Kansas State University


Personal Financial Planning

Alumni Update: Julie Cumbie, ’12

An interview with Julie Cumbie, Ph.D. in personal financial planning

Tell us about yourself.  

I grew up in the small Oklahoma town of El Reno, and I have lived in Edmond, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, for the last 33 years.

What is your background?

I graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in 1982 with a BBA in Finance, and in 1983, with a MBA.  After graduation, I entered the banking industry. First, I worked for First National Bank of Norman as a Consumer Loan Officer. A year later, I joined MidFirst Bank as a Branch Manager. After managing two different branches, I became the Assistant Vice President in charge of Wholesale Funds Acquisition.

At the birth of my first child, I became a stay-at-home mom. A few years after the birth of my second child, I began adjunct teaching in the Finance Department at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), which soon developed into a full time Instructor position. Once both of my daughters entered college, I began fulfilling my desire to complete a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning at KSU. I graduated from KSU in 2012.

What do you do now?

 After acquiring my Ph.D. I was promoted to Assistant Professor of Finance at UCO.  Soon thereafter, I received tenure and I am now an Associate Professor.  I teach courses in Business Finance, Financial Institutions, Personal Finance, and Case Studies in Financial Planning.

Over the past few years, I have been developing the curriculum for the CFP Board-Registered Program education requirements. We received approval from the CFP Board at the beginning of this year. I serve as the coordinator of our CFP program.

When you were choosing programs, why did you choose K-State PFP?

 First, for flexibility, and the fact that KSU offered a program taught by true academics. Because of my employment, I needed an online program. KSU’s PFP Ph.D. program was a perfect fit. In fact, I waited a few years for them to develop their Ph.D program. As soon as it was offered and with my husband’s strong encouragement, I applied and was accepted into the first cohort. I made life-long friends in the cohort and with several of the professors. I will always be thankful for the Ph.D. experience at KSU.

 How has your education in PFP enhanced your current career path? 

 As mentioned before, completing my Ph.D. in PFP made me eligible for promotion and tenure at my university.

What recommendations would you make for future financial planners? 

 Financial Planning is an exciting, dynamic career path and is very flexible in its application.  Investment advisors, insurance agents, trust department officers, accountants and attorneys can all benefit their clients with their planning knowledge, even if financial planning is not their primary function.

What kinds of awards have you received?

 In 2007, I was honored with the Vanderford Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Central Oklahoma.

What kinds of things do you do in your community? 

 I currently mentor children in OKC at Positive Tomorrows, Oklahoma City’s only school for homeless children. I’ve also mentored inner-city children through Whiz Kids, an after school reading program. I believe that if you can have a positive influence on a child, you can possibly impact their future life.

What are your hobbies/interests? What do you do for fun?

 Being a new grandma, my favorite pastime is spending time with my two granddaughters. This can be a challenge at times since one lives in North Carolina and the other in New Jersey. I spend a lot of time in the sky! Also, my husband and I like to travel, and try to incorporate hiking into as many of our trips as possible.