Accounting Student Earns $10K Scholarship

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A Naveen Jindal School of Management accounting graduate student has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Kaylee Gross

Kaylee Gross is among 167 college students selected from across the nation to receive one of the merit-based scholarships, which total $1.6 million. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB in its disciplinary proceedings be used to fund a merit scholarship program for students in accredited accounting degree programs.

Gross, who is balancing work on her Master of Science in Accounting degree with a job as head tutor at the JSOM Accounting Tutoring Lab, said the award will assist with tuition.

“I was speechless when I learned that I’d won the scholarship,” said Gross, who moved from the Philippines to Texas in 2013 to study at UT Dallas.

“I received the University’s Academic Excellence Scholarship during my undergraduate years, but never have I received an award of this magnitude. The welcoming campus environment, rigorous academic programs and diverse scholarship opportunities are just a few of the reasons I chose UTD over 20-plus other colleges that I considered while in high school in Manila.

“It’s also why I made the best academic and financial decision to continue my graduate studies here.”

Tiffany Bortz, associate coordinator for JSOM’s Accounting Area, said Gross was nominated for the PCAOB scholarship during a blind nomination process. She is not the first UT Dallas student to win the award, but Bortz said she is highly deserving.

Tiffany Bortz

“Kaylee’s academic background is exemplary,” Bortz said. “She has a humble disposition, and I have no doubt she will succeed in this profession.”

Amy Troutman

While Gross learned about the scholarship opportunity from Bortz, she credits Amy Troutman, director of the Jindal School’s Professional Program in Accounting, for igniting her interest in accounting.

“I began school as a math major, but my parents suggested I consider accounting courses,” Gross said. “Amy made my first class, Introduction to Financial Accounting (ACCT 6201), really come alive for me in a way that made me want to explore more.”

Early on, Troutman was impressed by Gross’ interest and aptitude in accounting, and by her ability to engage others.

“Kaylee has more than a numbers-driven brain,” Troutman said. “She’s also well-liked by her peers. There’s a wonderful humility about her, and I know she will succeed in this profession.”

Now in its seventh year, the PCAOB scholarship encourages students to pursue careers in auditing and advance investor protection. Upon graduating in May, Gross will do just that. She has accepted an external auditing position with audit, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton.

Before then, she has another hurdle to clear: the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The scholarship may not be used to pay for the CPA exam, but it will cover CPA review classes that Gross will take next semester.

Bridget Lewis

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