Teacher. Researcher. Mentor. For thirteen years, Karen Kitching, associate professor of accounting and accounting advisory council faculty fellow has been with George Mason University School of Business finding new ways to help students and future-students pursue their goals.
“What I love the most about the School of Business is that I am able to express my ideas and have them supported,” says Kitching. This year she introduced the graduate accounting analytics certificate program and created four new courses in the Master of Science in Accounting curriculum. “It’s exciting to me to be able to keep our program current and valuable and to see the students appreciate the upskilling they desperately want to experience and to have them stand out as they enter the workforce,” she says.
As a researcher, Kitching mainly focuses on nonprofit performance measurement and governance, but has published papers on financial statement analysis and cultural studies. Currently she’s creating teaching cases in accounting analytics to use in her own classes and to submit to education journals.
As a mentor, Kitching has worked with the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), which provides students the opportunity to connect with faculty and to the research and creative mission of Mason. Kitching also coordinates the Mason Dream Catchers, a mentoring program started 18 years ago to help at-risk students enrolled in alternative high schools achieve their dreams of attending college. “I am inspired year after year by the enthusiasm and support of the volunteer faculty and staff mentors and the Fairfax County and Prince William County public school counselors and teachers who work tirelessly to help improve the lives of these worthy young people,” says Kitching.
The first School of Business faculty member to volunteer to teach at Mason Korea in 2015, Kitching says she became very close to her Korean students. After returning to Fairfax, the next three semesters Kitching welcomed each of her Mason Korea students at Dulles airport and escorted them to their dorms for their exchange to Virginia. “I became their family away from home, she says. “We had dinner together often, hiked the Billy Goat Trail, and shared holidays and semester breaks. I am still close with them all.”
Currently, Kitching has partnered with Kearney & Company to bring together leaders from government, education, and industry at the 2020 Emerging Technology Conference on October 16 to provide powerful, interactive conversation and experiential sessions on how to navigate the evolving technology landscape.