Businessperson working on Desk office

TU’s accounting and business advisory services M.S. receives STEM designation

Program emphasizes the growing role of technology and data analytics in the accounting profession

Towson University’s accounting and business advisory services master’s degree earned designation as a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program from the Maryland Higher Education Commission. This designation serves as a recognition that the courses in the curriculum reflect what students need to be successful in the accounting industry today and in the future.

This designation recognizes the program’s emphasis on the growing role of technology and data analytics in the accounting profession.

“As the accounting profession has evolved, technology has played an increasingly important role in professional practice,” said Dr. Charles Russo, associate professor of Accounting and director of the M.S. in Accounting and Business Advisory Services at Towson University. “Data analytics with the use of technology pushes the profession toward higher order thinking skills.”

The program’s updated curriculum reflects the evolving demands of the profession.

The landscape of accounting services is being fundamentally reshaped by technological advancements, data analytics, and the rise of generative AI. The STEM designation highlights TU’s commitment to equipping the next generation of accountants with the modern skills they need to be successful in the profession.

A key advantage of the TU program is that it’s offered jointly by Towson University and the University of Baltimore, a partnership which began in 2004. The joint program allows students to enroll in accounting courses at both universities and offers a flexible format, including courses offered online and on-campus, making it ideal for working professionals seeking to advance in their careers.

The new designation gives international students the benefits of optional practical training (OPT) eligibility and an additional 24 months of United States residency with the STEM OPT extension on their visas. Towson University also offers a five-year accelerated dual degree in accounting (B.S.) and accounting and accounting and business advisory services (M.S.), which allows international undergraduate students to be eligible for OPT if they choose to add on the master’s degree.

Learn more about the accelerated dual degree in accounting and business advisory services

Towson University’s accounting programs emphasize high-quality academics and applied learning. In this program, students learn advanced skills in applied information technology, finance, and other relevant areas. Towson University is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the highest standard for business education.

With a STEM-designated degree, students can expect hands-on learning experiences with real-world application, a high return-on-investment; and higher pay scales, job availability and longevity when entering STEM-oriented positions.

Learn more about TU’s M.S. in Accounting and Business Advisory Services program and the College of Business and Economics.


MentHER program receives recognition for empowering students throughout Baltimore

College of Business & Economics’ program makes a difference for women in business


Towson University’s MentHER program in the College of Business & Economics (CBE) received the 2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the field of business. TU is featured, along with 27 other recipients, in the April 2024 issue of the magazine.

The MentHER program connects professional businesswomen with CBE sophomores in one-on-one mentoring relationships, who in turn mentor high school students within Baltimore. Program content focuses on financial literacy, career planning and life and workplace skills through guided discussions, workshops, mentoring sessions and presentations.

“This recognition attests to our success in empowering women not only at TU but in high schools throughout Baltimore,” says Lauren Tigue Meredith, professional development partner in CBE and facilitator for the MentHER program. “The relationships these women build through one-on-one mentoring prepares them for their academic and career journeys.”

Insight Into Diversity magazine selected the MentHER program in CBE at Towson University because it combines networking and mentorship among women to support the growth, education and empowerment of college and high school students in the Baltimore area. Combining evidence-based practices for mentorship programming, the program has proven success in preparing participants for a career. In fact, 67% of participants had more confidence with their career plan after participating.

“Our goal at TU is to help all our students succeed in college and beyond graduation, and the MentHER program supports this goal,” says Aneil Mishra, dean of the College of Business & Economics. “This program grows personal and professional networks for students by meeting and building connections with other supportive women. It provides the foundation for identifying and advancing the essential components for students’ future success.”

Inspiring Programs in Business Award winners were selected by Insight Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in business through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives.

“We know many business programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in business. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

For more information about the 2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award, visit

For media inquiries, email Jamie Abell at .

About Towson University
Towson University is Maryland’s university of opportunities. With more than 150 years of experience pushing possibilities, TU is a nationally recognized leader in inclusive excellence, social mobility, research and discovery. As the largest university in greater Baltimore, TU’s momentum is always accelerating, with nearly 20,000 students and 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences and applied professional fields. Located amid one of the East Coast’s cultural and economic epicenters, TU is a beacon and powerful catalyst in the Mid-Atlantic, partnering with hundreds of businesses and organizations, impacting communities and fueling change. TU meets the holistic needs of each student to achieve success, a result of a deeply inclusive culture with a focus on equity among all students, faculty and staff.

