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Susan Hermanson

September 27, 2016

Susan Hermanson began her career in public accounting, but the call to teach became too strong to ignore. She decided to follow in her family’s footsteps and pursue academia.

“I absolutely love this profession and truly enjoy both pursuing research with colleagues and the joy of teaching students,” said Hermanson, an accounting professor in Cameron School of Business. “UNCW gives you the best of both worlds because both quality research and quality teaching are highly valued.”

The ability to impact the life of a student in some positive way is the greatest aspect of being a professor, she added.

“Students are definitely my favorite part of the job,” Hermanson continued. “In fact, I love this profession so much that I feel like the luckiest person alive because it very rarely feels like I have a job. It has been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life, and I feel like this is particularly true for me. It is so fulfilling to see students learn, mature and head out into the accounting profession.”

Hermanson taught at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Tampa before joining UNCW in August 2000.

In 2003, Hermanson established the Victor G. Collins Fellowship to assist students in the Masters of Accountancy Program within the Cameron School of Business. Eleven students have received the award.

Between teaching, authoring numerous articles for leading accounting journals and investigating audit market mergers, Hermanson finds time to take care of animals and drive tractors on her farm in Pender County. She grew up with a love of animals and thought about becoming a large animal veterinarian. Those plans changed after taking business classes as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia.

“I have always had good role models in my father and my brother, both successful accounting academics, and they both encouraged me to give accounting a chance,” she said. “I took my first accounting class and it was challenging and interesting, so I was hooked.”

Hermanson’s contributions to the field of accounting have been recognized by the Cameron School of Business. She was recently appointed as the Cameron Distinguished Professor of Accountancy. The professorship supports a distinguished faculty member, allowing the professor to build on his or her research and add to the field of accounting. The appointment is a great honor, she said, and a role that comes with significant responsibilities.

“Rather than representing an honorary appointment for past performance, I believe the Cameron professorship represents an opportunity to help shape and drive future performance within the accounting department, particularly in the areas of teaching, research, service and outreach,” she said. “I am very grateful to the Cameron family for making this opportunity possible. I have big shoes to fill because the prior Cameron Distinguished Professor of Accountancy did a tremendous amount to help the department, the school of business and the university. I promise to work hard to continue this tradition.”

--Venita Jenkins