Barbee Myers Oakes, Ph.D. American Accounting Association
Plenary Session Speaker, Friday, October 21, 9:10 am – 10:00 am
Fostering a Culture of Belonging at the AAA

Barbee Myers Oakes, Ph.D. had more than 35 years of experience in higher education before retiring in 2021 and joining the AAA as its inaugural CDO in 2022. From 2017-2021 Oakes served as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), ranked by US News & World Report as the most diverse higher education institution in the nation. Key accomplishments included raising more than $2 million by appointing the state’s first Director of Development for Diversity Initiatives, appointing the state’s first Resource Coordinator for Undocumented Students, launching her Cultural Intelligence Leadership Series (CQLS) for the President’s Cabinet, the Provost’s, and the Deans’ executive teams, and implementing the largest D&I Summit in Nevada history. Oakes was also a leading voice with the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents where she served as the co-president of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council (EDIC) pushing for a systemwide approach to actualize equity in the state’s universities and colleges.

Oakes was the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC from 2009-2017 where she was the architect of the university’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. From 1995-2009 she was the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Wake Forest. Under her leadership, Wake Forest was awarded a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by Insight into Diversity in 2012. In 2012 Oakes was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine as one of “25 Women Making a Difference” in higher education in their inaugural issue recognizing women of achievement. She served as the president of the North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Partners (NCDIP) consortium from 2016-2017 and was a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) for the past decade.

Her Cultural Intelligence Leadership Series (CQLS) is a myriad of professional development learning opportunities and executive strategy sessions to empower leaders to navigate and leverage Cultural Difference. Her client list prior to joining the AAA includes Dale Carnegie, Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO) Board of Directors, Southwest Gas Executive Leadership Team, Atlanta Federal Executive Board Senior Leadership Program, EY, Zappos, Charlotte Regional US Census and Immigration Services (USCIS) Executive Team, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Wake Forest University School of Business, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Guilford Technical Community College, and others.

Oakes earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from Wake Forest. Upon completion of her Ph.D. in Exercise Science and Nutrition from the University in Tennessee, Knoxville, she became the first Black woman with a doctoral degree in the American College of Sports Medicine. Oakes held faculty appointments at Wake Forest, Arizona State University, and Penn State University from 1985-1995 and is the co-author of seven textbooks.

Karen K. Osterheld, CPA, American Accounting Association
Plenary Session Speaker, Friday, October 21, 12:45 pm – 1:30 pm
Going Forward at the AAA

Karen Osterheld is the Senior Director of the Center for Advancing Accounting Education at the American Accounting Association (AAA). In this role, she is responsible for the identification, development and dissemination of best practices and innovations in accounting education across the academy.

Prior to joining the AAA, Karen was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy at Bentley University and was a full-time member of the faculty for 31 years. During her tenure at Bentley, Karen primarily taught introductory and intermediate accounting. Karen was also responsible for the academic internship program for undergraduate and graduate students in the department.

In 2003, Karen received the Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising at Bentley. In 2008, she was nominated Faculty Member of the Year by the student body. She has also won two Bentley University Innovation in Teaching Awards and the Bentley University Service-Learning Award.

Karen has chaired the AAA Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting and served as the President of the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Section of the AAA.
Karen started her professional career at Arthur Young in Boston and has eleven years of business experience, primarily as a manager in the financial services industry. She earned her B.S. Degree in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Albany and her M.B.A. Degree from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Massachusetts.