for ours is the kingdom of heaven. Bless us to be mournful, for we will be comforted. Bless us to be meek, for we will inherit the earth. Bless us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for we will be filled. Bless us to be merciful, for we will be shown mercy. Bless us to be pure in heart, for we will see God. Bless us to be peacemakers, for we will be called sons (and daughters) of God. Bless us as we are persecuted because of righteousness, ours is the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
The MAcc Class of 2018
Graduates, your adventure begins now. Congratulations to the Master of Accountancy graduating class of 2018!
To download and/or order prints of pictures from the luncheon, click here.
Aimee Agee is COBA’s Professional Development Manager for Business and Technology students. She works continuously with students to equip them with the skills and knowledge to successfully launch into the professional world. This includes meeting one-on-one with students to discuss their job and internship opportunities and outcomes, connecting them with employers who fit their skills and needs, and analyzing data on each student graduating while remaining in contact with them in their post-grad life. Aimee also conducts class insertions where she discusses specific careers with employers as well as more general information about interviews, resumes, networking, and more. Agee supplied the coaching and leadership needed to help COBA’s business and technology students improve their outcomes this year. Her hard work and excellence in developing and communicating with students has impacted COBA graduates’ academic and professional careers positively.
We are pleased to announce that the B.B.A. programs’ overall outcomes have moved beyond our stated goal of 90%. 93% of our May graduating class received either a job offer or an acceptance into a graduate program within ninety days of graduation. Achieving this rate gives us a past-four-year average of 90.18 %. The average starting salary for our B.B.A. students was $41,497. The School of Information and Technology had a very strong bump in employment, especially from Digital Entertainment Technology graduates. SITC had a 100% outcome rate of students with a job offer or acceptance to a graduate program. This includes their international students and again exceeds the target of 90%. The average starting salary for SITC graduates was $57,600. COBA saw 100% of the students in the Master of Accountancy program employed within ninety days of graduation. The average starting salary for MAcc graduates was $55,000.
Learn more about COBA’s Professional Development Program for current students and alumni at the links listed or by going to www.acu.edu/coba.
COBA honored the MAcc (Master of Accountancy) class of 2017 at a luncheon on Tuesday, May 2nd that was sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Amanda Stephens receives MAcc award from Dr. Curtis Clements
Amanda Stephens was named the Outstanding MAcc Graduate of the Year. As an undergraduate student, Amanda majored in Accounting with minors in Spanish, Sociology, and Public Service. Amanda will start full-time in January with Whitley Penn in its Forensic, Litigation, and Valuation Services Department.
Chris Baker, partner with PwC and ACU alum, addressed the graduates and encouraged them to live a life of authenticity and integrity in all that they do. He also impressed upon them the need to give back to the world around them.
Dr. David Perkins
Dr. David Perkins gave a blessing over the graduates, reading Deuteronomy 8, and exhorting them to never forget the Lord, live humbly and remember that everything has been given to them by God – including their abilities.
MAcc Class of 2017
Graduates, your adventure begins now. Congratulations to the Master of Accountancy graduating class of 2017!
To download and/or order prints of pictures from the luncheon, click here.
Dr. Brad Crisp officially began his tenure as the Dean of the College of Business Administration in June and has been building an agenda since for his new role. One of the items on that agenda has been to reach out to and connect with alumni from the College of Business and the School of Information Technology and Computing, giving alumni and friends an opportunity to meet or reacquaint themselves with Dr. Crisp as well as learning more about the state of our college and what our plans are for the future. Thus, the idea for the “Meet the Dean Tour” was born and implemented in partnership with the Alumni Relations Office.
Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration
The tour began in Abilene with 56 alumni and friends and at each stop, Dr. Crisp illustrated ACU’s long standing success in business education and our recent path of progress with our School of IT and Computing. Along with our first event in Abilene, alumni and friends gathered in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Silicon Valley at networking breakfasts and lunches. Alumni who graduated within the past 10 years were invited to join Dr. Crisp for a “Beat the Dean” event at Top Golf in several of these cities, as they attempted to best the new Dean. It was a fun time of networking and Dr. Crisp was able to withstand the challenge brought by our young alums.
Young Alums in Dallas
Dr. Crisp aims to win
COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas
Not only were we able to reconnect with alumni, but we also met with parents of current students as well as prospective students and their families as they sought to learn more about the College and our programs and opportunities. Recent graduates were hard at work at these events, helping us connect students to internships and job opportunities in their organization. Alumni who have risen to leadership roles in their companies expressed their desire to create and sustain pipelines of ACU talent to their organizations. Many of our alums shared stories of the encouragement and strengthening they received both professionally and personally while attending ACU. They were encouraged by Dr. Crisp’s consistent reference to our heritage of business excellence, rooted in our personal commitment to living out the mission of Christ and bringing this mission to the workplace.
Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin
Today, Dr. Crisp leads a College offering 5 business degrees and 4 technology degrees at our Abilene campus, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy which is leading the nation in student engagement for entrepreneurship programs, and the new Lytle Center for Leadership and Faith Development which is continuing our Distinguished Speaker Series and Leadership Summit course. The reach of ACU’s mission to educate Christian servants and leaders has expanded with the on-line MBA program, offered through the ACU Dallas campus in addition to our residential Master of Accountancy program and additional on-line graduate programs are in the discussion phase. The College of Business enjoyed an enrollment of exactly 1,000 total students this fall and is positioned for additional growth. Our Master of Accountancy and Computer Science programs supply a steady stream of employers coming to campus to interview for talent as the changing landscape of business is driven by technology and entrepreneurship, demanding ethical leaders in this rapidly transforming environment.
Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio
The opportunity to begin Dr. Crisp’s tenure by connecting with alumni was emphasized by an intentional effort to listen to and involve alumni and friends in our efforts to develop the next generation of business and technology servant leaders. All in attendance were encouraged to give us feedback via an on-line survey. If you were unable to attend one of the stops but would like to give feedback as we continue to shape the direction and future of ACU’s College of Business and School of Information Technology and Computing, please fill out the survey by clicking on this link.
Your support of our work to educate business and technology professionals for Christian service and leadership throughout the world is a great encouragement to us and we cannot achieve our goals without support from alumni and friends. Thank you!