The American Accounting Association announced its 2019 AAA Award winners, with three recipients having deep ties to the Broad College. Bill McCarthy, professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Anne Farrell, a Broad College doctoral alumna, and Tom Linsmeier, former professor and chairperson of the Department of AIS, were selected among this year’s winners.
“I am delighted that many of the awards presented at this year’s American Accounting Association Annual Meeting were to individuals with close ties to MSU,” said Chris Hogan, chairperson of the AIS department at the Broad College of Business.
The AAA is the largest community of accountants in academia and is built upon leading-edge research and publications. According to its website, the AAA “shapes the future of accounting through teaching, research and a powerful network, ensuring its position as thought leaders in accounting.”
McCarthy was one of three recipients of the 2019 J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook/Deloitte Foundation Prize, which the AAA website explains is a “foremost recognition of an individual who consistently demonstrates the attributes of a superior teacher in the discipline of accounting.” This prize seeks to recognize, inspire and motivate members to achieve the status of a superior teacher.
“I was quite touched when I received the phone call in early May,” McCarthy said. “The prize was just started in 2015, so it is still a small club of winners, and it was wonderful to be asked into that club.”
He attributed receiving this award to his unique teaching methods. “I feel that the award validates many of the interactive methods (like cooperative learning and active classrooms) I use in teaching AIS technology…. I prefer to use theatrics and space to heighten enthusiasm levels in accounting courses, which is somewhat unconventional,” he said. “Knowledge, preparation and enthusiasm are my three most important keys to teaching well.”
He also sets a goal for his classes to be “transformative.” “I want students to emerge from my classes much more competent in technological skills like data modeling, database design and computer programming,” he said. “I really try to turn my accounting students into computer scientists over the course of nine months and three courses. It is an educational journey each year that I enjoy immensely.”
Farrell (Ph.D. Accounting ’02) is one of two recipients of the 2019 AAA Outstanding Service Award, which the AAA website says “recognizes outstanding services to the Association other than educational and research contributions, and is intended for rare events or milestones achieved.”
In addition to her role as PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor of Accountancy at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, Farrell recently held the position of the 2018–2019 President of the AAA’s Management Accounting Section.
“I’ve always thought of my service to the AAA as a way to pay it forward to the many people who’ve helped me in the past,” Farrell said. “I’m so honored to be recognized for doing something that I do to honor others.”
To date, Farrell believes the most impactful initiative she has spearheaded is a redesign of the reporting and communications between those who lead and operate the Association as a whole and those who lead and operate its segments.
“With the growth of both the Association and its segments, this redesign was critical to effective and transparent operations,” Farrell said. “I’m proud of all this team accomplished, and I’m confident our initiative will serve as an example for how to successfully advance other initiatives.”
Skills developed during Farrell’s time as a Ph.D. student at the Broad College aided her in her journey to her current role as a professor at Miami University.
“The faculty at the Broad College taught me through their examples of what it means to be a scholar. They showed me how to learn from failures and persist despite them; to speak forthrightly but deliver it professionally; and above all, our integrity is the most important thing we have,” Farrell said.
Linsmeier is one of two recipients of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Foundation–sponsored Outstanding Educator Award. According to the AAA website, this award is presented to educators whose “sustained and substantive contributions have been at universities other than large doctoral granting institutions and whose career contributions include educational innovation, excellence in teaching, publications, research guidance to graduate students and significant involvement in professional and academic societies and activities.”
He currently serves as the Thomas G. Ragatz Accounting and Law Distinguished Chair of the AIS department at the Wisconsin School of Business.
“I have benefited from outstanding faculty that motivated me to learn, brilliant students who have challenged me to explain things better and great opportunities to interact with standard setters and accounting practitioners around the world, leading me to winning this award,” Linsmeier said.
“Both current and former faculty members as well as graduates of our doctoral program were recognized for their excellence in research and teaching. It is a tribute to the quality and dedication of our faculty as well as the strength of our programs,” Hogan said.