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Graduate Spotlight: MAcc program helps launch Lackey’s career in accounting

Kim Chaudoin  | 

MaKayleigh Lackey

When MaKayleigh Lackey first came to Lipscomb as a freshman from Dover, Tennessee, in the fall of 2016, she was undecided on what career path to follow. 

Through the guidance of several College of Business faculty, Lackey soon discovered a passion for accounting.

“I couldn't be more thankful for my decision to attend Lipscomb and subsequently become an accounting major. I came in undecided, but knowing I wanted to major in business somehow,” she explains. “I cannot thank the professors who urged me in the right direction enough. They made me realize what I wanted to do and helped me every step of the way.” 

Lackey completed her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting in December 2020. This May, she walked across the stage in Allen Arena to receive her Master of Accountancy degree.

As an undergraduate student, Lackey was very involved in campus life. She served as president and secretary of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity, as well as serving as the vice president of the Student Center for the Public Trust. Lackey was also on the College of Business Dean's Student Leadership Council and was invited to join both Alpha Chi and Delta Mu Delta honor societies. When planning her next move, Lackey decided to pursue a master’s degree to help prepare her for her career in accounting and to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. 

The opportunities that I've been presented with during my time (at Lipscomb) are invaluable and have changed my life. — MaKayleigh Lackey

“I had a wonderful experience during my undergraduate degree experience,” says Lackey. “I knew that the College of Business was an amazing choice to stay and complete my MAcc degree. I had heard so many great things about the program from faculty and other students, plus I wasn't quite ready to leave!”

This spring, Lackey won the Outstanding Student Presenter award at Lipscomb’s annual Student Scholars Symposium in April. Her research presentation was titled “Repatriation Effectiveness of the Transition Tax within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.” This topic piqued her interest  during her International Accounting and Taxation course last fall. She was also selected to present it at the Society of Business, Industry and Economics conference this year. 

“I've been interested in the tax side of accounting since taking the course in undergrad, and as the TCJA had massive impacts on taxation of both individuals and corporations, it presented the perfect area to learn more about before starting my career,” she explains.  

Not only did Lackey complete her MAcc degree this spring, she also passed all four parts of the CPA exam, which is required for professional licensure. “I took my first exam in August, so I have been extremely busy since then. It feels amazing to be finished,” she says. 

Lackey says her experience at Lipscomb has been “amazing.” 

“The opportunities that I've been presented with during my time here are invaluable and have changed my life,” she shares. “While a number of individuals had a tremendous influence on me while at Lipscomb, I would say the professors who have made the largest impact on me are Dr. Marcy Binkley, Dr. Mark Jobe and Dr. Alisa Peters. I am thankful for their interest and investment in me.”

Soon Lackey will be starting her accounting career as a staff tax accountant on the insurance team at Crowe LLP’s office located in the Cool Springs area in Franklin, Tennessee.

— Photo by Davis Brown