Welcome to another installment of “Talking with …” a recurring feature on GabelliConnect that aims to take you inside the lives—and minds—of Gabelli School faculty, administrators, and staff. This week we speak to Barbara M. Porco, clinical associate professor of accounting and taxation, who wears several other important hats around the University as well.
What was the first class you ever taught at Fordham? Which courses are you teaching now?
The first class I ever taught at Fordham was Individual and Business Entity Taxation for the Executive MBA program in Westchester. I currently teach two elective courses in accounting— Accounting Research Seminar, and Ethics in Financial Reporting and Accounting—as well as a fall-semester core-curriculum accounting course at the Rose Hill campus.
From your first semester of teaching at the Gabelli School until now, is there anything that essentially has stayed the same?
Fordham continues to have a supportive, encouraging culture. Students care about one another, and faculty care about the students. That’s what makes Fordham a special place. I hope that never changes.
Which accounting concept do you really enjoy being able to get across to students?
Explaining accrual basis accounting is always a rewarding educational moment. When students understand the concept, you actually witness their critical-thinking capacity surge. Suddenly, all the news reports they have heard about financial reporting manipulation are plausible to them. The discussion typically ends with one student confirming his/her understanding with a rhetorical question such as, “So, you can really record income without receiving any cash?!”
Name a recent professional point of pride.
I received the 2016 Teaching Innovation Award from the American Accounting Association for my forensic case study, Simply Soups.
Do you have any sage advice for students looking to broaden their networks and intensify their connections with industry?
Networking is only effective if you are sincere. Shallow connections do not last. Developing a strong circle of colleagues and friends is a long-term process. To create lasting relationships, you need to invest energy and time. And when you give of yourself to others, you should offer your skills and talents without the motivation of ROI (return on investment). Ultimately, helping others is rewarding in and of itself.
Given that lifelong learning is one of the Gabelli School’s values, what would you like to learn (or learn more about)?
I recently completed a certification in sustainability management at Harvard University. Learning more about the importance of sustainability reporting and how issues in this field will impact my profession is something I am most interested in furthering.
Best-kept secret about the Bronx:
The Bronx was originally part of Westchester, an original county of New York state. In 1846, a new town, West Farms, was created by the division of Westchester; in turn, in 1855, the town of Morrisania was created from West Farms. In 1873, the town of Kingsbridge, roughly corresponding to the modern Bronx neighborhoods of Kingsbridge, Riverdale, and Woodlawn, was established within the former borders of Yonkers.
Favorite store (online or brick-and-mortar):
Not including Manhattan, your ideal island getaway:
Picture of the view you wish you had out your window right now:
Birthday cake type of choice:
Favorite thing about the fall season:
Starting the new semester and meeting all the students
Train or plane?
Three things you cannot live without:
My family, my friends, and my Fordham!