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Chris Browning

Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

Although it’s way too early to talk about Chris Browning’s legacy as an educator, the Financial Planning Academy he created and has run since 2016 is likely to leave a lasting impression on the profession. The national one-week summer program, support for which comes from the Charles Schwab Foundation, is designed to introduce high school students to the discipline and to “make financial planning a first-choice career option.” So far, it’s attracted 200 teenagers to the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock, where Browning, 39, has been a faculty member since earning a doctorate from the school in 2013.

Last year, Utah Valley University and the University of Missouri ran sister programs, and the University of Georgia and William Paterson University in New Jersey were scheduled to do the same this summer — until COVID-19 forced a hiatus.

In addition to educating young people, the Texas native is passionate about improving financial literacy. “I want to do research on how to better educate consumers on the need for quality financial advice and how to identify where to get it,” he said.

Evan Cooper