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Alumni Spotlight: Ann Dzuranin, An Innovative Educator

By Keith Morelli

Ann Dzuranin

TAMPA (July 16, 2018) -- For Ann Dzuranin, being a Certified Public Accountant, doing taxes and taking care of the books for businesses and corporations for a decade-and-a-half wasn't quite enough. So, she focused on earning a PhD in business with a concentration in accounting nine years ago and going on to teach others the grace and logic of numbers in a ledger.

Now an associate professor of accounting at Northern Illinois University, Dzuranin, who earned a PhD in accounting from USF, has achieved more than she ever imagined. In August, she will travel to Washington, D.C., where she will receive prestigious national recognition for what she does in the classroom.

"I am thrilled to receive the American Accounting Association Innovation in Accounting Education Award for my work in advancing data and analytics education in accounting courses," the 2009 alumna said. "Data and analytics are quickly changing the way businesses operate and compete. Understanding how to use data to formulate and solve business problems provides an opportunity for the accounting professional to become a forward thinking strategic partner in the organization.

"I feel passionately that embracing the impact of data and analytics," she said, "is the only way for the profession to stay relevant."

The award, which cites her research titled "Data & Analytics in Accounting: Innovation and Impact in Accountancy Education," is sponsored by the Ernst & Young Foundation and will be presented to Dzuranin in the form of a unique glass art piece and a monetary prize. The event takes place at the annual meeting of the AAA in Washington on Aug. 8.

Dzuranin is the Dean's Distinguished Professor of Analytics in Accounting at NIU. She earned her bachelor's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, her MBA from New York University, and her PhD from USF nine years ago.

"I will always be grateful for the opportunity to pursue my PhD in accounting at USF," she said. "The School of Accountancy at USF has a highly recognized niche in accounting information systems and behavioral research. My USF degree has opened many doors for me based on the strength of the program and I am grateful to all the faculty and especially grateful to Dr. Uday Murthy and Dr. Jacqueline Reck for their support and guidance. Go Bulls!"

Murthy, now the director of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, was Dzuranin's major professor and dissertation chair.

"We are one of the few PhD programs nationally to offer a specialization in accounting information systems, which is the path that Ann chose," Murthy said. "She was hired by Northern Illinois because of her AIS focus, but Ann deserves kudos for single handedly crafting a niche in data analytics.

"She is one of the pioneers in the field of accounting data analytics," he said, "and is credited with having developed one of the first ever college level courses on that topic."

Dzuranin's work involves behavioral research in management accounting decision making and the ways in which accounting information systems interact with those decisions. Her research has appeared in Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Business Ethics, Management Accounting Quarterly, Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, and the Journal of Accounting Education.

Her research in data analytics curriculum development has resulted in invitations to attend academic and professional conferences and her presentations have reached more than 1,600 people. Her materials have been shared with 50 universities.

Murthy said he will be in Washington on the day Dzuranin receives her award and will try to attend the ceremony to congratulate her in person.

"We are indeed proud of Ann," he said, "and are thrilled that her achievements are being recognized at a national level."