The College of Business Administration celebrated the completion of another successful academic year by recognizing the attributes of faculty research, innovative teaching strategies and service to Niagara University and the community.
Dr. William Peek, professor of economics, was recognized for his 36 years of teaching at Niagara and wished well as he begins a new adventure.
Three faculty members received awards for excellence in research, service and teaching.
Dr. Ian Burt, assistant professor of accounting, received Researcher of the Year. Dr. Burt joined Niagara in 2013. He completed his Ph.D. in accounting in 2014 from the School of Finance and Accounting, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.
During the academic year, he published a peer-reviewed article and a peer-reviewed book chapter. An Understanding of the Differences between Internal and External Auditors in Obtaining Information about Internal Control Weaknesses was published in the Journal of Management Accounting Research. He also published Moderation, Mediation and Moderated Mediation, which is a book chapter in an accounting behavioral research textbook. He was asked by the editors of this textbook to create the chapter, along with his co-author, Clark Hampton from the University of Waterloo.
Throughout the year, Dr. Burt was also able to work on four working papers that, since May of last year, he presented each one at six different peer-reviewed conferences. This research highlights his breadth of research topics, including tax, management accounting, audit, and incentive research. It is also interesting to note that his co-authors range from accounting professors from other institutions, to professors in other disciplines within the College of Business Administration and professors from disciplines outside of business at Niagara, demonstrating his willingness to collaborate.
The Service of the Year Award was presented to Joseph Winter, assistant professor of accounting. Winter taught as an adjunct for Niagara for many years while working as CFO for companies engaged in health care, venture capital, insurance and economic development. In 2013, he joined the accounting department as a full-time faculty member.
Winter is active on several boards, including chair of the Erie County Citizens’ Budget Commission, which is an independent commission overseeing a $1.2 billion yearly budget. He is a board member of the Ashford Hollow Art Foundation, which focuses on the importance and enhancement of art education for children in grades K-12, along with the general promotion of WNY sculpture artists. He also serves as a finance committee member of the Health Sciences Charter School in Buffalo. He has served for the last eight years representing Niagara University as an active member of the Niagara County Community College accounting advisory board.
At the university level, Winter is involved in a variety of leadership, faculty and administration committees, including Master Planning Work Group, Middle States Accreditation, Niagara University Beginnings, Niagara University 403(b) Investment, Bookstore Contract Review and Energy Services. He brings insightful value, leadership and critical input assessments to all of these groups.
On the college level, he is involved with the QAC committee and visited local high schools, along with other accounting faculty this past academic year, talking with students about careers in accounting while promoting Niagara. In addition, he and professor Vince Agnello, chair of accounting, toured three of the larger local WNY CPA firms last summer with personal visits and meetings with key decision makers cross sharing mutual points of interest about the program, accounting students and strategic needs of the CPA firms.
Winter also found time to write and apply for two sizable grants, one with the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York and the other with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Health Foundation resulted in NU’s team being on their radar for upcoming projects and the Small Business Administration is still in the process of competitive review. Both of these applications have faculty and student engagement as high impact outcomes. As evidenced, his service goes beyond the classroom to being actively engaged in a variety of meaningful activities.
Dr. Anna McNab, associate professor of management, was recognized as Teacher of the Year. She joined the College of Business Administration faculty in 2009 after completing her Ph.D. in information systems from Washington State University.
Over the past eight years, Dr. McNab has taught eight different courses across all levels of instruction in various formats, including on-campus, hybrid and online, full semester, accelerated and summer courses. Currently, she has been teaching information systems for business, e-commerce essentials, and strategic MIS. She introduced a new graduate course during the spring semester, Creative Problem Solving. In her course syllabus, she quotes Edward deBono who said, “Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate, profits.” Her course builds on this by exploring design thinking and other tools to creatively address organizational problems.
About this course, Dr. McNab explains, “I decided to try something new in this newly developed online MBA course. I decided to bridge the physical and the online worlds by sending the students a ‘care package’ containing items to use for class activities. In the first week of class, I have already received positive feedback from my students about this idea and have seen greater level of engagement with the class material. I believe this innovative approach will result in improved learning.”
Dr. McNab came up with many of the ideas for this course during her sabbatical leave in fall 2016, when she worked as a product strategist for PLATFORM, a mobile app and web design agency in Bratislava, Slovakia. She continues to work with them, managing several projects and writing for their blog, most recently publishing an article titled “Powerful Framework Used by Some of the Most Successful Startups.” Working at PLATFORM has given Dr. McNab firsthand knowledge of design thinking and agile development that was implemented into her new course.
Dr. Tenpao Lee, interim dean, thanked the entire business faculty for a productive year and looked forward to the future, “With engaged faculty members like Ian, Joe and Anna, the college will continue to grow and serve its students better.”