ChristinaChristiana Antwi-Obimpeh is among an elite group of individuals, following her passion for academia by pursuing her Ph.D. She started her program at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2019 and plans to complete it by 2023. And from there? “I’d like to teach and pursue my research interest in audit and corporate governance.”

Christiana graduated summa cum laude from Kent State University in 2008 with a BBA in accounting and finance. She was immediately recruited by a Big Four firm, EY in Cleveland, to join their audit staff and two years later, she joined PwC as a senior associate in the Assurance department. In this role, she was deeply involved in high-risk audit procedures and internal control testing, mostly because of Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance requirements. It took four years in public accounting for Christiana to realize that she “wanted to move away from being the SOX police.” When an internal auditing position at The Timken Company, an NYSE-listed manufacturing multinational based in North Canton, Ohio, opened up, she decided to take it.

Christiana spent seven years at Timken. “It was a great experience,” she said. “I had the opportunity to work with many different departments and on many projects, including data analytics, FCPA, capital spending, and acquisitions.” While at Timken, she enrolled in Kent State’s MBA program, which is how she became acquainted with Wendy Tietz, her professor and a longtime IMA academic member. Wendy was impressed by her passion and nominated Christiana for the CMA Scholarship, which allowed Christiana to take and study for the CMA at no cost.

“I had earned my CPA while in public accounting, but the CMA was a different experience,” she explained. “I was fortunate to have been just out of the MBA program, so much of the content was very much familiar to me. Not to say that it was easy, but I was clearly still in study mode and that definitely helped.”

Christiana earned her CMA in September 2017, around the same time that she was considering a career as an academic. “I come from a family of teachers, so the idea was always in the back of my mind.” She had served as an adjunct professor at a local university and enjoyed the experience. After getting advice from trusted friends, colleagues, and others, she decided that she wanted to change her career. The decision to pursue her Ph.D. required a relocation from Ohio to Texas, which was a tough adjustment at first.

“It wasn’t easy and it’s not a decision for everyone. There are lots of things to consider, like having to move and the financial factors as well,” she explained. Christiana is teaching her first Principles of Accounting I class this semester and so far, it’s been great. “Of course, COVID protocols have been challenging and right now, we’re still virtual. But I do look forward to getting in the classroom and sharing my love of accounting with the next generation of leaders.”