Name: Tiffany Cossey
Title: Assistant Professor of Accounting
Courses Taught: Financial Statement Analysis, Federal Taxation I & II, Tax Service I & II, Business Law
Please tell us a brief bio of your career – how long have you taught at Drury, what courses do you typically teach, what are your research interests, what is your educational background, etc.
I have been with Drury University since the fall of 2010. I primarily teach Financial Statement Analysis, and the four courses related to taxation. I also administer the university’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program which aids low income taxpayers by providing free income tax preparation. My research interests are practical-application tax-related topics, primarily dealing with areas of tax law which have changed or are due for change.
I am both a CPA and attorney. I obtained my B.S.B.A. in Accounting at Missouri Southern State University and my Juris Doctorate and LL.M. in Taxation at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Prior to teaching, my experience in the accounting field ranged from employment as a public accountant with one of the world’s largest accounting firms to an international tax specialist for a Fortune 500 global manufacturer. I have also been an independent tax consultant for individuals and small businesses for many years.
How does the Breech School of Business prepare students for their professional career?
Breech helps students prepare in a number of ways. There is, of course, the top-notch education that students receive from their professors. This includes not only learning what textbooks provide, but also the real-world applications of this information from professors who understand the practical applications from their own industry experience.
The Breech School also focuses on instilling professionalism and ethics. Part of being ready for the workforce is not only having the knowledge base, but also being able to act professionally. Going into the workforce with the understanding of employers’ expectations helps make for a smoother transition from college to the professional world.
Finally, I believe the very nature of what the Breech School is and how it operates provides an excellent support system for students. Small classes allow for students to form tight bonds with one another and to get the opportunity to know their professors, which in turn allows them to start their professional careers with a built-in system of professional contacts.
What sets Breech apart from other business schools?
Though the excellent education provided is certainly a large distinguishing factor, what I believe really sets Breech apart are the close relationships that students are able to establish with their professors. This is so helpful in many ways. It makes it easier to ask questions in class and seek extra help after class, to make sure a student really understand material. It is also especially useful when a student is looking for a job or a recommendation for entry into a master’s program. Professors often make students aware of unique opportunities that are well suited to the specific students’ talents and goals. Finally, that close relationship survives graduation, and professors are always glad to mentor or consult with former students. It is nice to have someone to lean on occasionally, and the Breech faculty is always glad to provide support.
Do you have any favorite memories inside the Breech building?
Since I have been at Breech only a short time, most of my memories are still in the making. However, I think Breech wouldn’t be Breech if I couldn’t walk down the hall every day and hear a certain professor loudly asking, “Is everybody happy?”
What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study in the Breech School of Business?
I would advise students that their education is what they make of it, and that they should take advantage of every opportunity to participate in activities, to seek help offered by professors, and to help others along the way. Students should also plan to work hard. Our students are the best because we push them. All of these things will make their experience much richer and much better.