The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has announced the winners of the semi-annual Elijah Watt Sells Awards, presented to the CPA candidates who attain the highest combined grades in all four sections of the two-day Uniform CPA Examination.
The Gold Medal winner for the highest grade is Alison Rae Mathis of Tampa, Florida. Mathis received the highest score among the 59,500 candidates who took the demanding two-day test in November, 2003.
Mathis graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2003, earning both a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Taxation. She was named University of Florida “Tax Student of the Year” in 2003. Mathis is a Tax Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Tampa office. In her free time, Mathis volunteers at the Society for Prevention and Cruelty to Animals.
The Silver Medal winner, awarded for the second highest grade on the Examination, is Laura C. Willis of Indianapolis, Indiana. Willis graduated summa cum laude from Valparaiso University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
She is employed as an Accountant at Defense Finance and Accounting Services, an agency of the Department of Defense. Willis is a member of the Association of Government Accountants.
The Bronze Medal winner for the third highest grade is Nivedita Giupta of Aurora, Illinois. Giupta earned a Bachelor’s degree with Honors from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India in 1996. Continuing her education and adding to her accomplishments, Giupta attended Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems in 2001, and an MBA in Accounting in 2003. Giupta is currently employed as a Senior Programmer and Analyst by International Truck and Engine Corporation.
The award was created in 1923 to honor Elijah Watt Sells (1824-1924), a founding partner of Haskins & Sells, a predecessor to the international firm Deloitte & Touche. Sells was one of the country’s first CPAs under the provision of a New York State law enacted in 1896 and a leader in advancing professional education. He was active in the establishment of the AICPA and was a founder of New York University’s School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance.
Winners of the AICPA Elijah Watt Sells Award are honored by their State Societies or State Boards of Accountancy and receive plaques containing their medals.