I am at the annual meeting of the American Accounting Association in San Francisco. I thought, if I saw something interesting while I am here, that I would write about it.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with Presha Neidermeyer, Associate Professor of Accounting at West Virginia University. She was telling me about all of her many trips to Africa to take her students to places like Uganda and South Africa to work with the not-for-profit organizations there. We typically think about accounting professors sitting in a classroom teaching sleepy students about debits and credits. Dr. Neidermeyer is going way, way beyond that. She takes small groups (“I like to be able to load them all up in a van, if I have to”) and goes to the country and helps out some of the NFPs there. She talked specifically about one organization that did micro-lending and how her students helped them organize their forms so they could become more efficient.
Can you imagine how her students benefit from that experience? A lot of college students go to Italy, Australia, or the like for a semester in school there. This is something entirely different, an accounting experience in a third world country.
She has even co-authored a book on the impact of HIV-AIDS in Africa. Impressive!!!! The conference is off to a great start for me.