What led you to pursue a teaching career at DePaul University?
I was interested in joining the School of Accountancy and DePaul University primarily because of its outstanding reputation within the accounting profession, both locally and nationally. I was also attracted to being surrounded by excellent teachers, cutting-edge researchers and great students.
Describe The Cookie Project and why you think it is beneficial for students.
The Cookie Project is a team-based project where students are placed in small groups of three to five students and are required to develop a cookie company. Each team is given seed money of $25 in order start their business and develop a unique cookie product. This project allows students to gain a better understanding of key managerial accounting concepts by giving them the experience of running their own business. I believe that experiential teaching opportunities give students a better understanding of theoretical concepts.
Why are you interested in fraud cases, and what do students learn from exploring this topic?
I am devoted to increasing the number of ethically-minded future business leaders. My research interest in fraud and forensic accounting ties into my passion for helping students develop a sound moral and ethical compass. I incorporate guest speakers ranging from journalists, white-collar felons, entrepreneurs and accounting practitioners in an effort to enhance students’ experiences in my classes. Hearing from white-collar felons seems to really have an impact on former students, and it is my hope that they will learn from others’ stories and experiences, and not make the same mistakes.
Discuss your documentary “Crossing the Line: Ordinary People Committing Extraordinary Crimes.”
Crossing the Line: Ordinary People Committing Extraordinary Crimes is an educational documentary that chronicles the lives of five white-collar criminals who each perpetrated a different type of financial manipulation. We have interviewed incarcerated white-collar criminals, the country’s leading forensic accounting experts, accounting researchers and business ethicists to develop this real exposition of the impacts of ‘those white lies’ that result in white-collar criminals serving federal prison sentences.
The project seeks to add to the limited forensic accounting and fraud documentaries that are currently available for educational and training purposes. It can be used in upper-level business courses, incorporated into MBA curriculums, as well as be adapted for corporate training in business and accounting ethics. The hope is that the intimate style of the interviews will leave students understanding that they will not be isolated from these crimes after graduation.
Discuss your personal goal to encourage minority students to pursue a career in accounting.
I am passionate in helping to encourage more minority students to pursue a doctorate in accounting. I currently serve as the Assistant Director for the Ph.D. Pipeline Opportunity Program, a two-week residency program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University that seeks to assist minority undergraduate business students who express an interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in business. Given that my father served as my academic mentor, I want to position myself so that I can be that resource to other students.
What is your favorite activity to do in Chicago?
I enjoy running on the lakefront and participating in as many races as possible each year.