Markus Ahrens, St. Louis Community College-Meramec
Plenary Speaker, Friday, April 20, 9:15 am – 10:15 am
Strive to be the Best Teacher that You Can Be - Perspectives on Effective Teaching
Plenary Speaker, Saturday, April 21, 8:20 am - 8:50 am
Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Markus Ahrens joined the Accounting & Legal Studies Department at St. Louis Community College-Meramec in 2001 and currently serves as the department chair. Prior to his teaching career, he worked as an accountant for 15 years.

Markus has received national awards for his teaching and his innovation in the classroom, including most recently, the 2016 American Accounting Association / J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook / Deloitte Foundation Prize. In addition, Markus is the proud recipient of the AICPA Bea Sanders Innovation Award in Teaching Introductory Accounting Courses and the Innovation of the Year awarded by the League for Innovation. His primary research interests are experiential learning in accounting education and student engagement utilizing technology.  Also, Markus co-founded TeachingandLearningToolbox.com, a free website dedicated to providing educators with up-to-date teaching and learning resources “where technology connects with pedagogy to raise the learning bar.”

Currently, Markus serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Society of CPA’s, is a Trustee for the MSCPA Education Foundation Board and is a past Trustee for the for American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation Board.  In addition, Markus is the Council Chair for the American Accounting Association. Markus served as the 2014-2016 President for the Two-Year Section of the American Accounting Association and is the past-chair for the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting.  Furthermore, Markus serves on the AICPA Pre-Certification Education Executive Committee. In 2010, Markus served as president for the Missouri Association of Accounting Educators.  Markus is a member of the Teachers of Accounting at Two-Year Colleges, Institute of Management Accountants and the Association of Experiential Education organizations.

Charlene Spiceland, Simmons College
Lunch Speaker, Friday, April 20, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Preparing Our Students for the Future: The Future is Now!

Charlene Spiceland served on the TN State Board of Accountancy for three years, is active in the National Association of State Boards of Accounting where she served on the Education Committee in 2017, and is currently serving on the Massachusetts Society of CPA’s Academic and Career Development Committee. She previously was President of the Midsouth Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and is a member of the American Accounting Association where she is President-Elect of the Southeast Region. This is her second year as Assistant Professor with the School of Business at Simmons College in Boston. Previously, Dr. Spiceland was Assistant Professor in the School of Accountancy at the University of Memphis where she served as the Director of the Executive MBA Program and Assistant to the Director of the School of Accountancy. She has developed and taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in financial, managerial, and healthcare accounting and is currently coordinating a new accounting program at Simmons College. She has received a variety of university, college, and departmental teaching awards, and she has published articles in a variety of high-impact accounting journals including REVIEW OF QUANTITATIVE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING, ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION, and JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING EDUCATION. Prior to becoming a member of academe, she was Chief Financial Officer for EFS Transportation (division of First Data). Dr. Spiceland is a CPA and CMA.


Wayne Thomas
Plenary Speaker, Friday, April 20, 8:10 am – 9:05 am

Engaging Students in Financial Accounting Courses

Wayne Thomas earned his undergraduate degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his Master’s and PhD in accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He currently teaches financial accounting and intermediate accounting at the University of Oklahoma.

He co-authors Intermediate Accounting 9e with David Spiceland and Mark Nelson (McGraw-Hill). He also co-authors Financial Accounting 4e with David Spiceland and Don Herrmann (McGraw-Hill).

His research focuses on financial accounting issues related to the impact of reporting and disclosure practices on capital market participants. He previously served as an Editor for The Accounting Review.

Most of all, he enjoys spending time with his wife Julee and four kids, Olivia, Jake, Eli and Luke.