Joshua C. Racca, Academic Director, PhD Accounting, University of North Texas
MBA, University of North Texas
Joshua joined the University of Connecticut faculty in 2016 as an Assistant Professor in Residence. Josh coordinates the managerial accounting course for the undergraduate school, as well as teaches courses in data analytics for the Master of Science program. Prior to joining UConn, Josh taught cost accounting and taxation courses at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, along with managerial accounting and tax for the University of North Texas.
Prior to his teaching career, Josh worked for MBNA / Bank of America in several roles, including data analysis, project management, and financial analysis. He also has owned several businesses, as well as worked as a consultant for financial and tax issues for other organizations. Josh teaches both of the Data Analytics courses in the MSA program for UConn.
Suzanne Cansler, CPA, MS in Accounting, University of Albany
BS in Finance, BA in French, University of Colorado
Suzanne Cansler joined the University of Connecticut faculty in August of 2015 as an Instructor-in-Residence in the School of Business. She has been teaching Principles of Financial Accounting to undergraduate students and Governmental Accounting and Global Financial Reporting to graduate students. Suzanne is a Certified Public Accountant. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting from the University at Albany and Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and French from the University of Colorado. She currently serves as a peer reviewer on the editorial board for The Journal of Government Financial Management. She previously was the Director of Accounting Programs for the University at Albany. She was also a lecturer in the School of Business – Department of Accounting and Law, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate-level accounting and auditing courses for over 15 years.
From 2012 to 2013, Suzanne spent two years teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Maastricht University and Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. From 2008 to 2011, Suzanne served as the Comptroller for the Town of Bethlehem in Delmar, New York. She was also the Chief Fiscal Officer for the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency (BIDA) in upstate New York. Her career in accounting also includes consulting work for the Professional Development Program – SUNY Research Foundation, the Becker CPA review, the New York State Dormitory Authority, Lavelle, and Finn, LLC, PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers and Lybrand), and the Internal Revenue Service.
In 2006 she received the University at Albany Dean W. Warren Hayes Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching. Suzanne is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for Business Administration and Accounting and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of CPAs, and the Association of Governmental Accountants.
Carlos Fernandez Varela, CPA, BS in Accounting, Universidad Central de Venezuela
Carlos Fernandez Varela joins the Accounting Department at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business in Storrs, Connecticut as an Instructor In-Residence. Before joining UConn, he was a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting at the Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business in Fairfield, Connecticut. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Accounting at the University of Connecticut (UConn)’s School of Business in Stamford, Connecticut, and of Auditing at both, Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business’ Master of Accounting, in New York, and Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Mr. Fernandez Varela worked for about 30 years as an Audit Partner at KPMG. In this position, he held significant leadership roles in the United States and Latin America, built and directed high-performing age-diverse teams, and provided advice in SEC regulations, accounting, and other technical issues to senior leaders and BODs of foreign private issuers (FPIs) listed in the U.S.’ capital market with operations in the Telecom, Consumer Products, Multilateral Development Banks, Manufacturing, and Energy industries. Mr. Fernandez Varela also worked for about two years at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in New York City. During this extensive career, he developed a comprehensive knowledge and expertise in accounting, auditing, risk management, audits of internal controls, U.S. GAAP, PCAOB Standards, and IFRS.
Mr. Fernandez Varela has a deep knowledge of the Latin American business culture and practices. He is fluent in Spanish and English with a professional proficiency in Portuguese. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the U.S. and also in Peru and Venezuela. He majored Cum Laude in a five-year degree in Accounting at Universidad Central de Venezuela. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Ricki Livingston, DBA Georgia State University
MBA Campbell School of Business, Berry College; MS Accounting, University of Connecticut School of Business
Ricki joined the University of Connecticut in 2014 and currently serves as an Instructor In-Residence for the Accounting Department.
Prior to joining the accounting faculty at UConn, Ricki Livingston taught with the accounting faculty at Berry College in Rome, GA. From 2009 until 2012, she worked as the Senior Manager of Accounting and Finance at Berry College Enterprises, where she developed, implemented, and supervised various accounting systems. In addition, Ricki has experience as an independent financial accounting consultant to local businesses in the greater Rome area. She served for 23 years in an administrative capacity for a local community outreach center and continues to provide financial literacy education to underserved populations in Uganda.
