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While many people probably think of accounting as a dry, buttoned-down profession, accounting graduate student Joe Lerro wants them to know that these are only misconceptions — accounting is nothing of the sort. As the son of two accountants, Lerro quickly developed an interest in accounting while growing up.

During middle school, Lerro's parents gave him accounting projects to work on at home, fueling his curiosity and helping him discover early on that accounting was an enjoyable field in which he excelled.

"Joe exemplifies the best characteristics of an FSU College of Business student. He strives for excellence in all that he does and brings out the best in those around him. He is a natural leader who leads by example," said David Paradice, senior associate dean of the College of Business.

Lerro decided to pursue both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting at Florida State after his tour of the university as a freshman. When he first visited Florida State's campus, instead of reminding students how lucky they were to be there, FSU presented Lerro with an atmosphere where professors were thrilled to meet new students. For Lerro, FSU provides a "family feel," with professors who are willing to help their students in any way they can. He now studies, works, teaches and involves himself in the accounting niche at FSU.

"I was always really interested in accounting because of the way everything fits together," Lerro said. "When there's something missing or out of balance, you can figure it out, it's somewhere in there."