By Jeff Murphy, April 18, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – In the 21 years she has served the University of Central Missouri, Jo Lynne Koehn, Ph.D., has developed a reputation as an outstanding mentor and colleague to faculty members in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies with a passion for teaching that contributed to hundreds successful graduates. Such qualities haves contributed to her selection as recipient of the 2016 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award, the top honor presented annually to a UCM faculty member.
Koehn and other individuals who were nominated for the award will be publicly honored during a reception hosted by UCM President Charles Ambrose at 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at the performance area on the first floor of the James C. Kirkpatrick Library. She also will be honored during the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies’ spring commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7 in the Multipurpose Building. Both of these events are open to the public.
The award is named for William H. Byler, an inventor, author and teacher who graduated from UCM in 1927 with a major in chemistry and physics. He established an endowment fund to provide annual recognition for distinguished faculty performance, evidenced by teaching, scholarly or creative activity and professional-related service.
“I am so honored by the nomination for this award that came from my colleagues and for their support,” Koehn said. “The things that I enjoy most about working at Central are the people – my departmental team and university colleagues, and also the students, who have enriched my life immeasurably. I congratulate my fellow nominees and feel humbled to be receiving this recognition given the quality of educators nominated.”
Koehn, who has taught undergraduate and graduate students, joined the UCM faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor of accountancy and climbed the faculty ranks to become a professor in 2002. She was honored as BKD Distinguished Professor of Accountancy in 2009, and continues to hold that position, which is made possible by a major gift to the UCM Alumni Foundation from BKD LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting firms.
In her role as a university educator, Koehn provides instruction for a number of courses such as Intermediate Accounting, Accounting Theory, Auditing, and Financial Reporting and Analysis. She has adopted new pedagogical technologies such as web-based learning, and has strived to create new courses and revise existing courses to ensure students have the most up-to-date curriculum to prepare them for work in the accounting field. She also chaired the committee and served as lead author for Accountancy’s successful reaffirmation of accreditation in 2015 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International.
Faculty members and administrators in the Harmon College who supported her nomination praised Koehn’s focus on students. Many of them went on to work for top accounting firms thanks to her tutelage and commitment to their success.
“Dr. Koehn’s devotion to the profession and students is continually reiterated by her former students,” noted Roger Best, dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies. “I frequently receive praise from alumni who attribute and track their success back to Dr. Koehn. That two-thirds of our graduates typically become employed by area accounting firms, including the ‘Big Four,’ represents a strong endorsement of the quality of Dr. Koehn’s mentorship.”
During her tenure at UCM, Koehn has been instrumental in developing a nationally recognized Beta Alpha Psi Chapter, which is an international honor organization for financial information professionals. Dr. Koehn also has served as a team coach for BAP competitions, which has resulted in multiple first-place finishes regionally and a second-place finish nationally. Her dedication to students also has included serving as a team sponsor for the MSCPA Leap Challenge and as faculty advisor for UCM’s Accounting Students Association.
Koehn has strived to maintain positive working relationships with accounting professionals for the benefit of her students. This includes working with UCM’s 22-member Accountancy Advisory Board, where she plays a key role in recruitment and board organization. She co-founded and continues to advise the Young Accounting Advisory Board, and has been co-faculty advisor for the Accounting Students Association, and accounting program coordinator. She was honored in 2014 as Missouri Accounting Educator of the Year, which is an award presented by the Missouri Society of CPAs in recognition of CPAs who “go above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the profession and the community.”
Her exemplary record of scholarship includes contributions to more than 30 publications such a peer-reviewed accounting journals, being published in case books used in financial education, and serving as a contributing author to accounting textbooks. She has made presentations at accounting conferences and events, while also continuing her own education to maintain her CPA certification and Certified Financial Planner license.
Koehn’s service to the university, the college and her department is extensive, and includes leadership in the Faculty Senate, serving on UCM president and provost search committees, the Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee, participation on the Strategic Resource Allocation Model Team 2, and much more.
Koehn earned a bachelor’s degree in management and accounting from Kansas State University, Manhattan, and master’s and doctoral degrees in accounting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.