2018 Midwest Region Meeting


Susan M. Curtis, University of Illinois-Urbana
Plenary Speaker, Friday, October 5, 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Perspective on High-Quality Teaching from the Cook Prize Winners

Susan M. Curtis is a lecturer at the University of Illinois-Urbana, where she earned her doctorate in accountancy.  She has been teaching the first introductory accounting course for 17 years and next year will reach the milestone of having taught over 20,000 students!  In 2015, the Illinois Student Senate recognized Professor Curtis with a Teaching Excellence Award, the only campus-wide teaching honor bestowed solely by students. 

Susan is a passionate about working toward and supporting continuous improvement in accounting education.   In addition to teaching, Susan is an active researcher, reviewer and associate editor. She has published in Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Accounting Education, the AAA AIS Compendium for Cases and Classroom, and Accounting Education News. She feels deeply honored to be the only person recognized as Outstanding Reviewer by the Journal of Accounting Education and also to have been recognized as Outstanding Reviewer by Accounting Education, where she currently serves as associate editor. 

Thankful for the many opportunities to be engaged with other accounting educators through AAA, Susan is a regular presenter and participant in the Annual and Region Meetings. She also continues to serve as a member of the Teaching Learning and Curriculum (TLC) Award Committee, as the TLC Midwest Coordinator, and as a co-chair of the TLC Faculty-Development--Research Committee. 

Susan is a 2017 winner of the esteemed American Accounting Association/J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook/Deloitte Foundation Prize which is the foremost recognition of an individual who consistently demonstrates the attributes of a superior teacher in the discipline of accounting. The Prize will serve to recognize, inspire and motivate members to achieve the status of a superior teacher.


Darshan Shah, State of Indiana, Management Performance Hub
Plenary Speaker, Friday, October 5, 8:10 am – 9:05 am
Facilitating Data-Driven Innovation: How Public-Private Collaboration Improves Outcomes

Darshan Shah is an executive at the intersection technology and policy. Darshan is an accomplished leader with over 15 years of proven success leading organizations across a variety of functions including operations, finance, quality, engineering and sales. His background includes a rich mix of operational, financial and business strategy expertise.

In March 2017, he became the Chief Data Officer (CDO) for the State of Indiana. As the CDO, he also is the Executive Director of the Management Performance Hub (MPH). MPH is the leading organization nationally transforming state government through the use of data, analytics, BI and consulting to improve efficiencies and effectiveness while developing data-informed decision making to improve policy outcomes. By working with state agencies and other partners, MPH is able to utilize world-class data science and analytics capabilities to solve the largest problems that many Hoosiers face.

Prior to joining MPH, Darshan spent his career focusing on various aspects of healthcare at 3 organizations: OurHealth, Deloitte Consulting and Lilly. At OurHealth, he was responsible for leading all aspects of OurHealth’s Operations and Account Management. At Deloitte Consulting, he supported numerous states as they determined their approach and built solutions for state-based Health Insurance Exchanges. At Lilly, he held numerous roles focusing on quality systems, field sales, systems development, supply chain, and capital project delivery. He holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington and a BS in Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

Darshan volunteers his time through Board participation in several non-profits and is married to his beautiful and patient wife Rebecca.

Natalie T. Churyk, Ph.D., CPA, Northern Illinois University
Plenary Speaker, Saturday, October 6, 8:20 am – 8:50 am
The Quality of Accounting Education Research and Submissions

Natalie T. Churyk is the William F. Doyle Endowed Professor of Accountancy at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Accounting Education. Her research contributes to topics in financial reporting, fraud/ethics and education. Her publications appear in academic and professional journals such as Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Forensic Accounting Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Accounting Education, Strategic Finance, the CPA Journal, and the Journal of Accountancy. She is a co-author on three textbooks published by John Wiley & Sons with Accounting and Auditing Research: Tools and Strategies being the most widely adopted of the three.Significant additional service includes: President, American Accounting Association (AAA) Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum (TLC) Section (2016- 2018); Vice-President, AAA TLC (2014-2016); Past Co-President of the AAA Midwest Region (prior acting President and Vice president); Treasurer of AAA TLC (2009 – 2013); Chair/Co-Chair – the AAA TLC, Forensic, and Midwest sections/region Membership Acquisition and Retention committees to name a few.


Ann C. Dzuranin, Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Analytics in Accounting at Northern Illinois University

Lunch Speaker, Friday, October 5, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Data and Analytics - Embracing Change and Preparing Future Accountants

Dr. Ann C. Dzuranin is the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Analytics in Accounting at Northern Illinois University.  She earned her B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson University, her MBA from New York University, and her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. Ann is a CPA (NJ) and has 15 years of experience in both public and corporate accounting.

Dr. Dzuranin is interested in behavioral research in managerial decision-making, incentive compensation, and accounting information systems.  Specifically, she is interested management accounting decision making and the ways in which accounting information systems interact with those decisions. Her research has been published in Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Business Ethics, Management Accounting Quarterly, and Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance.   

Dr. Dzuranin’s work in data analytics curriculum development has resulted in invitations to present on the topic of Data Analytics and Accounting at both academic and professional conferences.  Her presentations have reached over 1,500 people in the last 15 months with more than 40 universities requesting additional information regarding NIU’s approach to incorporating data analytics into the curriculum.

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