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Dr. Robert E. Holtfreter Receives 2016 Phi Kappa Phi Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award

Holtfreter(May 25, 2016)—Dr. Robert E. Holtfreter, distinguished professor of accounting and research at Central Washington University, has been chosen by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective all discipline honor society—as the 2016-2018 recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Holtfreter received the award for his outstanding dedication to service extending beyond academia. 

An esteemed leader in the field of accounting, Dr. Holtfreter’s career spans more than four decades. In addition to his professional leadership and achievement as a scholar, he has made a substantial impact through research and service leadership in the field of accounting. Most notably, Dr. Holtfreter is recognized for his efforts to provide continuing education related to fraudulent practices, security breaches and identity theft.

“For the last 15 years, Dr. Holtfreter’s work with professionals in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners as well as outside the field of accounting (e.g., federal law enforcement officials) has resulted in educating the public about identify theft related cybercrimes,” said Dr. Leigh Cellucci, chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Service Award selection committee. “This sustained service that focuses on identifying and creating ways to educate people within and beyond the realm of academia represents the spirit of Phi Kappa Phi’s Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award.”

Dr. Holtfreter has taught at Central Washington University for more than 20 years. A recognized leader on campus, Dr. Holtfreter has received numerous awards for his professional service, research and teaching including the 2006 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Educator of the Year and the 2001 Outstanding Educator Award from the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants. From 1983 to 1990, he held the Grant Thornton Distinguished Professorship at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

Outside his career as a professor, Dr. Holtfreter has served in a number of voluntary executive leadership roles with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), American Accounting Association, Institute of Managerial Accountants and North American Accounting Society. He currently serves on the Advisory Council, Editorial Review Committee and is the Identity Theft Detection and Prevention Analyst for ACFE. Both within and outside of these organizations, he is revered as a volunteer leader committed to educating the public on important fraud and identity theft issues.

He holds a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Nebraska. 

Named in memory of Dr. H. Ray Sylvester, who at the time of his death served as president-elect, the Phi Kappa Phi Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has provided sustained, non-compensated volunteer service to others beyond the realm of academia. The award was established in 2013 and is awarded once per biennium. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium, a life membership and recognition at the Society’s biennial convention.

About Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi annually inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second-term juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society's mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others." For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit us here.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi