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Business Observer Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 5 months ago

Sarasota CPA firm's gift pays off with fellowship announcement

The gift was previously announced in November to help with the development of a fellowship program and scholarships.

SARASOTA — A five-year gift to a local business school announced in November of last year has already started making a difference. 

Three accounting faculty members at the University of South Florida Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy in the Muma College of Business were named as Kerkering Barberio fellows.  

The new fellowship program began this year with the help of the five-year gift presented by Kerkering, Barberio & Co, which also is set to assist with providing scholarships. Kerkering, Barberio is an independent CPA firm with locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Tampa. 

The new fellowship program named a professor on each of the three campuses: Patricia Gaukel, St. Petersburg campus; Luke Richardson, Tampa campus; and Ildiko Toth, Sarasota-Manatee campus.

“We are very excited to introduce the inaugural Kerkering Barberio Fellows. These three individuals represent outstanding undergraduate accounting instruction,” says Mark Taylor, director of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, in a statement. “Not only are these fellows deserving of the honor, but the distinction will further strengthen their strong ties to the professional accounting community.”

The program is designed to highlight faculty members who deliver classroom instruction well, are proficient in their field and demonstrate extensive engagement with the professional community. 

“It’s always been a priority for our firm to support and mentor the next generation of accountants, and this gift offers a greater opportunity for us to make a difference,” says Rob Lane, Kerkering Barberio’s managing shareholder. 

Gaukel is a senior instructor who has received the Quality Matters designation twice as well as being named faculty advisor of the year twice. Gaukel previously served as director of finance and manager of financial reporting and consolidations for Florida Progress Corporation. She also was an auditor for Arthur Andersen and Company.

Richardson, an associate professor of instruction and licensed Florida CPA, teaches courses regarding taxation of individuals and business entities. A past recipient of the Advisory Council’s Outstanding Teaching Award, Richardson currently serves as the faculty advisor for the accounting internship course. Additionally, he is a business consultant with the Florida Small Business Development Center.

Toth teaches intermediate accounting courses and accounting information systems as an associate instructor. She also is a licensed CPA with experience as a tax advisor, business analyst and revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service.

“We look forward to engaging with these fellows,” says Lane, “to further support their efforts in the classroom and beyond over the next five years.”

This story was updated to reflect that the fellows are professors. 


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