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WSB Doctoral Accounting Student Derek Christensen Wins First-Ever FASB Emerging Scholar Award

By Wisconsin School of Business

December 20, 2021

Derek Christensen (PhD ‘24), a doctoral student in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at the Wisconsin School of Business, is the first recipient ever to be honored with the Emerging Scholar Award from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

“Derek was selected as the winning nominee by the five judges on the Selection Committee for his dissertation thesis topic addressing lease accounting,” said FASB Board Member Christine A. Botosan. “Ideas like Derek’s are exactly the kind of high-quality research this award program was established to recognize.”

Professor Tom Linsmeier, Christensen’s dissertation committee chair, noted Christensen’s exceptional promise as a researcher in his nomination letter, writing that he is “passionate about understanding the research context deeply and motivated to provide new insights for researchers, standard setters, practitioners, and students.”

Headshot of doctoral student Derek Christensen

WSB’s Derek Christensen (PhD ‘24)

Linsmeier, the Thomas G. Ragatz Accounting and Law Distinguished Chair, says that Christensen’s award “recognizes that his dissertation work is consistent with the Wisconsin Idea, one of the longest and deepest traditions at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, that holds that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. We are very pleased at this early stage of his career that Derek’s scholarship is being recognized for the potential contribution it provides to accounting policymakers in the nation and around the world.”

“We couldn’t be more proud that Derek was selected by the FASB as the first recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award,” says Christensen’s advisor, Dan Wangerin, the David J. Lesar Professor in Business and an associate professor of accounting and information systems at WSB. “For decades, the faculty and PhD students in our financial accounting group have taken great pride in research that can advance the accounting profession and make a difference. When our research helps standard setters like the FASB make better-informed policy decisions, we know our work is making an important impact. This award is a testament to the outstanding scholarly work that Derek is pursuing in our PhD program.”

Christensen, CPA, received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Accountancy degrees from the University of Denver. Prior to entering the PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he served as an advisory senior consultant for Deloitte LLP in Denver. His research interests include archival-based research at the intersection of financial reporting and operational decisions with a focus on lease accounting.

Established in 1973, the FASB is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The FASB is recognized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as the designated accounting standard setter for public companies.