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Released January 20, 2005


HATTIESBURG - If numbers can tell a story, then accounting professor Dr. James Crockett can find it through an audit. His academic research takes him knee-deep into volumes of accounting records and case files that tell stories of greed, corruption and misspent money.

Crockett has been teaching auditing skills to business students at The University of Southern Mississippi for 18 years, and now he has been named the Outstanding Accounting Educator for 2005 by the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.

"People think that auditing is dull and boring. It is not. Sometimes you find out things you didn't want to know," said Crockett, also a CPA. "I love to teach and write, so teaching is the perfect profession for me. There is nothing I could have chosen as a career that's any better," said Crockett who teaches auditing and managerial accounting in the College of Business at Southern Miss.

"We are fortunate to have faculty members of Dr. Crockett's quality and professionalism to help prepare our students for careers in business. This honor just underscores the fact that our faculty are serious about and love what they do," said Dr. Harold Doty, dean of the College of Business.

Crockett was a unanimous selection and will be honored at the MSCPA's annual convention in June, said Dr. Steve Wells, associate dean of the School of Business at Alcorn State University and chair of the MSCPA Committee on Awards, Education and Scholarships.

"This is a prestigious award and Jim is very deserving of it," said Wells. "This award recognizes academic performance, and Jim's contributions to the profession through research and teaching are outstanding. He has influenced the lives of many students throughout his productive career."

An active member in the MSCPA since 1969, Crockett has served in a number of capacities including the organization's awards committee and speaker for many continuing professional education programs and conferences.

Crockett's love of writing has resulted in the publication of 20 articles in a variety of professional accounting publications. He is the author of a book titled Operation Pretense: The FBI's Sting on County Corruption in Mississippi, published in 2003. It detailed the story of how the FBI investigated and indicted 57 county supervisors in 26 Mississippi counties in the late 1980s.

His current research is focused on the embezzlement of public money in Mississippi. With the help of the state auditor's office, Crockett is poring over some 40 cases that involve a variety of public officials, universities, schools, and agencies that spend public money. He intends to have the research published in a book later this year.

After joining the Southern Miss faculty in 1987, Crockett served 11 years as director of the School of Professional Accountancy in addition to his teaching duties. Crockett previously spent 11 years on the faculty at the University of West Florida and served as an auditor for the Air Force Audit Agency from 1964-1974.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Mississippi and a doctorate in accounting from Mississippi State University.



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February 24, 2005 3:53 PM