ANN ARBOR – Her work as an accountant paid the bills for the first half of her career; however, after more than 15 years at the front of the classroom, it’s clear to Amber Gray, CPA, that teaching is her passion.
Now, she’s bringing her combined passion and decade of experience in public and corporate accounting to CUAA, while also steering programs on Concordia’s Mequon campus.
Gray stepped into her roles as Chair of Quantitative Business and Assistant Professor of Accounting at the start of this year. As department chair, Gray heads up all of Concordia University’s accounting, finance, economics, data analytics, and actuarial science programs. She is the only department chair within the School of Business who is based on the Ann Arbor campus.
Gray started her career in auditing at the “Big Four” accounting conglomerate, KPMG, and moved through various corporate accounting positions. Her last position prior to becoming a full-time educator was CFO and Controller of Alaris, a medical case management company based in Michigan.
Her foray into teaching began in 2003, immediately after she finished her master’s degree program in accountancy. She’s held faculty positions at Cleary University, Eastern Michigan University, and, most recently, at Adrian College.
“The classroom energizes me,” Gray said. “I like taking something that is hard and making it easy. I feel like I’ve done my job when I see students have those ‘aha moments.’ The greatest compliment I could receive is to have a student say, ‘You made this fun.’”
Gray holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University and is currently enrolled in Concordia’s Doctorate of Education in Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement (EdD LICI) program. Her dissertation focuses on professional skepticism and emotional intelligence in accounting students and practicing auditors.
It was through the LICI program that she became acquainted with CUAA. Originally a Concordia, Portland student, Gray joined the 150 EdD candidates who transferred into CUW’s burgeoning program when the east-coast Concordia announced its closure in January 2020.
“The way Concordia Wisconsin handled the Portland students, you could tell that they cared,” Gray said. “It was impressive actually. I can tell from my experience as a student that the people here really care about the lives they’re impacting.”
Gray is eager to now carry that care forward.
“That whole mind, body, spirt part of the Concordia mission, it’s not just words,” Gray said. “I’m thrilled to join a team that operates from a biblical foundation and allows it to motivate all that they do.”
Other new CUAA faculty
At Concordia’s Spring Opening Service last month, five individuals – along with Gray – were inducted as new faculty members on the Ann Arbor campus. CUAA welcomes:
- Jennifer Bueby: Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
- Ms. Courtney Erwin: Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
- Dr. Sandra Keavey: Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
- Ms. LaTonya Millben: Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies