Skip to Content

Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of students laughing

Mentoring to a 'family' level

Accounting professor prepares Ph.D. students for academia careers

Accounting professor Drew Newman tries to instill a sense of family into mentoring Ph.D. accounting students. While he sets high academic expectations for them, he also sets the bar high for his own level of support to help guide them through the program and prepare them for careers in academia.

What his colleague says: Fellow Moore School accounting professor Scott Vandervelde calls Newman’s relationship with Ph.D. students the “Drew Newman academic family”. Newman “has had great success in guiding his Ph.D. students,” Vandervelde said.

Recent recognitions that can be attributed to Newman’s mentorship:

  • While still in the Ph.D. program in 2018, alumnus Paul Black published “Performance Feedback Type and Employees' Subsequent Willingness to Help Other Employees” with his co-authors that included Newman in the Journal of Managerial Accounting Research; Black is now an assistant professor at Auburn University.
  • In 2019, Ph.D. alumnus Nate Waddoups received the Emerging Scholar Best Paper Award and the Best Dissertation Award from the American Accounting Association; Waddoups is currently an assistant professor at the University of Denver.
  • In 2021, current Ph.D. student Grazia Xiong, along with Newman and Waddoups, received a Best Paper Award from the American Accounting Association for “Does the effect of reward frequency on performance depend on reward type?”

What his mentees say:

  • “There are a lot of things that can bog students down in a Ph.D. program, but [Newman] helped me avoid a lot of them both through good advice and through the time and effort he put into helping me succeed,” Black said.
  • “Although [Newman] taught me an incredible amount about how to perform research, one of the best skills he taught me was how to manage the workload so I wouldn’t become overwhelmed. His teachings have allowed me to stay productive without burning out,” Waddoups said. 
  • Newman’s “insights and feedback on my work have significantly improved my academic writing. He is not only preparing me to be able to complete my dissertation but also to have a successful career as an academic. Newman has a great vision for research and does an excellent job in training me to perform high-quality research,” Xiong said.

Learn more about Newman.  

“Teaching students how to take their underlying abilities and learn to apply them in new ways and directions — while also potentially experiencing some failures along the way — is key to gain confidence to be a scholar. Oftentimes, they will realize that whatever obstacles or challenges they were dealing with [in a previous semester] now do not seem so daunting. My hope is that this helps them gain confidence in their abilities and appreciate how much they have learned and overcome, both of which should help when they encounter future challenges.”

About Drew Newman:

  • Newman joined the Moore School’s accounting department in August 2013 as an assistant professor. He has been a professor since 2020.
  • His research encapsulatesmanagement accounting topics related to incentives, information systems and internal control.  
  • Newman teaches managerial accounting at the master’s and Ph.D. levels.
  • Newman earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and Master of Accountancy from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in accounting from Georgia State University.

Ongoing research:

Newman is currently working with his Ph.D. students on:

  • “Does the effect of reward frequency on performance depend on reward type?,” with Waddoups and Xiong. Their research team also includes Ivo D. Tafkov, the KPMG / E. Harold Stokes Professor of Accounting for Georgia State University.
  • “When does Pay Transparency Increase or Decrease Employee Motivation? The Role of Pay Dispersion and Relative Performance Information” with Xiong and Moore School accounting assistant professor Robert Grasser.
  • “When being thanked makes employees feel less appreciated: Evidence regarding when and why peer-to-peer recognition could backfire” with Black and Mark Cecchini, the Moore School’s associate dean for Executive Education, the accounting department chair and accounting professor.

Newman is also currently advising Xiong on her dissertation entitled, “How the Level of Firm Support for Employee Volunteering Affects Employee Productivity and Altruistic Behavior Inside the Firm”. Xiong will graduate in May 2022.

Read the full feature about Newman.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.