Professor Nicole Thorne Jenkins doesn’t just help her students write their own success stories. She then puts them to work—for her.
Dr. Jenkins invested her own time, energy, and commitment into a student who was retaking the introductory accounting course after failing it with another instructor. “I encouraged her when she was discouraged. She came to my office for support, and we worked together,” says Dr. Jenkins. “I have a different presentation to the course work, and that plus the support seemed to make a difference.”
The struggling student earned an A, decided to dual-major in accounting, and is now Dr. Jenkins’s research assistant.
Overcoming obstacles is something that Nicole Jenkins can preach, because she’s practiced it. As a doctoral student, she had to scrap her entire Ph.D. dissertation nearly at the eleventh hour, when another scholar published a paper on the same topic. So she dusted herself off, stayed on for another year, and produced an all new dissertation.
Originally an accountant with a prominent multinational firm, Dr. Jenkins developed the urge to teach while tutoring engineers in calculus as an undergraduate. But she deferred the dream for several years in order to gain valuable experience in business. As a professor, she proselytizes for the accounting profession. “I enjoy drawing students in and showing them how accounting affects their lives even if they are not accountants. I show them what they can do with a degree in accounting, and the benefits of minoring in it. And I show them accounting is not as hard as they think it is!”
Many of Dr. Jenkins’s students come to her at semester’s end and tell her their dread of accounting melted away with her case-oriented, team-learning style of teaching. Some of them even sign up for the next course.
All of which helps to explain why Dr. Jenkins won two teaching awards while earning her doctorate at the University of Iowa.
The dream continues…
Nicole Thorne Jenkins became the John A. Griffin Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia on July 1, 2020. Dr. Jenkins has become an acknowledged expert on the topic of the effects of accounting restatements and share repurchases. She has published articles in The Journal of Accounting and Economics, Review of Accounting Studies, and The Accounting Review. The student she supported and developed into a research assistant is now herself a professor.