Meet Our New Faculty: Thomas Godwin
Meet Thomas Godwin, a new faculty member from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Godwin earned his PhD in accounting at Purdue University and joins the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management as a professor of practice in accounting.
Learn more about Godwin’s area of expertise, his research focus, courses he will be teaching, and other interests in this Q&A.
Thomas Godwin | Professor of Practice in Accounting | Dyson School
What are your research and teaching areas of focus?
My research focuses on two main areas: the role of information intermediaries in capital markets and the impact of regulation in accounting including financial accounting and tax law changes – basically how accounting information is disseminated and how accounting and tax rules affect different outcomes. In teaching, my interests mirror my research. I’m typically most interested in financial accounting, tax, and fraud/forensic accounting, but I always enjoy broadening my horizons in both research and teaching.
What classes will you be teaching this year?
I will be teaching Financial Accounting and Fraud Examination.
What attracted you to the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management?
Not only is Cornell a world-class university, but it also has a strong reputation for interdisciplinary work and culture. The interconnectedness between Dyson, Johnson, and Nolan schools is unique among business schools, and the faculty environment is exceptional. I was particularly drawn to Dyson because it sits at the intersection of a private institution and a land-grant university, and I strongly identify with the mission of making a better world through Dyson. Dyson’s outstanding students also make it a great place to do research and teach.
How did you know you wanted to teach? What do you like best about teaching?
Teaching has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I’ve sought out opportunities to teach as long as I can remember. My favorite part of teaching during the semester is supporting students through their understanding of new material, and it’s always so rewarding to witness “Aha! moments” in and out of the classroom. It’s equally rewarding to keep in touch with students and continue to mentor them beyond their time in my class to see their future successes.
When did you know you wanted to be a professor?
Although I had always considered a career as a professor since my time as an undergraduate student, I decided to pursue a PhD after working for some time in accounting practice. My work in practice focused on technical tax issues in private equity, which required substantial research, and I often got the opportunity to teach continuing education. After several years of realizing I most enjoyed the research and teaching in my accounting work, I decided to take the plunge and go back to school to become a professor—a position in which I could regularly apply my skills and interests.
What are you most looking forward to during your first year?
I’m really looking forward to working with the students. Dyson students are intellectually curious, and I’m particularly excited to lead efforts to build a volunteer income tax assistance program at Cornell next spring with our students to serve the local community through service learning.
What do you do to recharge?
When I’m not at work, I’m often outdoors cycling, hiking, or playing with my two sons. Ithaca’s natural beauty and rich culture have made it great so far. My three-year-old loves Cornell and we enjoy visiting the Dairy Bar and Cornell Chimes performances at least a couple of times a month since we’ve been in Ithaca.