About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today and is known for its annual INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. Insight Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as explorations of best practices and profiles of exemplary programs. On our Career Center, readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of Insight Into Diversity magazine are available online at

Person poses in front of large decorative award check with a trophy in their hands.

CBE Student Abigail Kuehl Wins 2024 College Cup

Antidote Haircare, a plant-powered haircare brand developed by Abigail Kuehl, a Towson University College of Business and Economics student, won the third annual College Cup.

Kuehl was one of seven finalists to pitch at the April 2 event, held at the StarTUp at the Armory in downtown Towson. She took home a cash prize of $10,000 to put towards her venture and a spot in the 2024 StarTUp Accelerator, where she will join several other founders for eight weeks to collaborate and accelerate their ventures.

“Thank you so much. I didn’t honestly think I was gonna win. I really came into it for the experience. Throughout this journey working with [the StarTUp Team] I have learned so much. Their feedback was so helpful and it was non-biased, and that’s exactly what I needed. I needed the outside perspective,” said Kuehl during her acceptance.

Kuehl boasts a wealth of experience as a master stylist and boutique salon owner and has a passion for addressing her clients’ needs. She’s committed to crafting a professional brand centered around clean, ingredient-first formulas. Along with her business partner, David Calle, they brought together product developers, stylists, and product testers to develop their brand.

“This has been a journey for me and I’ve put my heart and soul into this business. I hope you can tell. And I’m really out here to make a difference and make healthy living easier for people. That’s really the goal. So thank you again,” she added.

The College Cup is a university-wide challenge that helps students develop new socially- or commercially-oriented ideas and innovations to positively impact the world.

This year, a record number 25 student-led ventures applied for the challenge. Students came from nearly every TU college. Eventually, 15 ventures made it through all the programming, which includes a bootcamp, submitting an executive summary, a “learn to pitch” classroom session, and practicing pitching to the StarTUp team. The students also had access to and gained feedback from members of the ETU Council, a coalition of faculty and staff engaged in developing and strengthening entrepreneurship across campus.

A group of students pose together after competing in the competition.
Towson University students participated in the 2024 College Cup pitch event at the StarTUp at the Armory on April 2, 2024.

Seven made it through to the end. And, over the course of the last several weeks, they honed their ideas, developed pitch decks, and refined their pitches before pitching in front of a live audience and a panel of business leaders and TU alumni.

The other six finalists include:

  • Campus Connect, led by Xavier Sabree and Derek Knight: An app that connects college students with other student entrepreneurs/student-run companies on campuses.
  • Dropped, led by Aliya Pemberton Lightbourne: A platform/business that gives commuter students access to bus transportation to and from campus.
  • Events by Elle B., led by Lianna Banks: An event planning company.
  • MAI PT, led by Molli Chang: An app for physical therapy patients to remind them of at-home physical therapy exercises and uses AI technology to guide patients through PT goals.
  • My Campus Hubs, led by Andres Londoño, Jake Furtaw, Matt Dibbern, William Duckworth III, Caleb Blomquist and Ryan Kraft: An app that connects college students with each other socially, with professors and classmates academically, and with the community surrounding their campuses.
  • Urban Companions, led by Anastasia Kolomytseva and Eliza Petrova: An app that connects college students with shared housing options off campus.

The finalists each received $1,000 to put toward their venture.

(This article has been reproduced from EngageTU and was originally written and posted by TU StarTUp on April 4, 2024.)

Students talk with Marketing faculty members about the marketing program

CBE Launches “Meet the Majors” Series

This fall, Student Academic and Career Services (SACS) in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) will host three “Meet the Majors” sessions as an opportunity for students to learn more about all of CBE majors and academic program offerings.

Geared toward freshmen and sophomores but open to all students, the Meet the Majors series will give students the opportunity to talk with current students of the major, ask questions of faculty members, and learn more about the majors’ courses and projected career outcomes.

The schedule for the Fall 2023 Meet the Majors series includes:

  • Thursday, 10/5: Meet the Majors: Accounting and Finance
  • Tuesday, 10/24: Meet the Majors: Economics and BATM
  • Tuesday, 10/31: Meet the Majors: Marketing and Management

Each session will take place in the hallway outside the Dean’s Office (ST218) in Stephens Hall between 12pm and 1:30pm.

