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National CPA Organization Honors UW’s Ainsworth

August 15, 2016
head portrait of a woman
Penne Ainsworth

The American Institute of CPAs has selected University of Wyoming Professor Penne Ainsworth as the winner of the organization’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award.

Ainsworth, who chairs the Department of Accounting in the UW College of Business, was honored at the annual meeting of the American Accounting Association (AAA) in New York City.

The award, presented annually since 1985, recognizes full-time accounting professors who are outstanding educators and have achieved national recognition in the accounting profession. As this is the 100th anniversary of AAA, the award can be seen as a commitment to the next 100 years of accounting education, the organization says in a media release.

Ainsworth has received various academic awards and is co-author of a book, “Introduction to Accounting: An Integrated Approach” (2011).

“Penne’s commitment to her students as an administrator, mentor and professor, combined with her years of dedication to the profession in Wyoming, have been a model to accounting educators throughout the country,” says Steve Matzke, director of faculty and university initiatives for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Ainsworth previously served as associate dean of UW’s College of Business. She started teaching at UW in 1997. She currently serves as president of the Wyoming Society of CPAs Board of Trustees, and has served on numerous committees, such as the Education Committee, Planning Committee and various task forces.

She travels throughout Wyoming teaching the ethics/rules and regulations course for AICPA and represents Wyoming as the designated member for the AICPA Council. In addition, Ainsworth has visited school districts around Wyoming, introducing advanced placement accounting courses to high school students.

Ainsworth has been awarded research grants throughout her academic career and has served on various university committees.

“As someone who is passionate about utilizing innovative practices with her students, Penne is highly deserving of the Distinguished Achievement award,” Matzke says. “The knowledge she has passed on to the more than 2,000 students she taught will have an impact on the profession for years to come.”

Ainsworth started her career in academics as a graduate teaching assistant in accounting at Kansas State University. Ainsworth holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska. She earned a master’s degree in accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University.

AICPA is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.


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