I was born in Maryland and lived in the Baltimore area until age 11. My family moved to Pennsylvania, and I eventually graduated from Stroudsburg High School. Growing up, I loved sports, especially basketball and tennis. Following graduation, my family moved again, to Norfolk, Virginia. Family finances were limited, so I knew I would need to live at home and attend a local school – Old Dominion University. I liked History, but chose to major in Accounting. The school and major turned out to be a great fit for me. I stayed on to pursue a master’s degree in Accounting, an uncommon choice at the time. As a master’s student, I had opportunity to teach a couple of courses, a life-shaping experience for me.
As many college students do, I pondered the meaning of life, and what I should do with mine. I committed to reading the New Testament through to learn more about Jesus. I read with interest, and I found Jesus to be truly remarkable. He came into the world with all of the power of God, yet chose to use this power to serve the poor and sick and, ultimately, to surrender His life for our benefit. His movement is not a political or economic one, but a spiritual one that transforms individuals from the inside. I adopted the Christian faith for the simple reason that I believed the story of Jesus, as conveyed in the Bible, is true.
I think the essence of the Christian faith is forgiveness. I recognize I can never meet God’s standard of perfection. Yet, God provides a pathway for us to be forgiven, through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus. All who seek forgiveness receive it. The forgiven, in turn, are called to live a life of forgiveness. God calls us to exhibit the same spirit of forgiveness in all of our interactions. I find this life a challenge, as I remain imperfect. My failures serve to remind me of my ongoing need for forgiveness, and my calling to offer it to others – a virtuous cycle.
I passed the CPA exam as a master’s student, and I worked 1.5 years for a public accounting firm in Virginia. I eventually decided to pursue a career as a professor, and I enrolled in the Ph.D. in Accounting Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The program was tough, but it prepared me well for my career. I have been fortunate to work at three great universities – UNC-Greensboro, Wright State and now Appalachian State. I have enjoyed working with colleagues and students at all three schools.
Being a follower of Jesus impacts your life, including your work. As an Accounting professor, there are many aspects of this field that resonate with me, given my Christian faith. Examples include the themes of accountability, stewardship, faithful representation, full disclosure, due diligence and serving the public interest. In my role of teacher, I strive to exhibit the traits of preparedness, organization, fairness, sincerity and humility. I do so imperfectly, with frequent stumbles, but I remain committed to these values and to my students’ success.
My life away from work centers around my family. My wife and I have been married for more than 25 years. We have two sons, now adults, and we enjoy keeping up with them.
I look forward to working with you this semester. If you have any questions concerning the course, or your life away from school, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to talk with you.