Dr. Angela Hwang, a professor at the department of accounting and finance at Eastern Michigan University, was recently commended with the Teaching Excellence Award. She will be honored along with other awardees at the Student Center on Oct. 30.
Hwang’s first job was as a teaching fellow at the University of Houston in 1993. Here, she also received her doctorate in accounting. She continued to teach at Wayne State University before she joined Eastern as an assistant professor in 2002.
“My job is truly a privilege as it allows me to make a difference,” Hwang said, when asked why she chose teaching as a career.
Her teaching experience is expansive and includes an impressive list of credentials, as is her professional experience as a consultant.
“Over the course of my career as an accounting faculty, I have taught both undergraduate and graduate courses including: Principles of Financial Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Advanced Accounting, Accounting Theory & Research Methodology, Managerial Accounting and Accounting Information Systems,” Hwang said.
Due to the major change in international financial reporting and her recently developed expertise in International Financial Reporting Standards, she will step up to the challenge of teaching international accounting for the first time in the fall semester.
She was recently awarded with the Price Waterhouse Coopers “IFRS Ready” grant. PWC is a leading Certified Public Accountant firm providing accounting services worldwide.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires and drives the student to think,” Hwang said, quoting writer William Arthur Ward.
It’s clear that she believes this strongly as she recalled her favorite teacher from school.
“I believe I was very much inspired by his sincerity and diligence when I was a college student at Chinese Culture University in Taiwan,” Hwang said. “Many students fear advanced courses in financial accounting because they believe these courses involve highly technical knowledge and require memorizing an indefinite number of accounting rules along with performing complicated mathematical calculations.
“My challenge as an instructor is to help students dispel some of the misconceptions and help them believe they can be successful in these courses.”
IFRS is used in more than 150 countries other than the United States. Hwang believes by learning IFRS it will broaden their accounting horizons in case any of her students want to pursue a job overseas.
“It was a very pleasant reflection when I was organizing some emails that I received from former students,” she said. “They appreciate that I care a great deal about their learning, I take time to get to know them and I am willing to go out of my way to help them be successful. Yet, I have been somewhat overwhelmed at times because of the amount of requests I receive for letters of recommendation and as a reference.”
Hwang has supported and advised numerous students on their academic journey, and not just at Eastern.
“Dr. Hwang was my professor for Accounting 501 during the Fall 2009 semester,” said Gene Kim, an EMU student. “This was my very first class at EMU and the College of Business. Her skilled instruction and humor relieved my anxiety over starting the MBA program and reinvigorated my interest in learning after completing my undergraduate degree 19 years ago.”
One of her students who played for the EMU baseball team was accepted in to the MSA program at the University of Michigan. He was recognized as a “Top Scholar” at the Annual Scholar Athlete Award Ceremony.
“He invited me to be his guest of honor because I was the faculty member who he feels has gone above and beyond to assist him in his pursuit of academic success,” Hwang said. “He was later signed by the Chicago White Sox.”
Hwang describes herself as a versatile and creative instructor who embraces the changing world of corporate financial reporting and injects new learning into the classroom. She attributes her teaching success to her ability of presenting complex information in a clear and organized format, with a pinch of humor.
“She draws students with her passion for the subject,” Kim said. “She doesn’t just do it to get the requirement out of the way but genuinely cares about helping her students understand and enjoy the class.”