April 5, 2021
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University business graduate Isaac Yamoah is headed to the accountancy Ph.D. program in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, one of the top accounting doctoral programs in the country.
“My ultimate goal is to become an academic scholar contributing to accounting literature and an educator at a top research university,” Yamoah said. “I want to be able to give back by educating the next generation of accountants and also encouraging minority students earlier on to explore careers in business academia.”
Yamoah graduated from Highlands in 2011 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting. He completed his MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2015. Yamoah will begin his doctoral studies fall semester 2021.
For 10 years, Yamoah has worked in the accounting and auditing professions.
In his current position since 2018, Yamoah has worked as the lead information technology auditor for Southern Company in Atlanta. Previously, he worked as the auditor-in-charge at Centene Corp. in St. Louis in addition to other positions in the financial services industry and public accounting.
“My business education at Highlands was instrumental in preparing me for my corporate career. I was able to apply the theories of what I learned in the classroom from knowledgeable professors. In addition, I harnessed practical case studies during the earlier stages of my career,” said Yamoah, who is from Ghana in West Africa.
Yamoah was also an adjunct faculty member for two semesters in 2017 at Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, where he taught courses in Principles of Accounting, Principles of Finance, and Accounting Information Systems.
“This college teaching experience confirmed my interest in wanting to be a professor. I was able to incorporate my practical industry experiences and insights with my students,” Yamoah said.
Yamoah said Highlands accounting professor Jim Peters played a phenomenal role in shaping his career trajectory and his path to doctoral studies.
“I would not be where I am today had it not been for the genuine care Dr. Peters has for his students and his passion for what he does as a professor. To me, he is a mentor, a role model, and an objective adviser who I could count on for direction as I navigate this doctoral journey to becoming a scholar and a researcher,” Yamoah said.
Peters said Yamoah stands out as innovative, self-motivated and very professional.
“Isaac is a highly intelligent person who is disciplined and hardworking,” Peters said. “He ‘attacked’ his classes and didn’t just want a degree. He wanted the best education he could achieve.”
Peters said he is confident Yamoah will be an exceptional accounting professor.
“Isaac has the drive and self-motivation that is necessary in academics along with strong intellect and skills. He is also a caring person who will focus on student success,” Peters said.
Yamoah said he felt a sense of belonging at Highlands, comparing it to being part of a family.
“The class sizes were small, and the professors cared about each student. I knew most of the other students I was enrolled in classes with on a personal level. This built stronger and more bonding relationships during my time at Highlands. Some of my HU classmates are still my closest friends,” Yamoah said.