Originally posted by Katy McDowall in the Alcade. Photo by Matt Wright-Steel.
There are some teachers you just don’t forget. Nominated by alumni, these professors are among the best and most inspiring on the Forty Acres. Meet this year’s Texas 10.
Growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois, Lisa Koonce never thought she would attend college, let alone become a professor. She assumed she would be a secretary.
“It’s surprising to me still, at this point in my life, that I’m actually a university professor,” Koonce says. “People from my town didn’t do that sort of thing.”
Today, Koonce is the Deloitte and Touche Chair in Accounting at UT, where she has taught for 22 years and she’s earned a number of awards, including The University of Texas System Regents’ Teaching Award.
Teaching mostly seniors on their way to becoming certified public accountants, Koonce’s goal is to show her students that there’s more to accounting than just right or wrong answers.
“It’s not just black and white,” Koonce says. “There are a lot of financial situations that require judgment. I hope they realize that’s what they’re going to spend most of their professional lives doing.”
Koonce’s classroom also doubles as her research lab. While researching how accountants measure assets and liabilities at fair value, she often uses her students as test subjects.
“A lot of the projects I work on are related to ideas that students bring up in class,” she says. “If I really listen to them, I understand how they’re messing up their reasoning process.”
Ultimately, the research ideas Koonce gets from her students come full circle, helping her to teach more effectively.
“I view it as a pretty big privilege to work here,” she says, “and I feel very responsible for how they turn out.”
Meet our other Texas 10 professors here.