On August 12, 2022, the James Benjamin Department of Accounting hosted a Junior Accounting Research Workshop in partnership with Rice University for associate and assistant professors in the colleges’ accounting departments. For the conference, 5-6 of Rice’s junior faculty joined Mays junior faculty for a day of sharing research with each other. The following Q&A is with Assistant Professor of Accounting at Mays Business School, Dr. Sarah Stuber.
Q: What is the “Junior Accounting Research Workshop” that took place on Friday, August 12, 2022?
Stuber: The workshop was an opportunity for assistant and associate professors from Rice University to join us for a day to share our research, provide feedback on working papers, and network.
Q: Who was involved in the workshop itself, and why was that audience important to the purpose of the event?
Stuber: The workshop featured presentations from 2 assistant professors from Rice University and two of our fantastic TAMU assistant professors—Emily Shafron and Junwei Xia. The workshop participants were professors from Rice and here at TAMU. The focus of the workshop was on giving junior faculty from the schools an opportunity to connect and share research.
Q: How did the Research Workshop come to be?
Stuber: One of the assistant professors at Rice University and I have connections from our time as PhD students, and she suggested the idea of having an event for the junior faculty at our schools. I jumped on the opportunity and, after confirming with our department head, extended the offer to host the event here in College Station. From there, we found a date that worked for everyone and then reached out to identify junior faculty that would be interested in presenting. Initially, we were planning to have only assistant professors in attendance, but there was enough enthusiasm for the event that we decided to expand the workshop to include associate professors from both schools.
Q: Why was this workshop such a big deal? What was rare about it?
Stuber: This was the first time a collaborative event focused on junior faculty has been held with Rice University. The event was significant as Rice University has an outstanding reputation as a premier institution with a strong research reputation. The fact that they reached out to us to establish a formal opportunity for collaboration is a signal of the quality of the faculty and the research that is being done within the James Benjamin Department of Accounting at Texas A&M. The geographic proximity of our two schools and the shared expectations and record of excellence in research make it a natural fit for future collaboration.
Q: What were some key takeaways from the event for the attendees?
Stuber: The feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive. The workshops were active, with presenters receiving high-quality feedback on their projects. One of the presenters from Rice expressed how impressed he was with College Station, our campus, and how appreciative he was for the feedback on his paper. The biggest takeaway was the development of relationships that will hopefully build into collaboration and co-authorships on projects in the future.
Q: What will happen next?
Stuber: We are hoping it becomes an annual event, as the Rice faculty have already expressed a desire to host a similar workshop on their campus in Houston next year. More importantly, though, the hope is that the relationships established and a chance to discuss research will lead to more opportunities for future collaboration between the faculty at the schools.
Q: What did I not ask that you’d like to share?
Stuber: I am thankful to Nate Sharp for his support of the event from the beginning and for all of the work put in by our administrative staff to help us show Aggie hospitality to our guests!