A Shocking Win? Felician University Professor Wins Award as an Exceptional Educator

Rutherford, NJ– June 13, 2019 – Imagine receiving an email saying that you won an award you didn’t know you were nominated for… or even existed. That is exactly what happened to Professor Joe Lizza, CPA, MBA, CGMA of Felician University’s School of Business.

This past week, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) awarded Lizza the Ovation Award in the educator category. NJCPA issues these awards annually to recognize and honor the dynamic ways that individuals devote themselves to their profession.

When Lizza found out that he won the Exceptional Educator Award, he said that he was shocked, because he had no idea that he was nominated or that the NJCPA extended an award to the educator category. As he processed this information, he was honored that he was recognized for his efforts. More so, Lizza said that the award is “recognition of how many of the things that we do at Felician as part of our daily lives are part of living the Felician mission.”

That mission is what we call The Felician Way, which is a culture and a way of doing things that inherently values things such as community, diversity, and helping others. Lizza’s classes do just that and more. He has initiated a program at Felician that trains student volunteers to learn laws and compliance to offer income tax preparation assistance to low income, elderly, disabled and limited-English-speaking community members for free.

That’s not the only real-world experience that students can gain under the guidance of Lizza, however. Through his accounting firm, Lizza, Kmetz, and Associates LLP, he has had more than 50 Felician students come through his firm as interns at different levels and has even partnered with one of his graduated students.

“As a practitioner who teachers, I’m very fortunate, because what I do on a daily basis is exactly what I get to do in the classroom. It’s an extension of what I do here at my own practice,” said Lizza.

According to the NJCPA, the educator category “Recognize[s] full-time college accounting educators who distinguish themselves with their excellence in teaching and prominence in state-wide or regional activity to actively encourage careers in accounting and by serving as role models in academia.”

As a member of the NJCPA for the past five years, Lizza said that it was very rewarding to know that his professional peers recognized the work he is doing to advance their profession. Having been awarded multiple teaching excellence awards, including two from Rutgers and one from Fordham, Lizza said that this award is “really special, because it’s coming outside from the normal education environment.”

Although he still does not know who nominated him for this award, Lizza has narrowed down the search to two people at his firm and is confident that his investigative efforts will result in a positive identification.

About Felician University

Felician University engages over 2,300 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in arts & sciences, business, nursing, and education. Universal Franciscan values of social justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity serve as an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. Felician University’s education is ranked 3rd best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked #1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com. To learn more about Felician University please visit www.felician.edu.

About the NJCPA

Founded in 1898, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) is the largest professional organization serving the needs of Garden State CPAs and aspiring CPAs. With a membership of more than 14,000, the NJCPA represents the majority of New Jersey CPAs in public practice, business & industry, government and education. We support our members through a variety of education, networking, leadership and volunteer initiatives.