Sandra Callaghan

Accounting Professor Sandy Callaghan Named 2015 Neeley Alumni Professor of the Year

Callaghan is associate professor of accounting with experience as a tax professional and tax accountant. “Every day, I teach topics I am passionate about,” she said. 

August 27,  2015

By Elaine Cole

Sandy Callaghan, associate professor of accounting, has been named the 2015 Neeley Alumni Professor of the Year. Neeley School alumni began the Neeley Alumni Professor of the Year award in 2006 to pay tribute to the faculty members who enriched their overall experience at the Neeley School.

“Last semester a student said to me: ‘I think you really like your job.’ That made me think. Why wouldn’t I? As a TCU professor, I have the opportunity to nurture the intellectual spirit in students. Every day, I teach topics I am passionate about. Yet, by far the best aspect is the relationships that I have developed with current and former students,” Callaghan said. “For me, this honor is especially meaningful because it is selected by the alumni.

Former student Phillip Homza MAc ’12, assurance senior at Ernst & Young, said Dr. Callaghan is a “prime example of why TCU is one of the top Universities in the US. Her classes are challenging and engaging. She takes a genuine interest in her students’ career goals and aspirations, and has an incredible ability to relate to her students and see their full potential.”

“Dr. Callaghan is an incredible professor, advisor and mentor,” said Katie Kolepp BBA ’14, tax associate with Ernst & Young. “She is the reason that I chose accounting as a major, selected tax as a career, accomplished a senior thesis, and learned to relax and go with the flow while traveling. Dr. Callaghan was an integral part of my TCU experience and for that I will forever grateful.”

Recent graduate Amy Otte BBA ’15, financial analyst at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said that Dr. Callaghan served as a mentor when she considered several post-graduation options. “I have great respect for her as a loyal and caring professor,” Otte said. “Dr. Callaghan did not teach with the end goal that students find the right answers, but rather that students learn to think critically for themselves. She held us to a high standard and we learned that we should have those same high expectations for our own work. These skills benefitted me greatly throughout college and into my career.”

Otte also worked closely with Dr. Callaghan during a TCU Global Academy trip in Panama. “She fostered innovative thinking and teamwork among students of various disciplines,” Otte said.

Callaghan has taught at TCU since 1998.  She previously has been honored with the Neeley Teaching Innovation Award and as the Neeley School nominee for the Dean Teaching Award. Her courses include both graduate and undergraduate financial accounting and tax courses, as well as study abroad courses. She has taught in a variety of special programs, including the TCU High School Investors Challenge, TCU Global Academy and the training program for KPMG tax professionals. A certified public accountant, Callaghan served as a tax professional for Ernst & Young prior to entering higher education.

Callaghan holds a PhD in accounting from Michigan State University, a MPA from the University of Texas at Austin, and BS from TCU. She is past president of the American Tax Association.