Westminster College's Class of 2014 named assistant professor of accounting Elise Bartley as the recipient of the Patricia Klein Liebling Parents Association Faculty Award.
Bartley was surprised with the honor during commencement exercises on May 10.
According to a press release sent Monday, Bartley is known for teaching a broad range of accounting classes - everything from tax accounting and non-profit accounting to a class on accounting scandal and fraud.
Bartley earned her masters of accountancy from the University to Missouri, becoming a Certified Public Accountant, and worked as an accountant for Ernst & Young in Kansas City before coming to Westminster in 2010.
Carolyn Perry, senior vice president of the college and dean of faculty, said in an email Wednesday that her first impression when hiring Bartley - who had no experience teaching - was, ""This woman is so smart, I'm guessing she'll learn to teach in no time.'"
"I was right," Perry said in the email. "Not only did she learn quickly, but she quickly became a favorite among our students, while also one of the most demanding. There's a reason we place students in the Big 4 national accounting firms - and it's Elise Bartley."
Perry also shared her introduction of Bartley from graduation, including praise for "single-handedly" running the accounting program over the past several years.
"In addition to teaching most of the courses, managing adjuncts and advising over 50 students, this professor has maintained a very high standard for her accounting majors," she wrote.
Perry also lauded Bartley for her generosity, and for encouraging that generosity in her students.
"She consistently gets her students out into the community through her service-learning courses, helping prepare taxes for Fulton residents," Perry wrote. "Professor Bartley is also known as one of the most kind and caring faculty members on campus. She seems to always have time to tutor and advise, serve on yet another committee or speak at a chapel service.
"Her care for her students exemplifies what makes the Westminster educational experience unlike any other."