Message from Joseph Comprix, Accounting Department Chair

Dear Alumni and Friends, 

The academic year 2022-2023 has proven to be a highly successful one for our department. I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to three exceptional faculty members who have gone above and beyond for the department. 


First, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Joyce Zadzilka. As you may know, I have been fulfilling the role of associate dean temporarily, until we appoint a permanent dean, and they establish their team. Joyce has stepped up and done a lot of the work I would normally do for the Department over the past year, including organizing this newsletter in collaboration with Dawn McWilliams. Her dedication has been commendable. 


Second, Beta Alpha Psi is bouncing back from the pandemic. We are increasing our membership levels and the spring banquet was well-attended by both students and supporters of the department. I would like to thank Ginger Wagner for her leadership in making this happen. 


Third, I would like to commend MaryAnn Monforte for her outstanding work with our "accounting stars" program. Thanks to her efforts, many students who may not otherwise have considered accounting as a major are now showing interest. 


As part of the program, MaryAnn has been inviting students to events with accounting firms and facilitating expert panel discussions. To gauge the program's success, I collected some data. In the spring of 2022, she recruited 58 students into the program. Comparing this group to our Fall 2023 ACC 356 class (the initial course in the major), we had a total of 74 students registered for ACC 356, out of which 50 were “accounting stars” from Spring 2022 (an additional 2 were “accounting stars” from Fall 2022). It is remarkable that we were able to attract so many of these talented students to our major. Notably, they were among the top performers in ACC 151. 


Continuing our efforts to inspire students to pursue accounting careers, MaryAnn also organized an “Accounting Career Exploration Trip” to New York City in May. This event, sponsored by our Whitman Career Center, provided our students with an exceptional opportunity to network and gain insights into accounting as a profession. I anticipate that we will have the pleasure of seeing many of these students in our future classes. 


While there have been minimal changes to our faculty, I am pleased to announce two important additions. Sebastian Tideman has joined us to teach cost accounting and develop an environmental, social and governance investing course. Christie Novak has also joined us, teaching Perspectives of Business to our incoming freshmen, as well as Managing in a Global Setting (along with an accounting course or two for good measure). Our faculty members have also achieved significant research milestones, with papers accepted or featured in prestigious journals, including IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering (Michel Benaroch), The Accounting Review (Sebastian Tideman), the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (Craig Nichols), and Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory (Willie Reddic). This is truly impressive considering the size of our department. 


There are a lot of other great things going on in our department that I would also like to acknowledge. I would like to thank our career center for their help with our recent graduates. Placements of our students continue to be strong (96% of accounting majors are placed within 180 days of graduation). Additionally, we had the privilege of having four Whitman Scholars this year (out of 13 total): Mary-Katheryn Egger, Christina Coco, Leah Ford, and Mira Berenbaum. We were way overrepresented in the College relative to the number of our graduates — congratulations to all of them. Finally, I would like to thank Kofi Appiah Okyere, who took a group of students to the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) conference. Our students really benefit from these kinds of experiences. 


Once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the success of our department. There are many other examples that I did not mention. 



Best wishes, 

Joseph Comprix 

Accounting Department Chair 


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