McCoy Professor, student represent College at MBAA-International

Professor Grace Johnson teaching

McCoy Professor of Management and Accounting Grace Johnson and senior Economics and Political Science major Katie McIlroy ’21 (Circleville, Ohio) represented Marietta College’s Department of Business & Economics at the annual conference of MBAA-International.

This academic association serves as the umbrella entity for 12 business disciplinary areas. Its annual conference, typically held at the Palmer House in Chicago, was this year conducted virtually over three days — March 24-26.

Johnson’s research focused on a timely subject. “The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Financial Reporting Environment for Publicly Traded Companies” explored how pandemic-induced structural and procedural changes affected the work carried out by accounting professionals responsible for corporate accounting functions.

Relying on information from government agencies, attorneys, and corporate and public accountants, her paper explained current concerns and forecasted future hazards connected to the financial reporting environment for large corporations.    

In addition to presenting her research, Professor Johnson chaired a paper session. She serves on the North American Accounting Society board of directors (one of the 12 disciplinary organizations under MBAA-I).

“It was disappointing to not be in Chicago for two years in a row,” said Johnson, noting that the 2020 MBAA-I conference was canceled because of the pandemic. “However, the Zoom platform made it possible for colleagues and friends to meet in virtual breakout rooms for conversation just as we would if meeting for lunch at one of the downtown Chicago restaurants or enjoying a glass of wine at the Palmer House lobby bar.”  

McIlroy delivered the results of her economics capstone research, “How do Misery Index Levels Impact Income Inequality within the United States?” Her study examined the effect of inflation and unemployment on income inequality in the United States.

“It was extremely gratifying having the opportunity to share my research with other undergraduate students and economics scholars from around the world,” McIroy said. “The feedback I was able to receive has inspired me to continue working toward pursuing additional research in the future. All in all, this was a great occasion for me to build the foundation of my future career, and I am grateful I had this opportunity.”

In recent years, a small group of faculty and students from the Department of Business & Economics would together make the trip to Chicago to present at the conference. Johnson hopes this practice will resume for the MBAA-I conference in March 2022.

“It’s important — on so many levels — for scholarly activity to be placed as a priority by our faculty and students,” she said. “Culture change comes slowly — and only among the willing — but when a community of scholars interacts it is a magical experience.”