Dr. Joanie Sompayrac


Professor of Accounting and Business Law

Dr. Joanie Sompayrac

"If I ignore someone simply because I think he or she is ignorant and cannot teach me anything, then I may be missing an opportunity to learn something valuable for free."

Dr. Joanie Sompayrac is a Professor of Accounting and Business Law at UTC. She has been teaching for over 20 years and has won several awards throughout her career.

Degrees held:

  • LLM in Taxation (expected 2017) — Boston University
  • JD — University of Cincinnati
  • M.Acc. in Accounting — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • BS in Accounting — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Career highlights:

2014 "Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Professor"; UTAA "Outstanding Professor"; 2013 "Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Professor"; 2011 "SGA Outstanding Professor" and "UTC Outstanding Advisor"; 2010 "Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Professor."

Why did you start teaching?

I started teaching in 1993 after practicing for several years in Ohio and then Tennessee as a tax attorney. I discovered that I loved teaching students far more than I enjoyed working with clients.

What's the best advice that you ever received?

I am fortunate that I received a lot of good advice from many great mentors along the way, but I think the best advice has been to recognize that virtually everyone can teach me something. If I ignore someone simply because I think he or she is ignorant and cannot teach me anything, then I may be missing an opportunity to learn something valuable for free. I have often been amazed at the brilliant things I have learned from students, strangers and others. Take every opportunity to learn!

What's the best advice that you could give your students?

Be open to learning from people who disagree with you!

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

What qualities make someone particularly successful in the profession in which you teach?

High tolerance for tedium, an open mind, integrity, critical thinking skills and strong work ethic.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in the profession face today?

Constantly changing regulatory environment and all the technological ways to perpetrate fraud.

How do you see online learning affecting the future of education?

I firmly believe much of post-secondary education will continue to move to the online platform, and I have found that the online platform works well for most courses.

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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; or call 404-679-4500.

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