The NDSU Accounting Club named James Clifton, CPA, CFE, assistant professor of accounting practice, Professor of the Year for the ninth time at the organization’s fall banquet Oct. 25.
The award is presented annually and is determined by a vote by accounting club members. This year, the club has 62 members. All accounting professors are eligible to win each year except for the previous year's winner. In 2011, David Herda won the award.
Joshua Peterson, a senior majoring in accounting, listed several reasons Clifton is recognized as an outstanding educator. “Clifton sets himself apart from other professors in the accounting department by demanding class participation, rewarding students for knowing various questions asked throughout his lectures by handing out bonus participation points and by making himself available to students outside of class periods and office hours,” Peterson said. “He also has lots of experience and uses different things he has learned through his experiences in his lectures which makes it easier to relate with him.”
Clifton is inspired by good students who challenge him. “I am electrified by the student who is struggling and makes changes in their study habits and starts to do better. I know that education is a path to a better life and I want that for all of my students. I want that for everybody. But I also know that we have to earn that education and the resultant better life. No one is going to give it to us,” Clifton said. “I am always doing my absolute best to help students realize that learning is a life-long process but it can be a tremendously enjoyable challenge.”
Clifton often wonders what he does in the classroom that gets this wonderful response from students. “I have sat in on other instructors’ classes to learn what they do. I have seen teachers who I know are better than me. All I know is that I love what I do and I plan to continue doing it.”
Other professors who were eligible for the award and received votes, included Bud Bowlin, Thomas Dowdell, Bonnie Klamm, Peggy Andersen, David Hong, Nancy Emerson, Michael Petersen, Herb Snyder, Cynthia Timmerman and Jill Zuber.
Additional awards presented at the banquet included Accounting Student of the Year, which was presented to Nathan Anderson and an appreciation award for Janice Glatt, who retired from being a full-time professor after 28 years at NDSU and is now teaching an online class as an adjunct professor for the university.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.