Texas CPA Society honors outstanding educator

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Dr. Brett Wilkinson, accounting professor at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, was honored recently with the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants' (TSCPA) 2008 Outstanding Accounting Educator Award.

At a ceremony held Oct. 24 during the TSCPA Accounting Education Conference, Wilkinson received a plaque and a $1,000 award provided by the TSCPA Accounting Education Foundation.

The statewide TSCPA Outstanding Accounting Educator Awards honor Texans who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and who have distinguished themselves through active service to the accounting profession. Criteria for judging includes instructional innovation, student motivation, the pursuit of learning opportunities for students, involvement in student and professional accounting organizations, and research accomplishments and publications.

"Brett is dedicated to providing his students with the best educational experience possible," said Charles Davis, chair of Baylor's Accounting & Business Law department. "He continually pushes his students to go beyond the memorization of the tax code to understand why the tax code is written the way it is and the resulting economic consequences. This award provides external validation to what our department has known for several years – that Brett Wilkinson is an outstanding teacher."

Wilkinson joins two others on Baylor faculty, Dr. Jane Baldwin and Dr. Bill Thomas, who have received this award in recent years. In addition, he was awarded the Hankamer School of Business Outstanding Teaching Award in May.

Wilkinson centers his teaching philosophy on three crucial areas: assisting students to understand the logic underpinning tax law, encouraging students to be active in the learning process, and helping students to see learning as discovery. He encourages his students to see the "big picture" rather than simply using examples and interpretations from the textbooks, and he frequently asks students to look directly at the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations to try and discover exactly what is being said. Therefore they can understand and interpret a concept rather than stating a fact. Wilkinson also brings practitioners into the classroom for additional insight about the material they are currently studying.

Wilkinson has actively contributed to the profession by writing a number of published articles for magazines and journals.

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