DeAnna Smith, instructor of accounting in the Michael E. Stephens College of Business shares more than just her 20 years of diverse experience in the field of accounting. She also shares the importance of social entrepreneurship and sustainability in the area of management, non-profit and environmental studies.
DeAnna and her students are the individuals responsible for coordinating the Warrior Challenge, a 5K fun run and 1-mile obstacle course designed to raise money for the local non-profit organization The Arc of Shelby County. The Warrior Challenge, to be held April 13, raises awareness to support the programs and services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc serves over 1,000 individuals and families in Shelby County through community-based programs including early intervention, community living and employment services.
The Warrior Challenge was developed by Dr. Amiee Mellon’s marketing students in spring 2017 and in its first year, the event raised $1,000 for The Arc of Shelby County. In spring 2018, students worked to secure sponsors for the event and increased the event proceeds to $2,000. This year, Smith and her students have set a goal of $3,500 and have currently raised approximately $3,000. Registration is still open.
“It has always been important to me to teach ethics and to ensure that graduates of the Stephens College of Business strive to make the business environment one of integrity. It is so exciting to see that our students are interested in going beyond ‘doing the right thing.’ They are truly passionate about making a difference,” said Smith.
In addition to working on her doctorate degree, Smith continues her work outside the classroom by devoting significant time to local non-profits. She serves on the Boards of the Arc of Shelby County, the Boys and Girls Club of Montevallo and Leadership Shelby County.
When asked about her experience as an undergraduate at UM and now working as an instructor of accounting, Smith said, “It can be difficult to express in words what Montevallo means, it is a feeling of home – whether it is the exuberance of the College Night spirit or the feeling of pride when one of our teams rushes the field or court to celebrate a big win… this is the only place I want to be. I hope our students see that in me in every interaction and I hope they feel the same when they leave here.”