MBA from Michigan State University, 1986
As a faculty member in Davenport University’s Accounting Department Judy Knapp specializes in teaching individual taxation, payroll and state taxation. She also serves as the Accounting Honors Program Manager and as the Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which serves low income West Michigan families through providing free tax preparation services.
Before her association with Davenport University Judy worked over a decade as an organizational behavior consultant for Emco Ltd, a one-time Canadian subsidiary of Masco Corporation. While there she designed and implemented learning strategies and programs to accelerate cultural change and implement new business practices to meet the demands of a rigorous, new business model. During her tenure her work was instrumental in helping create a cultural shift that enabled the branch businesses to move from cost centers to profit centers and subsequently saw profitability rise. Previous to her work at Emco, she held a position in Keeler Brass Automotive’s Quality Department. As part of her role she forged a partnership with Grand Rapids Community College to design an industry-tailored in-house Associates Degree program in Quality Science. Two cohorts of employees graduated while she was there. The majority of employees were the first in their families to attend college which was personally very gratifying. Judy has also taught multiple subjects from German to Humanities and History to English at secondary schools in Michigan and Minnesota.
Professor Knapp oversees the Accounting Honors Program, an innovative five–year program in which students obtain both a BBA and MAcc while pursuing a robust curriculum that includes internships and six additional experiential learning projects. To date, all graduates of this program have found full-time employment in their field and many are working towards, or have earned accounting certifications. Under Professor Knapp’s leadership, the VITA program at DU has expanded into an intercollegiate effort. About 60 DU students and alumni volunteer their time and skills over the tax season to serve those who cannot afford to pay for tax services. Over the past 12 years our students have served over 36,000 West Michigan families, donated over 45,600 volunteer hours and helped our clients receive over $43.3 million in refunds.
Exuding a passion for community service, Judy Knapp has actively volunteered at various non-profit organizations since she was a college student. She currently volunteers her time as a tax preparer for the VITA program, as an administrative aide at her church and serves as an active member of ACSET Advisory Board and the Rockford High School Business Department Advisory Board. In 2014 Judy was invited to present her intercollegiate VITA program to the Michigan Campus Compact members. She has written and been awarded grants funding the VITA program since 2010.