Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Name: Kathy Koval
Position: Assistant Dean, Director of Business and Public Management Programs
Name: Cindy Cheyney
Position: Assistant Dean
Name: Laurie Christie
Position: Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Name: Danah Allen
Position: Communications and Impact Coordinator
Name: Julie Ferris
Position: Administrative Assistant
What drew you to WCU originally? And how has WCU changed since?
"I was finishing my doctoral dissertation, and I needed students for it. A friend of a friend told me that West Chester was looking for adjunct professors for a couple of classes. So, here I am. Since I've been here, CBPM has done nothing but grow. We've hired some absolutely tremendous new faculty, we've expanded our programs, and all of that is reflected in the fact that our enrollment steadily increases every semester. The word is out about West Chester University!"
What makes CBPM at WCU standout compared to other business and public management programs across the country?
"I think what makes us stand out is the quality of what is coming out of here [CBPM]. Our faculty are a big part of that. We're a teaching institution. We're teachers who do research. We are not researchers who teach. That's an important distinction. Most of us in accounting had years of practice working in the industry. We're not necessarily people who came out of college to teach. I practiced for thirty years, so I'm able to bring thirty years of practice into the classroom. And again, that's true for a lot of us. I have thirty-five public accounting firms who come here looking to hire our students. Why are they here? Because our product, the students, is good."
What is the most fulfilling part about working at WCU and/or for CBPM?
"The kids. That's the reason I'm here. I'm here because I like working with the students in the classroom. No question about it."
What is the cutting edge in your field and how does your research extend it?
"I'm not sure if I'm on the cutting edge, exactly, but my research focuses on two things: cost and how students learn. The cost side, of course, I know from thirty years of practice. I've published several articles on it. My dissertation, though, was on how students, particularly accounting students, learn. And, I've done quite a bit of research on that topic. I like to find out how our students learn. Why do they learn? Why don't they learn? Everyone learns differently. I'm trying to find out which ways of teaching are working."
How has your research influenced your teaching? In what ways have you been able to bring the insights of your research to your courses?
"Everything that I learn goes back into the classroom. So, obviously, my research on how students learn greatly effects how I teach. For example, at the end of last semester, I gave out index cards to all of my students. On one side, they wrote down their favorite part of the class. On the other, they wrote down something that didn't work for them. And, it will be different for different students, because, again, everyone learns differently."
Does any particular moment standout as being your favorite since working at WCU?
"One particular moment doesn't really stand out. The highlight of my semester is always graduation. But, it's really a collection of events that makes it memorable."
What advice would you give to our incoming freshman?
"Stay focused. There are going to be all sorts of distractions that you've probably never encountered before, but make sure you do what you came here to do, and that's to learn."
What advice would you give to our graduating seniors?
"Keep your eye on the ball. Similar to freshman, there's going to be a lot of distractions. They might be different kinds of distractions, but you still need to make sure you stay focused."
What is your guilty pleasure?
"I don't really have a guilty pleasure. I'm an outdoorsman. I hunt, I cross-country ski, I fish, anything that's outdoors, I'll do. But, that isn't really a guilty pleasure, everyone knows I do that."