West Virginia University and the United States Coast Guard have given one student the opportunity to combine her passions for serving her country and accounting in a unique way.

Anna Hickey, a business administration doctoral student in the College of Business & Economics, is in her 17th year of active-duty with the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon graduation she will serve with the Permanent Commissioned Teaching Staff at the U.S Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Hickey is the first PCTS officer to pursue a degree in accounting.

“Accounting is a complex and dynamic field,” she said. “This discipline isn’t just about bookkeeping. It’s about problem solving and making smart decisions with resources to benefit the organization and its customers. For the Coast Guard, we want to maximize value through service to the American taxpayers.”

Hickey was admitted to WVU this fall. Once she completes her degree, she will continue her military service as both an active duty military officer and a professor at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, one of the nation’s five federal military academies.

PCTS officers serve permanently at the Coast Guard Academy to develop cadets academically, militarily and professionally in a rigorous, four-year, bachelor’s program. Upon graduation, cadets are commissioned as Coast Guard officers.

“I’m so honored and grateful to continue serving the Coast Guard in this unique capacity,” Hickey said. “I’m further honored to have the chance to work with world-class faculty at WVU. I have a lot to learn in developing as a researcher and I look forward to applying the valuable research skills that I’ll acquire here at WVU to ultimately benefit the Coast Guard and its future generation of officers.”

Hickey said her interest in accounting went further than teaching. She said she wanted to start researching within accounting, particularly as it relates to government.

When a PCTS position became available, she applied in hopes of pursuing a doctorate degree. Upon selection, she learned about WVU’s PhD program and applied. She and her husband (a retired Coast Guard aviator) moved to Morgantown in August.

The selection for PCTS is highly competitive. Hickey will be one of only 20-22 officers serving with the PCTS. Her selection helps support a larger, ongoing strategic initiative of the Coast Guard to enhance the competencies of its financial management workforce.

The Coast Guard helped the Department of Homeland Security achieve a clean audit opinion from KPMG on its financial statements for the past fiscal year.

Hickey will educate the Coast Guard’s future officers on the complex and numerous resource-management responsibilities that will be required of them throughout their service. She will also engage in scholarly accounting research at the Coast Guard Academy, which, like WVU, is an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited institution.

“I wanted cadets to see how relevant accounting is to their future responsibilities as Coast Guard officers. Even if they don’t wish to pursue a career path in financial management or become a CPA, they will be expected to lead others ethically and to make resource decisions that may subsequently impact the Coast Guard’s financial integrity and readiness.”

Hickey earned her bachelor’s degree in management from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University.


CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business & Economics,
Patrick.Gregg@mail.wvu.edu, 304.293.5131


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