Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Accounting professor shines as a beacon of excellence


Clemson University Professor Holly Hawk, Ph.D., CPA, CGMA, of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, has been honored with the esteemed George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award for her exceptional contributions to the field of accounting education. The award, presented annually, recognizes innovative teaching practices for junior- and senior-level accounting courses.

This award is a testament to Professor Hawk’s unwavering commitment to innovative teaching practices and her exceptional ability to inspire the next generation of accountants. The George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award, presented annually, seeks to acknowledge and share cutting-edge teaching methods for undergraduate intermediate and advanced financial, cost/managerial, auditing, systems, tax, fraud/forensics and other accounting courses. These practices aim to ignite a deep interest in accounting among students while encouraging them to consider a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Hawk’s award-winning case study, titled “Building Higher Order Thinking Skills through Assessment of User Account Access Management,” has set a new benchmark for teaching accounting, capturing the essence of innovative pedagogy in accounting education. Her meticulously crafted case study not only exemplifies a profound understanding of the complexities of accounting but also showcases her creative approach to making this intricate subject matter accessible and engaging for her students.

In the case study, Professor Hawk masterfully weaves together essential learning objectives, providing students with a structured and comprehensive path toward a deep comprehension of accounting principles and information technology. By connecting theoretical knowledge with real-world scenarios, Hawk is allowing students to see the practical implications of their studies.

What sets her work apart is its alignment with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Competency Framework for Aspiring CPAs. By emphasizing these competencies, Professor Hawk ensures that her students are not just learning the technical aspects of accounting but are also developing the critical skills and ethical understanding needed to excel in their future careers as Certified Public Accountants.

The George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award is designed to promote excellence in accounting education, foster dynamic teaching, introduce groundbreaking techniques, and enhance classroom engagement. Professor Hawk’s dedication to these principles has made her a role model and a source of inspiration for the academic community.

In addition to honoring her teaching prowess, the award takes into account several key criteria established by the AICPA’s EDGE in Teaching Awards Task Force. These include the use of technology (such as R, Python, RPA, and AI), innovative approaches to teaching accounting concepts, incorporation of emerging topics like data analytics, ESG, and cybersecurity, and an emphasis on the AICPA Competency Framework for Aspiring CPAs. Professor Hawk’s teaching practice not only enriches students’ interest in accounting as a career but also demonstrates adaptability for implementation in other educational institutions, as she has proven that her techniques can be seamlessly integrated into junior- and senior-level coursework.

Speaking about her accomplishment, Professor Hawk expressed her gratitude, saying, “At Clemson University, I’ve had the privilege to foster innovative teaching methods that empower future accountants and business professionals. Receiving the AICPA George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award reaffirms the effective pedagogical approaches that align with our institution’s dedication to excellence.”

Hawk’s dedication to her students and innovative teaching methods have solidified her as a leader in the field of accounting education. Her contributions will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of accounting professionals. This award is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence and the profound impact she has had on the next generation of accountants.

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is proud to celebrate Professor Holly Hawk’s achievement and congratulate her on winning the prestigious George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award. Her commitment to excellence in accounting education sets a high standard for educators across the nation, and her work will continue to inspire students for years to come.

Read more about the award.

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