Cookeville – A student at Tennessee Tech University has won the 2022 Paul L. Royston Scholarship given by the Tennessee Society of CPAs. This award is given annually to the top accounting student in Tennessee as determined by the TSCPA Scholarship Committee.
Bailey Hooper, an accounting and business information technology major from Tennessee Ridge in Houston County, will graduate in May 2023.
“To be considered for this honor, you must apply through the TSCPA Scholarship Website. I believe my application displayed my diligent work ethic, determined mindset, and dedication to learning,” Hooper said.
A campus tour and a conversation with a dedicated professional at Tech were what convinced Hooper that Tech would be the place she started her academic and professional journey.
“I toured multiple colleges, but I loved the small-town feel of Tennessee Tech,” Hooper said. “On my first campus visit, I sat down with Ms. Julie Galloway in the College of Business Success Center, and after that meeting, I knew there was no need to apply anywhere else. “
Hooper has always enjoyed manipulating numbers and solving puzzles. In high school, she job shadowed everyone from architects to physical therapists.
“Eventually, I job shadowed an accountant for our local electrical co-op and realized it was for me,” Hooper said. “Throughout my classes the material and concepts have clicked naturally, solidifying that I made the right choice in career paths.”
Hooper said Tech has played a large part in preparing her for a future career. However, she is a firm believer that, “you are the only one who can truly shape your path.”
“Tech has given me every opportunity to succeed, yet it is my responsibility to buy into the process and do the work,” Hooper said. “Therefore, I am forever grateful to my professors and peers at Tech for providing a strong educational and professional platform for which I will take and build upon.”
Hooper said her favorite thing about Tech is the community she has gained. The support system she has formed at the university “feels like a second family.”
Hooper is involved in multiple student organizations, which also allows her to network with professionals. She said the importance of networking can never be underestimated in the business world.
She is an active member of the Tech campus community, serving as president of the Association of IT Professionals since 2021; past president and vice-president of the Accounting Club; and past promotional manager and vice president of the Tech Club Volleyball team. She is also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, Beta Alpha Psi, TSCPA student member, AICPA Student Member and College of Business Ambassador.
When not participating at one of her many organizations, she likes to spend her time at sporting events.
“I enjoy going to any type of sporting event in my free time,” Hooper said. “Volleyball, football, basketball, and baseball – I love them all!”
Hooper plans to begin sitting for the CPA exam and her Master of Business Administration program in the fall of 2023. One of her goals is to pass all sections of the CPA exam before she starts working full-time. She will follow in the footsteps of her brother and sister-in-law, who both work as internal auditors.
“After working in corporate for multiple years, I aspire to obtain my Ph.D. and become a college professor,” Hooper said.
She said she never would have imagined receiving the Paul Royston Award from the TSCPA, but she is honored to have received this distinction. A total of 134 students representing 20 universities across Tennessee were considered for the award.
“I enjoy applying my knowledge in multiple settings throughout campus, including the Banking Advisory Board, tutoring and my role as project manager for The Exceptional Bean’s IT team,” Hooper said. “Lastly, I would like to thank everyone at Tech that has been a part of my success.”