Gies College of Business PhD student Ryan Sommerfeldt has received a prestigious 2019 Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting, presented by the Deloitte Foundation. The award comes with a $25,000 grant, and it is given to students who plan to pursue academic careers upon graduation.
“This honor means a lot to me both personally and professionally, and it will be incredibly helpful as I work toward finishing the doctoral program,” said Sommerfeldt, who is one of 10 PhD candidates nationwide to earn the award. “This also shows there’s interest and value in the research I’m doing. I hope receiving this award will help me get a great job at a top university that values both teaching and research.”
Sommerfeldt anticipates completing his PhD in Accountancy in May 2021. His research interests include behavioral research in managerial accounting, particularly in areas involving misreporting, fraud, and ethics. He has taught several sections of Assurance and Attestation at Gies Business, earning recognition on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.”
“I’ve always had a dream to become a teacher and help share knowledge with people,” he said. “Being an accounting professor allows me to merge business and education into one, so I can make a difference in the business world, as well as in the lives of students.”
Sommerfeldt has a bright future in accountancy education, according to Gies Business Associate Professor of Accountancy Jessen Hobson. Hobson recognized Sommerfeldt’s potential as a student at Brigham Young University and successfully recruited him to the University of Illinois. In 2017, Sommerfeldt, Hobson, and Assistant Professor of Accountancy Spencer Anderson combined to win a Center for Audit Quality Research Advisory Board Grant for $30,000.
“Ryan is a born academic, a hard worker, intelligent, and intuitive in his research,” said Hobson, who has already co-authored a paper with Sommerfeldt. “He is highly motivated to be successful. That is evident in everything he does, especially in his preparation and effort in class, teaching, and research.”
Sommerfeldt is continuing the excellent tradition of accountancy at Gies College of Business. The Department of Accountancy is ranked #2 in the nation by both US News & World Report and Public Accounting Report, and Gies Business accountancy faculty are ranked #1 in the nation in the BYU Faculty Research Rankings.
“I love everything about the accountancy program at Gies College of Business,” said Sommerfeldt. “We have a lot of dedicated faculty that excel in the research and teaching of accountancy. They’ve been great mentors for me.”