Dr. Todd Thornock brought his enthusiasm for both accounting and behavioral research to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this fall. As an assistant professor at the College of Business, he found the positive Nebraska environment blended with his zest for managerial accounting.
“I like the managerial side of accounting and working with people. Understanding how people make decisions and how they think drove me to focus on behavioral research. Working in academia provided the opportunity to both work with people and focus on my research,” he said.
He authored “How the Timing of Performance Feedback Impacts Individual Performance” in Accounting, Organizations and Society, and his areas of expertise include reward system design, performance feedback, goal setting and personality measures. One topic of interest is the notion of accountants providing information to managers to make better decisions.
Garnering practical work experience for four years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he spent two years in Austin, Texas, and two in San Jose, California. However, after earning his master of science in accounting and Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 2009 and 2011, he moved to Ames, Iowa, to be an assistant professor at Iowa State University. His classes included more than 200 undergraduate students and though he enjoyed teaching, he wanted the opportunity to work with graduate students.
“Dating back to my time as a student, I saw the positive impact professors have on their students, particularly at the graduate level,” said Thornock who holds designations as a CPA, CMA and CGMA. “I loved the trajectory of the program at the Nebraska College of Business and how the alumni are behind the school 100 percent. The opportunity I have to focus on my research, as well as to mentor students made Nebraska a perfect fit for me.”
The city of Lincoln also appealed to him as it was a family friendly place. Thornock and his wife, Samara, have seven kids between the ages of two-and-a-half and 15 years old. “The faculty are so genuine. Whether it is a compliment or constructive criticism, I know I can take things at face value and that is something that is underestimated at times. I couldn’t ask for a better place to work and raise my family.”