Spotlight on Faculty

Spotlight on Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, AFC®, CRPC®, CRPS®

Dr. Deanna L. Sharpe, CFP®, AFC®, CRPC®, CRPS®, is an associate professor of Personal Financial Planning who excels in research, teaching, and service. Her research interest includes examination of factors affecting later life financial and economic well-being, as evidenced by her latest publication, a chapter in Client Psychology, edited by Dr. Charles Chaffin of the CFP Board. This chapter, "Client Psychology: The Older Client," outlines the changing demographics of the older population, age-related cognitive change as found in research literature, the difference between normal and concerning behavioral declines, best practice suggestions for working with older adults, and potential topics for further research.

Dr. Sharpe has been recognized numerous times for her quality research, teaching excellence, and service contributions by organizations such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., American Council on Consumer Interests, University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, and University of Missouri Campus Writing Program.

In her spare time, Dr. Sharpe is a long-time volunteer for Boy Scouts of America.

Deanna Sharpe


Dr. Graham McCaulley Spoke at the Spring Faculty and Staff Meeting

The Department of Personal Financial Planning's Office for Financial Success Co-Director Dr. Graham McCaulley spoke at the College of Human Environmental Sciences Spring Faculty and Staff meeting on personal finance updates. Two timely topics were covered - recommended action steps in light of the Equifax data breach and changes to the income tax code from recent legislation. Although roughly half of American’s personal data (including social security numbers) was breached several months ago, the majority of consumers have not taken action to protect themselves from potential identity theft. The Office of Financial Success recommends most consumers place a security freeze on their credit files as well as monitor their current accounts. For more information on steps to take, as well as other topics, visit www.ofsmizzou.org.


Dr. Abed Rabbani Earns CFP® Designation

Abed RabbaniThe Department of Personal Financial Planning is proud to announce that Abed Rabbani, PhD has earned the CFP® designation. Congratulations Dr. Rabbani, CFP®!

Dr. Rabbani joins MU Department of Personal Financial Planning faculty members (Dr. Deanna Sharpe, Dr. Rui Yao, and Andrew Zumwalt) who are CFP®s. Only a select group of planners have met the rigorous requirements necessary to call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.

To earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, candidates must complete what the Board of Standards refers to as the "4 E’s":

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience
  • Ethics

Dr. Cynthia Crawford Receives the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Crawford, Extension Professor, Department of Personal Financial Planning, who received the Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2017 MU Extension Summit. The award recognizes a University of Missouri Extension faculty member for planning, conducting and evaluating one extension educational activity conducted in the past year. The activity recognized was the online course, How to get an "A" in retirement that combines research and best practices from personal financial planning with research from positive psychology. "Well-being in retirement starts with financial planning that includes goal setting, assessing one’s current financial situation, pension plan details, Social Security facts, taxation of various retirement income streams, saving and investing, estate planning, insurance changes and more. The course became more holistic and groundbreaking, though, with the addition of concepts from positive psychology that look at positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, forgiveness and gratitude in retirement as well as the years leading to retirement," said Crawford.

Cynthia Crawford accepting award

How to get an 'A' in retirement" was also recognized by the University of Missouri Extension Association as one of the top three outstanding programs in 2017.

Human Environmental Sciences Instructional Designer Briana Johnson was key in working with Crawford to move the course into an online format. Johnson and Crawford’s teamwork significantly helped in the transition from a face-to-face instruction to delivering the content effectively online.

Dr. Fran Lawrence, Personal Financial Planning Department Chair, congratulates Crawford for her ground breaking work. Lawrence states, "While leading this project, Dr. Crawford has mentioned many times how its success reflects the support that the resident and Extension faculty have for one another’s work. Whenever she asked her Personal Financial Planning Extension colleagues for help, especially Andrew Zumwalt and Graham McCaulley, the answer was always yes. In addition, resident faculty member Deanna Sharpe generously volunteered to vet the course before it was sent to external reviewers. Sharpe and Crawford have continued to work together on retirement planning programming as a result."


