New York (March 23, 2004) -- The American Institute of CPAs has announced the winners of the semi-annual Elijah Watt Sells Awards, presented to the CPA candidates who attain the highest combined grades in all four sections of the Uniform CPA Exam.

The Gold Medal winner for the highest grade on the November 2003 test is Alison Rae Mathis of Tampa, Fla. Mathis earned the highest score among the 59,500 candidates who took the two-day test, which marked the last pencil-and-paper CPA Exam. She is a tax consultant in the Tampa office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Laura C. Willis of Indianapolis, Ind. earned the Silver Medal for the second highest grade. Willis is employed as an accountant at Defense Finance and Accounting Services, an agency of the Department of Defense. Willis is a member of the Association of Government Accountants.

The Bronze Medal winner for the third highest grade is Nivedita Giupta of Aurora, Ill. She is a senior programmer and analyst at International Truck and Engine Corp.

The award was created in 1923 to honor Elijah Watt Sells (1824-1924), a founding partner of Haskins & Sells, a predecessor to the international firm Deloitte & Touche. Sells was one of the country's first CPAs under the provision of a New York State law enacted in 1896, and a leader in advancing professional education. He was active in the establishment of the AICPA and was a founder of New York University's School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance. The winners are honored by their state societies or state boards of accountancy and receive plaques containing their medals.

-- WebCPA staff

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