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Bruce Behn, a renowned UT accounting professor, has received the 2012 Beta Alpha Psi Business Information Professional of the Year award.

He was one of three recipients to be honored this year with the national accolade.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be included among the list of honorees,” said Behn, who is the Ergen Professor in Business and head of the Department of Accounting and Information Management in the UT College of Business Administration. “All of these individuals have given so much to the accounting profession and made a difference in many lives. I just hope that I have contributed to this ideal in my own way.

“My success started with Beta Alpha Psi when I was an undergraduate accounting student.”

Behn, who is also a faculty fellow of the UT Center for Business and Economic Research, was nominated by UT’s Beta Alpha Psi student chapter.

The two other 2012 business professionals honored were Mary Pat McCarthy, a certified public accountant who was nominated by Creighton University in Nebraska, and Kecia Williams Smith, a certified public accountant nominated by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.

Beta Alpha Psi is an international honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. The national award was created in 1974 and is presented annually to individuals who make significant contributions to the business information professions in the areas of academia, business, and government.

“The work (these three individuals have done) will not only continue to put them at the forefront of their industry, but also highlight the caliber of professionals associated with Beta Alpha Psi,” said Mary P. Stone, the organization’s president.

Behn joined UT in 1994 after completing his doctorate at Arizona State University. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Prior to obtaining his doctorate, he worked for Rockwell International in Uithoorn, the Netherlands. He also was the international financial coordinator for Allen-Bradley Europa B.V., controller and financial analyst for Allen-Bradley Company, and senior auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick.

Behn’s articles have been published in many industry publications.

He also has been lauded in the classroom, receiving numerous teaching awards, including the AAA’s Innovation in Accounting Education award, UT’s Alumni Outstanding Teaching award, and the Tennessee Society of CPAs Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Behn currently chairs the Pathways Commission and the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Pre-certification Education Executive Committee. He is past vice president of the American Accounting Association (AAA) and past president of AAA’s International Accounting Section and the Federation of Schools of Accountancy.

“The Pathways Commission was created by the AAA and AICPA to study and recommend improvements in accounting education,” Behn said. “Its objective is to develop strategies and structures to ensure an adequate supply of the best diverse talent to sustain the accounting profession over the long term.”

Nominations for the Beta Alpha Psi Professional of the Year award are submitted by a local chapter and chosen by the organization’s board of directors. The award is sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants Inc. (IMA). Award recipients’ nominating chapters receive a $2,000 scholarship from IMA.


Cindy Raines (865-974-4359,