Welcome to my profile page! I have been with Westminster since 2004, retiring from full time teaching duties at the end of 2016. I now teach on an adjunct basis, serving as an Associate Professor of Accounting Emeritus in the School of Business. I teach Intermediate Accounting during the fall semester and presently also teach an Inquiry class.
I believe in learning through practice and problem solving. This is how I structure my classes, and this is how my students are evaluated. Business does not hire graduates who can memorize facts and spit them back. They hire graduates who can analyze situations, gather the relevant data and solve their problems. In order for students to pass my classes, they will need to demonstrate that they can take a set of facts encountered by a business, identify the problem created by those facts, develop the proper solution through a correct analysis of the appropriate facts, and clearly communicate that resolution. This will best prepare our students for professional life.
Critical analysis and thinking is the cornerstone of a great college education. To this extent, I, as a professor, provide the environment for students to develop that skill. But the majority of the effort falls on the student. Just as a fitness coach can explain to a weightlifter how to hold the weights, how to breathe, how to position his body, how to isolate his motion, providing encouragement along the way, and even counseling how to feed that body, the weightlifter must still lift those weights. I cannot do that. And so, a student must commit himself or herself to the goal making the most out of the opportunity he/she has paid dearly for. In today's competitive. post-college, environment, gone are the days of dictating knowledge to students.
Students must develop an intuition as to how he will resolve real world problems after graduation. And that intuition must be built by the student through active involvement with his own education. College can only provide the resources to build that intuition. Once a student graduates, there is rarely someone there to give them the answers to the problems they face. Students must be prepared to solve their own problems, using the intuition and building blocks provided in college in tandem with their own experiences. Students control their own destiny, and those that capitalize on opportunities available will find their destiny to be the most rewarding.
A quote from a 2007 graduate for whom I recently wrote a graduate school recommendation: "Looking back I can truly appreciate your teaching methods and how they relate to what is required of me in my career. Learning to problem solve instead just recalling facts is essential."
To this end, I have developed a game that is played in my introductory accounting class. It utilizes the board game of Monopoly®. In this game, student-players keep a full set of accounting records to support the business activity that takes place during the game. I modified some of the rules, and added a few others to include additional accounting issues such as depreciation and interest. But much of the game stays the same. The magic of the game is that, as students play, they thrive on the excitement and competition of the game. Their accounting takes place as background to their business actions and decisions. They are learning through repetition in real life situations... and having fun doing it!
At Westminster, I also served as faculty advisor for Enactus (formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE) for 12 years and for the Ski and Snowboard Club for eight years. During my time at Westminster, our Enactus team won its Regional Competition three years in a row, and 6 out of 12 years, for which winning allowed the team to compete at the National Competition.
Prior to teaching at Westminster College, I taught at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA for three years and at Carlow College in their adult education program.
My undergraduate degree is in Accounting, and was received from Bucknell University in 1977. I followed up that with a Masters in Taxation from Robert Morris College (now University) in 1984 and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001.
I am a Certified Public Accounting, licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1979. I have also operated my own tax, finance and investment consulting business since 1999.