Recently named in Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40, Michaele Morrow has made quite an impact during her short career. She got her start at West Texas A&M University where she graduated in 2001 with a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting. After graduating, she earned her CPA license and worked in public accounting until she decided to return to school pursuing her Ph.D. in Accounting from Texas Tech University in 2008. Since then, she has been a professor of accounting at Northeastern University, Suffolk University, and most recently, became the Director of the Bouchard Center at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching, Michaele managed student volunteers at a low-income tax preparation center in Boston for 10 years.
Dr. Morrow believes that student mentorship is an integral part of shaping students and attributes finding her career calling to the mentors she had while at WT.
“The work I am doing with the Bouchard Center is near and dear to my heart for that reason – we are helping students make informed decisions about career choices and providing them the resources to be qualified for those careers. That mentorship is crucial – our collective responsibility is to mentor the next generation of business leaders. More than ever, young people need a mentor to help them navigate school and career choices but also to know what it means to be a leader.”– Dr. Michaele Morrow
Q & A with Dr. Michaele Morrow
Describe your WTAMU Experience:
WTAMU changed my life. My fellow students and faculty really changed the trajectory of my career and thus my life…see the answer to the next question.
How did you choose WT?
I graduated high school a semester early and really had my heart set on going to law school at Notre Dame. I chose WT because my brother was attending – and majoring in Accounting – and it was close to home. I lived in the dorms – Conner Hall! – and made some amazing friends there, two of who became my roommates after we moved out of the dorms. I chose pre-law as my major, and was lucky enough to receive the Stanley and Geneva Schaeffer Presidential Scholarship. Stanley Schaeffer was a partner in an accounting firm in my hometown of Dimmitt, TX and one day when I was home I went into his offices to drop off a thank you note for the scholarship. While there, I spoke with another partner, Layne Myatt (I used to babysit his kids) and he asked my major. When I told him pre-law, he encouraged me to specialize and consider something in the business school. This was a turning point in my life – I decided to major in accounting and that changed everything. After changing my major to accounting, I was fortunate enough to receive the David & Myrt Wilder Scholarship from the College of Business. The Schaeffer and Wilder scholarships were a blessing. I eventually got a job in public accounting and although I had taken the LSAT and was intent on going to law school, four years of busy seasons changed my mind!
Who were some faculty that influenced you during your time at WT?
Dr. Wade Shaffer – He was my constitutional law professor and his course – where he forced us to argue both sides of seminal legal cases – changed the way I thought about, well, everything. It taught me how to think critically at a time when I needed it most. Of all the courses I took across my three degrees, it is his course that I remember and reference the most in my everyday life (as an aside, I was thrilled to see he was Provost/VP for Academic Affairs, but I hope he is still in the classroom with future lawyers!).
Dr. Neil Terry – My students now do not believe me, but he made economics fun. I took every class I could from him! He was also an incredible mentor to me and was the person who suggested that I pursue a Ph.D. when I was making the decision to leave public accounting. He has also given me great advice over the years and I am forever grateful to him for seeing something in me that I did not know was possible.
Dr. Anne Macy – She made finance appealing and accessible, but more than that, she was one of my first female role models in the business world.
Steve Sellars – He helped my find my first internship in Accounting, at Weyerhaeuser Paper Company. I was pretty excited to see that he teaches strategic management now – those students are lucky to have his expertise.
What are some successes in your life that you are proud of?
I passed the CPA exam in two tries – back when it was much tougher! – the year after I graduated. Earning my PhD and then making full professor before the age of 40 (at Suffolk University) was pretty cool. But I think the most important was the free tax preparation center that I ran for several years at both Northeastern University and Suffolk University. (https://experience.suffolk.edu/taxation-immigration/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_campaign=suffolkexperience&utm_content=taxation)
Hearing from former students also makes me really proud – knowing that I have an effect on the lives and careers of those sitting in my classroom is a huge honor and a great responsibility.
If you are interested in more information about the WT Internship Program, visit the Career Services website or contact Steve Sellars at (806) 651-2345.