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The state’s largest professional organization serving the needs of certified public accountants and aspiring CPAs has selected a faculty member in the School of Business at Mississippi College for its top educational award.
Dr. Sheree Corkern, professor of business at MC, has received the 2022 Outstanding Educator Award from the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants. Corkern will be formally recognized during the MSCPA’s annual convention in June 2022 at the Sandestin Beach Resort in Florida.
In nominating Corkern for the award, Dr. Billy Morehead, professor of accountancy at MC, described her as “equally admired, respected, and feared” by her students.
“Dr. Corkern loves teaching and loves her students,” Morehead said. “Her effectiveness is further exemplified by those students who graduate and take the CPA exam; many of these students write or call back to the University thanking Dr. Corkern for her diligence in her classes. Many cite her tenacity in the classroom as a significant contributor to their success on the CPA exam.
“She is constantly encouraging them to excel in their course work, their social activities, their employment during school, and ultimately, their life and careers.”
Corkern said she was first informed about her accomplishment while attending the annual Accounting Educators’ Symposium Oct. 29.
“It was a great experience and a wonderful day,” she said. “Karen Moody, president/CEO of the MSCPA, had arranged for some of my family members to attend, which made the day extra special.”
Dr. Marcela Eduardo, dean of the School of Business, credits Corkern for positively shaping accounting graduates at MC for more than three decades.
“Dr. Corkern has effectively taught one of the most critical classes in the curriculum – Intermediate Accounting,” Eduardo said. “The lasting foundation of financial accounting knowledge this course has given her students has made a huge difference on their subsequent success on the CPA exam and their accounting careers.”
Dr. Mark Morgan, associate professor of accountancy at MC, said Corkern is the epitome of what an outstanding faculty member should look like.
“She trains our future CPAs with due diligence,” Morgan said. “Her fellow faculty members rely heavily on her to teach our students how to study before they get to their other accounting classes. And she never disappointed us, nor them.”
Pete Thomason, a former student of Corkern’s, said her passion for accounting education has impacted decades of aspiring accounting students.
“In the classroom, Dr. Corkern demands and expects that her students give their best effort, which is extremely formative for those seeking to complete an accounting degree,” Thomason said. “Outside of the classroom, she is supportive, encouraging, and the biggest cheerleader for her students’ success.”
Corkern earned her B.S.B.A. in accounting and her M.B.A. at MC and obtained her Ph.D. from Jackson State University. She began teaching at MC as an adjunct professor in 1983 and has been with the Christian University ever since. She said she plans to retire in May 2022 after 39 years on the Clinton campus.
“I have had a truly rewarding career and receiving this award has been the icing on the cake,” she said. “It never occurred to me that I would be nominated for this award, much less actually receive it. I am very grateful for this special honor.”
She has been named to numerous committees for the School of Business, the University, and other professional organizations, and has served on the MSCPA’s Accounting Education and Awards Committee for about 20 years. The author or coauthor of numerous articles, papers, and presentations, she has developed questions for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Uniform CPA Examination. In addition to her scholarly activities, Corkern has played an active role in her church.
“Sheree has dedicated her life to serving Christ in many ways,” said Dr. Brooks Poole, assistant professor of accountancy at MC. “One of those avenues has been through teaching at MC. By serving as a professor at MC, she changed and bettered so many lives of students and colleagues, and she bettered our profession.”
Morehead said Corkern takes an active role in helping place graduates in excellent career opportunities – often with other MC graduates.
“I consider Sheree a true asset of and friend to this University and the accountancy profession,” Morehead said. “I cannot imagine the accounting program at MC without her.”
Corkern said the support she received from colleagues and current and former students for the award is especially gratifying to her.
“It means the world to me,” she said. “It brought tears to my eyes to read the comments made by former students, colleagues, and friends. I am so grateful and thankful for each and every one of their comments. Also, I am thankful to my Lord and Savior for giving me the skills and talents to be a teacher.
“As I have always said, ‘If I had to do life over again, I would become an accounting teacher.’ I have enjoyed my career as a teacher and I love being part of the accounting profession, too.”
Corkern said it is very important for Mississippi College to have faculty involved in statewide professional organizations like the MSCPA.
“This involvement offers the faculty member the opportunity to build professional relationships, learn from their peers, share new ideas and make new friends,” she said. “In the end, we are all on this journey together, and multiple minds are more powerful than one.”
The MSCPA serves as the state advocate for CPAs working or residing principally in Mississippi and provides resources, education, information, and leadership so its members may act in the highest ethical and professional manner for the benefit of clients, employers, and the public.
It supports a membership of more than 2,700 by being active in the Mississippi State Legislature and working closely with outside groups to monitor and respond to issues that affect CPAs and their clients.
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