Deborah G. Stephenson, MBA, CPA
It is said that, success is when education and opportunity come together. I have experienced this phenomenon in my career and I wish the same for students. I hope to inspire my students to do their best in their subjects, continue their education, and be open to change and growth so they can take advantage of career and lifetime opportunities they wish to pursue.
Prior to joining Winston-Salem State University in 2007 as a clinical instructor of accounting, I was in industry with outstanding companies working in fields that spanned accounting, logistics, supply chain management, and manufacturing for several years. Each position capitalized on my education from college and enriched my technical, professional, personal development and immersed me in some of the latest applications of technology in those areas. I learned many times more than what I learned in college, but I could not have done it as well without my education. Education helped me to secure positions but it was the willingness to learn, determination and persistence that enabled me to grow in each position.
I left undergraduate school with a BS Degree in Education to teach at Corning Community College; during that time, I attended Syracuse University. Upon graduation with an MBA, I was invited to join Corning Glass Works in Corning, New York which launched my industrial career for several years. Positions with Corning spanned corporate internal audit to plant assistant controller before relocating. Subsequent to relocation, other positions with other companies included, controller, manager of payroll, sales and use taxes for every state and locality in the nation where telecommunication was being installed and global logistics financial manager responsible for financial reporting, freight invoicing and payments and certain contracts for road, rail, sea, and international freight forwarders.
While in industry, I always kept "one foot" in education teaching as an adjunct instructor in evening business and accounting courses in community colleges and universities or taking classes. I did both for two very good reasons. One, I was fulfilling the continuing requirements as a younger person for teaching and obtaining experience in my field. Two, perhaps the greatest reason, I was inspired by my professors to incorporate business experience in my teaching. I continued doing it because it was stimulating, challenging and kept me abreast in an ever changing environment.
When the accounting rules for foreign currency translation changed from FASB 8 to 52, I was learning it as I was doing it for a holding company which had 15 foreign affiliates around the world. When my companies were upgrading their systems to the state-of-the-art technology for payroll, human resources, integrated accounting, MRP (Material Requisition Planning) and manufacturing with People Soft and SAP software, I was learning it through Corporate University courses and seminars throughout the US and with hands-on experience along with my colleagues. I know that similar and even more opportunities await my students upon graduation.
Now at WSSU in the School of Business and Economics, I encourage my students to share their work experiences and knowledge as it relates to our textbook topics to connect and inspire the class with real work applications. I will share my experiences as appropriate. For instance I know that the topic of depreciation is not necessarily the most stimulating accounting topic, but I will explain that everyone from the IRS, financial management, marketing and production professionals are keenly aware of its impact on operations, financial and tax reporting.
In addition to my career, I volunteer in the community and church activities, I work to stay abreast in my field and I have to two children who are now putting their skills sets to work in the real world. One, a marine biologist, has now branched out and is an entrepreneur; the other is an engineer and an athlete.
Teaching Assignments at WSSU School of Business and Economics:
- ACC 2316 Principles of Financial Accounting
- ACC 2317 Managerial Accounting
- ACC 3314 Federal Income Taxation