SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

2017 School of Business Valedictorian

Validictorians-9.jpgFrom being the valedictorian at Delta High School, to representing the School of Business at this year’s commencement, Devron Johnson has always been focused on and dedicated to his academic performance.

Johnson grew up in the small town of Delta, Utah. During his senior year in high school, he realized he had a natural talent for accounting. This realization led to Johnson choosing to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

“One of my high school teachers, Mrs. Meinhardt, allowed us to work on our accounting homework at our own pace. I enjoyed the work so much that I finished the class in two weeks,” said Johnson. “She had me move on to the next class, and I also finished it in two weeks. Once I came to SUU I chose accounting for my degree and haven’t looked back since.”

Johnson also pointed out that every business needs an accountant, and most business managers have some sort of background in accounting. He knew that his degree would allow for flexibility with future career choices, something that was important to him.

Southern Utah University was Johnson’s first choice for school because he wanted to go somewhere that was affordable. It was his goal to not rely on his parents for financial support. SUU offered him a scholarship that made his financial situation easier to bear. There were many opportunities to get involved and encouraging professors, which kept Johnson at SUU.  

Some of the most impactful professors in Johnson’s education have been professional in residence Jeff Orton, assistant professor of economics and finance Josh Price, and professor of accounting Tim Lewis.

“Professor Jeff Orton is the reason I will have a job after I graduate with my masters degree,” said Johnson. “I went to his office one day to talk about a future career, where he proceeded to give me contact information for potential employers. I also admired Professor Price for his involvement outside of the classroom, and Professor Lewis for teaching me what it truly means to study.”

Now, as he continues his education in SUU’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program, he is working to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam before he starts work at EideBailly next January. He also hopes to someday work for a private company as a controller or manager.

“My motivation for everything comes down to the why; money, fancy cars, and houses are not what are most important to me,” said Johnson. “My goals are motivated by my desire to provide for my family so that my wife, Courtney, can live out her dreams as a stay-at-home mother, which will start soon as we are expecting to have a child in October.”

His time here at SUU has included involvement in the student association, a summer internship with the City Manager, and member of the Professional Accountancy Club.Throughout his involvement, Johnson has always encouraged others to be proactive with their education and to learn how to do the difficult tasks.

“Many opportunities in life won’t just come to you,” said Johnson. “If you are proactive and learn how to do difficult things, you will have confidence in yourself and be able to accomplish your goals.”

Johnson will be recognized as the 2017 School of Business Valedictorian. He will be honored on April 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the Centrum Arena during the college’s convocation.