Sunita Ahlawat, associate professor of accounting, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to lecture and conduct research at University College Dublin in Ireland during the fall semester of 2008.
Ahlawat will teach a course in managerial accounting and will also help the school develop a course in Accounting Information Systems. As for the research aspect, she will focus on issues related to the convergence of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
She will also research the pre-entry attitudes and expectations of accounting students in Ireland about their jobs, careers and personal lives, contrasting them with post-entry experiences of recent graduates working in public accounting. Her findings will also be compared and contrasted to findings from accounting students in the United States.
An absence of a language barrier was not the only reason that Ahlawat selected University College Dublin for her exchange.
“Ireland is a vibrant country undergoing unprecedented economic growth and change in many areas, including education,” she said.
The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Considered one of the most prestigious awards, this highly coveted and competitive program sends faculty members abroad annually to teach and conduct research. Recipients of the Fulbright Scholar awards are chosen on the basis of academic and/or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.
When asked what aspects of the experience she is most looking forward to, Ahlawat referenced a quote from The Chronicle of Higher Education:
“Most universities recognize global awareness and international experience as key components of the intellectual and vocational ‘value added’ of an undergraduate education. Just as students abroad benefit most from a total immersion in cultural difference and the unpredictable, so too do faculty members stand to gain more from teaching at a different institution, with different students, in circumstances outside their academic comfort zone, working with students whose assumptions and frames of reference are very different from those of American undergraduates.” (Donald E. Hall, 10/04/2007.)