Mariellen Murphy-Holahan wanted to teach her students how to ace a job interview. So, she found a creative way to do just that at an event she planned with the Career Center at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Taking the role of an interviewee, she showed up late for her appointment dressed in inappropriate attire. During the interview, her cell phone rang and she answered it, and then she started talking about politics.
“The students really enjoyed pointing out all the things that I had done wrong,” says the associate professor. “Students sometimes think accounting is boring, so I try to incorporate some fun into learning, such as playing a rap song to help them learn the debit-credit accounting rules.”
This is certainly not what students might expect from an accounting professor, but after teaching for the past 15 years, the educator knows how important it is to connect with her students and build rapport.
“The most rewarding part about teaching is seeing the growth in students from when they come to STAC as freshmen to when they are ready for their first professional job,” she notes. Seeing the success of her former students couldn’t be more fulfilling.
In addition to personally mentoring students through their college years, Associate Professor Murphy-Holahan is also dedicated to helping them gain hands-on experience through internships. “They really get to see how what they learn in the classroom applies in the real world.”
The entire faculty at STAC, both in the business school and across the college, work together with the common goal of student success, she adds. “We all support the numerous experiential learning activities that are developed by the School of Business as well as the other schools to give the STAC student more than just classroom learning.”
The Certified Public Accountant joined STAC in 2014, where she has taught courses such as Principles of Accounting I & II, Intermediate Accounting I & II, and Accounting Lab. She has also taught accounting and other business courses at Rockland Community College, Westchester Community College, Bronx Community College, and Ramapo High School. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Marketing Studies and the Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics.
Associate Professor Murphy-Holahan also has extensive professional experience in the accounting field. Prior to teaching, she worked in various accounting roles at Reckitt Benckiser, a leading global consumer brand company, and at Verizon, a communications company. She earned her MBA at Long Island University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting at SUNY Albany.
Dedicated to her profession, she says that accounting is “the backbone” of all business. “Accounting provides crucial information to stakeholders like managers, investors, and entrepreneurs to help them understand the financial position and profitability of a business.”
Originally from Rockland County, Associate Professor Murphy-Holahan now lives in New Jersey where she enjoys bike riding, kayaking, and traveling in her spare time. She’s visited 25 states and her last international trip was to Spain. Her spouse of 35 years is a STAC graduate and the couple has one son.