Ricki teaches Financial Reporting I, Financial Reporting II for the Fundamentals in Accounting Graduate Certificate and Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting & Analysis and Understanding the Responsibilities in the Accounting Profession in both the Master of Science in Accounting program and Advanced Business Certificate in Accounting Analytics. On an undergraduate level she teaches Intermediate II.
Irene Louth, Adjunct
CPA, BS & MS in Accounting, University of Connecticut
Irene has over two decades of diversified experience in taxation with a focus on U.S. international, federal, and state tax matters. She specializes in worldwide tax compliance, tax planning, examination defense, tax incentives, income tax reporting, and tax optimization strategies. Irene oversees and implements tax structures related to business operations and expansion. She also improves tax processes through automation and upskilling her teams.
Irene is currently the Staff Vice President in Taxation at Atlas Air Worldwide based in New York. In her role, Irene leads the worldwide tax function of her organization. She advises C-suite management, board of directors, and other organizational leaders on complex tax matters and business issues. Irene has built best practices and has collaborated with cross-functional teams on significant transactions, mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, and due diligence reviews. She is a strong leader and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in her organization and has served as the co-chair of the Atlas Air Worldwide Women’s Network employee resources group from 2018 to 2022.
Irene currently serves as a tax committee member at the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) and Airlines for America (A4A). She is a frequent speaker at various leadership, tax and industry events.
Irene began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers tax practice where she acquired extensive experience assisting large public and privately held multinational companies on their tax issues. Irene has also spent considerable time driving coaching and mentoring initiatives. She was awarded “Coach of the Quarter” two times at the firm.
Irene graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. She was the class valedictorian in her undergraduate class and was named the student class representative at the commandment ceremony.
Irene is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She resides in Connecticut with her family.
Frank Murphy, PhD Accounting
University of Arizona
Frank Murphy joined UConn in the summer of 2017 after completing his PhD in accounting at the University of Arizona. Frank started his accounting career at UConn and graduated with a B.S. in accounting in December 2007. After graduating from UConn Frank worked for 6 years at Deloitte Tax in Hartford prior to starting his doctorate. While work, he performed international tax consulting for Fortune 100 clients. During this time, Frank also completed a masters in taxation from Bentley University and became a licensed CPA in Connecticut.
Stephen Pedneault, CPA/CFF, CFE
BA in Business Administration-Accounting, Eastern Connecticut State University; AA in Criminal Justice, Manchester Community College
Stephen Pedneault is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), designated Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Mr. Pedneault has specialized in financial crimes and fraud investigations for 34 years. Mr. Pedneault is the principal of Forensic Accounting Services, LLC, a local CPA firm located in Glastonbury, Connecticut specializing only in forensic accounting, fraud investigations, and litigation support matters. Mr. Pedneault works with organizations to minimize the risks for fraud, and has investigated instances of financial improprieties ranging from a few thousand to several million dollars. Mr. Pedneault is adjunct faculty at University of Connecticut as well as Manchester Community College, has authored five books, is a contributing author to five books, and has authored many articles for various publications. Mr. Pedneault frequently lectures on the subjects of fraud and forensic accounting, locally, regionally and nationally, and has presented at sessions approaching 400 times. In his spare time he volunteers as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for Suffield Ambulance and teaches for the Boy Scouts Troop 25 in Manchester.
Arthur Schmeiser, BS, Accounting, St. John’s University
Arthur Schmeiser joins the UConn faculty after serving 38 years at Deloitte & Touche LLP where he retired as a senior partner. Schmeiser served clients in a variety of industries but had a focus on clients in consumer businesses such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Procter & Gamble, Saks 5th Avenue, Sears, Talbots, The May Department Stores Company and Timberland. In addition to his client work, he has held various leadership positions within D&T, both domestically and internationally. He has broad experience in Securities and Exchange Commission [including serving as an SEC fellow from 1979 to 1981] and other accounting and reporting requirements having been involved with numerous initial public offerings, secondary offerings, public merger filings and public and private company audits. He has extensive experience dealing with Boards of Directors, Audit Committees and Senior Executives of U.S public companies in accounting and reporting areas, along with strategic acquisition and other business matters. Art is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the Society of Certified Public Accountants in the states of Connecticut and New York. Art is also involved with the National Retail Federation and the International Mass Retailers Association. Art earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John’s University in 1971.