Dr. Starla Ivey Partners with Chongqing University of Technology

Dr. Starla Ivey, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning, traveled to Chongqing, China in the Summer of 2017 to teach aspiring Mizzou Tigers personal finance. This was a collaborative effort between the Personal Financial Planning Department at the University of Missouri along with Chongqing University of Technology in Chongqing, China. Students learned the importance of becoming a Certified Financial Planner along with practical personal and family financial skills such as filing US personal taxes, making large purchases (buying a house/automobile), investing, and time value of money.

Dr. Starla Ivey teaching in China

The summer course ran for 3 weeks and was taught all in English. For most of these students it was their first experience in an all English speaking course. One of the great things about FINPLN 2183 (Personal and Family Finance) is that it is a highly mathematical course and math/numbers transcends many languages. Dr. Ivey stated that "this was a powerful experience for myself as the instructor with all of the students having English as their second language. I have a much greater appreciation for what our international students go through in order to get to the United States and then also to survive in a foreign country. Being in Chongqing, as opposed to a highly visited city like Beijing, I was immersed in the culture and the daily lives of the Chinese citizens that I lived around. It was an amazing adventure and I believe I am a better instructor because of this experience."

The Department of Personal Financial Planning offers the 3+1+1 program where prospective students complete 3 years of undergraduate study in partner universities in China. During the third year, they apply for the non-degree seeking program at MU for the first "1" year, which allows them to complete their undergraduate degree. If they qualify, they can add another "1" year where the student enrolls in the PFP Master's Program.

More about 3+1+1 program


MU News Bureau Reports Dr. Rui Yao's Risk Tolerance Research

Rui YaoPrior research has long shown that women are, on average, less risk tolerant in their financial decisions than men. This is a concern as investors with low levels of risk tolerance might have greater difficulty reaching their financial goals and building adequate retirement wealth because they are unlikely to invest in stocks. Now, a researcher from the University of Missouri has found that men and women do not think about investment risks differently. Instead, income uncertainty affects men and women differently, which leads to differences in risk tolerance.

Read full article


Dr. Lu Fan Joins Faculty

Lu FanDr. Lu Fan joins the Personal Financial Planning faculty. Check out her impressive curriculum vita.


Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence Appointed Department Chair

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Frances Cogle Lawrence was appointed Chair and Professor of the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences by Dean J. Sanford Rikoon. Dr. Lawrence joined the faculty on July 1, 2017.

"Dr. Lawrence stood out, not only for her outstanding leadership at Louisiana State University, but for her award-winning teaching, solid research activity, and passion for the profession" said Rikoon. "She brings extraordinary energy for the university, alumni and business community, and will deliver her bold leadership to a department specializing in financial planning research and curricula that enables outstanding career opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students."

Frances Cogle Lawrence

A native of Richmond, VA, she earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Florida State University. Before coming to MU, Dr. Lawrence served as the George Cire and Lena Grand Williams Endowed Alumni Professor at Louisiana State University, and also as the Ourso Professor of Communications in the Department of Finance and Associate Dean in the E. J. Ourso College of Business.

At LSU, Lawrence led CFP Board-Registered Programs and was a founder of the LSU Student Financial Management Center. Strategic partnerships with companies, such as Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Exxon Mobil, LPL Financial, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, Raymond James, Regions Financial Corporation, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo, attracted funding and resulted in student internships, scholarships, and career opportunities.

"It is very apparent to me that Dr. Lawrence’s passion for student learning and her leadership skills will be a winning combination for the University’s Department of Personal Financial Planning," said David Keller, President of the Bank of Missouri.

With a mission of leading the University of Missouri’s financial planning department to further national and global recognition, Lawrence is committed to meaningful research, to students becoming leaders in the financial planning industry with a special emphasis on obtaining the CFP® and AFC® professional certifications, and to forging strong relationships with financial planning professionals. "I am pleased to join an outstanding group of faculty, staff and students at the University of Missouri. Their dedication to superior academic programs and research, along with a supportive and engaged network of alumni, industry and campus partners, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity," said Lawrence.

"As the Department of Personal Financial Management’s new chair, Frances Lawrence will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the department," said Provost Garnett Stokes. "She has received a multitude of honors and awards for teaching, research and service to the profession. Furthermore, Dr. Lawrence is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the University of Missouri campuses and the financial planning industry."

View Dr. Lawrence’s CV and profile