AICPA Honors Top CPA Examination Performers With 2008 Elijah Watt Sells Awards

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has announced winners of the 2008 Elijah Watt Sells Awards.


The awards are presented annually to the 10 candidates earning the highest cumulative scores on the four sections of the computerized Uniform CPA Examination. These candidates must have completed testing during the previous calendar year and passed each exam section on their first attempt. Over 85,000 individuals sat for the exam in 2008.


The 2008 Sells Award winners (in alphabetical order, followed by their state board affiliation) are:


Jennifer Renee Clifton (Virginia), a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BS in Commerce and a Master’s in Accounting, is currently employed by KPMG LLP in Washington, DC.


Stanley J Gordon Jr. (Utah), a graduate of Utah Valley University with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Brigham Young University, is currently employed with Wisan, Smith, Racker & Prescot in Salt Lake City.


Brad Hocking (North Carolina), a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BS in Business Administration, is currently working for Deloitte & Touche LLP in Charlotte, NC.      


Christopher Michael Leon (Missouri), a graduate of the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a BS in Accounting is planning on creating a successful public accounting practice and developing his talents into a career in consulting.


Jennifer Rachel Luchs (Wisconsin), a graduate of Marquette University with a BS in Business Administration, is currently employed by Deloitte Tax LLP in Milwaukee.


Clint Presley (Texas), a graduate of McNeese State University with a BS in Accounting and a Master’s of Education in Sports Administration from Wichita State University, is currently employed by Moore, Reichl & Baker, P.C. in Houston.


Leslie Johnson Rezgui (Colorado), a graduate of Yale University with a BA and a Master’s of Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University, is currently working for The Spectranetics Corporation in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Gabriel Vaughan (Texas), a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a BS, an MBA and a Master’s in Accounting and Information Management, is currently working for FelCor Lodging Trust, Inc. in Irving, Tex.


Sheriann Wirkkala (Virginia), a graduate of Gonzaga University with a BS in Business Administration and a Master’s in Accountancy, is currently employed by KPMP LLP in Washington, DC.


Tyler S. Wright (Missouri), a graduate of Missouri State University with a BSBA and a Master’s of Accountancy, is currently working for KPMG LLP in Kansas City, Mo.


The AICPA created the award to honor Elijah Watt Sells in 1923. Sells was one of the country’s first CPAs under the provision of a New York State law enacted in 1896 and a leader in advancing professional education. He was active in the establishment of the AICPA and was a founder of New York University’s School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance.  He died in 1924.


Launched in 2004, the computerized version of the Uniform CPA achieved one million administrations in July.


For more information on the exam, visit



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