UMSL accounting student Benjamin Taylor was named the 2011-12 LEAP Student of the Year by the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Benjamin Taylor was shocked when he was notified that he’d been selected by the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants as the Lead and Enhance the Accounting Profession Student of the Month for June 2012. He was even more surprised when he learned a month later he’d been chosen as the 2011-12 LEAP Student of the Year.

“It was unexpected,” said Taylor, a senior majoring in accounting at the University of Missouri–St. Louis . “It’s an honor to be recognized by MSCPA. As a student, these are the professionals I look up to and some day hope to work with. Being recognized as not only student of the month, but student of the year is a great honor.”

He was chosen by a panel of independent judges for his involvement in the profession and UMSL community.

Taylor, a resident of St. Charles, Mo., has tutored numerous accounting students and prepared income taxed returns for clients through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at UMSL. He is the vice president of programming for UMSL’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter, which involves mentoring membership candidates, securing guest speakers and planning networking events. Taylor is a member of the Pierre Laclede Honors College.

Taylor, a transfer student from St. Charles Community College, chose UMSL because of the accounting program and the opportunity to learn from the university’s top faculty in the area.

“Ben is especially mature and has a great work ethic,” Steve Moehrle, professor of accounting at UMSL, told MSCPA’s online magazine. “His intelligence and his previous experience in operations at a business give him an ideal foundation for mastering the material in our courses and launching a career in the CPA profession.”

Over the summer, Taylor completed an internship at Bunge North America. Although he’s now back to being a full-time student, he’s looking forward to additional internship possibilities before graduating next year.

He will be a guest at the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants’ annual gala in November where he will be recognized as the 2011-12 LEAP Student of the Year.

Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants created the LEAP Student of the Month and Student of the Year programs to highlight and bring to the forefront accounting majors who excel in and out of the classroom. Honorees display exceptional leadership, community involvement and professional conduct.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton

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