When Irene Douma joined the Department of Administrative Sciences at Montclair State College in 1972, little did she suspect that it would be where she would spend her career, retiring more than 40 years later as a professor from what would become the Department of Accounting, Law and Taxation in the School of Business at the University. However, to the benefit of the thousands of students she has taught, advised and mentored, that’s just what happened.
A popular professor and mentor to many business students at Montclair State, Douma taught a variety of accounting courses, including financial and internal auditing. Drawing on her corporate experience as an audit manager at Arthur Young, Douma was known for sharing tips and “real-world” knowledge with her students.
“Irene Douma was a professor who taught her students with passion and knowledge about the accounting profession – not just what textbooks described, but the real world that she experienced,” says Peter Motsch ’10, ’13 MBA. “This passion for the accounting profession was instilled in her students and drove them to become successful in the classroom and beyond it.”
Douma’s passion for accounting is infectious and has sparked an interest in the subject in many of her students. “I started as a finance major, but after taking a managerial accounting class with Dr. Douma I was so inspired that I decided to change my major to accounting,” says Agita Jaber ’13. “Dr. Douma is my mentor, advisor and the reason that I became an accounting major.”
In addition to teaching, Douma has served as an advisor to Montclair State’s Accounting Society and chaired and served on various committees for the University, school and department. She received numerous honors, including being named the department and school Professor of the Year and being the four-time recipient of the Accounting Society’s Advisor of the Year award.
Equally recognized for her expertise outside the University, Douma was tapped to develop two New Jersey Law and Ethics courses – which were presented throughout the state – for the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy. She also prepared and presented numerous Continuing Professional Education programs for chapters of the New Jersey Society for Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), the New Jersey Public Accountants and various corporations. The NJSCPA honored Douma with an Outstanding Educator Award.
Alicja Delag ’00 remembers Douma not only as a professor respected by students, but also as an inspiring and motivating mentor. “Her motivation and mentorship throughout my college years contributed to my successful career…and lasted with me until today,” she says. “Thanks to her, I am a happy professional and a practicing CPA.”