These informal sessions are a great opportunity for students to get a sense of what the majors are like to help them make decisions on which major to pursue. Professional development partners (PDPs), faculty members, and current students in the major will be on site to provide guidance and answer questions.

Questions? Contact Meghan Behm at

Capitol Hill Building in Washington DC with Vintage Filter

The debt ceiling hullabaloo: catastrophe averted, or much ado about nothing?

A Modern Monetary Theory Perspective

by Dr. Shantanu Bagchi, Associate Professor of Economics at Towson University

“I am sorry sir, but your card was declined because of insufficient funds,” says the customer service representative on the other end of the line. “Please contact your bank and pay off some of your balance, and then place a new order.” Then, with a customary “thanks for your business,” the line goes dead. You are simultaneously furious and stressed out: what other charges are going to get declined? How did you manage to lose track of your credit card balance? As these thoughts swirl around in your mind, through the corner of your eye, you see news breaking on TV: “President Biden and Speaker McCarthy reach deal to increase debt ceiling and avert a U.S. default.”

For countless American households, making ends meet has been a challenge in the post-COVID economy. Rising food and gas prices and sticky wages have left many of us wondering how to square the two pieces of our personal budgets: earnings and spendings. Some have been able to tap their past savings (excess earnings over spendings) to pool over these difficult times, but many have had to resort to borrowing (excess spendings over earnings). And many have been forced to cut their spending to stay within their borrowing limits. With all this going on, how many of us have seen a news headline like that and not felt burned: how is it that the public must live on tight budgets because no one will lend them any more money, but the federal government can just increase its debt ceiling and avoid default?

In general, the American public has believed in the principle that government debt should work much the same way as household debt (barring differences in default risk), a belief that can perhaps be traced back to the idea of “Ricardian Equivalence.” This idea, named after David Ricardo, the great British political economist of the early nineteenth century, avers that if everyone plays by the rules of credit markets, households will know that government tax cuts today will have to be financed through increased borrowing today. This increased borrowing, in turn, will need higher future taxes to pay off the accrued debt. Therefore, if the government racks up larger and larger deficits over time, it will take larger and larger future taxes to pay off the accrued debt.[1] So, if we are to spare future generations from having to pay these higher taxes, we must somehow limit the government’s ability to borrow money.

On the face of it this argument makes a lot of sense, but there is really no way to square it with reality: Congress has revised the debt ceiling 78 times since the 1960s. It turns out that the key fallacy in this argument is that it applies concepts from personal finance (i.e. households’ budgets) to evaluate public finance (i.e. the government’s budget). The two are similar only so far that the word “finance” appears in both. For households’ budgets (or personal finance), earnings typically happen before expenditures are made. Our decisions regarding which restaurants to eat at, which summer camps to send our kids to, and which coupons to use for which prescription drugs usually happen after we have some idea of our earnings. If unexpected things happen, we respond by engaging in short-term borrowing, such as temporarily running a credit card balance, or by breathing a sigh of relief that we were able to put some money away as savings. For the government’s budget (or public finance), the timing structure is very different. Roads and bridges must be built, the military must be hired, equipped, and trained, and social insurance payments must be made before the money needed to pay for them has been secured. In other words, unlike our personal budgets, earnings usually trail expenditures in the government’s budget.

Professor poses in front of dry-erase board with figures on it
Dr. Shantanu Bagchi is associate professor in the Department of Economics at Towson University. His areas of expertise include public economics, macroeconomics and mathematical economics.

The government’s ability to do things in the exact reverse order from the public is by no means an anomaly; it is by design. And the key to this design is the federal government’s unique position in the financial system: its ability to issue IOUs of dollars, and its ability to issue the very dollars that will be used to pay off those IOU’s. This insight is the foundation of a new philosophy on monetary policy in a modern capitalist economy: the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). The basic premise of MMT is that in a world with low interest rates, loans are effectively free, so the federal government can choose to manipulate its debt however it may see appropriate.[2] And even though this idea may sound outlandish, politicians on both sides of the aisle understand this very well: over the last few decades, they have repeatedly revised the federal debt ceiling to avoid “default.”[3] In fact, from an MMT perspective, the federal government’s debt is not even a real thing, so “default” is not even a meaningful idea.

Unfortunately, the American public does not have the luxury to manipulate our personal debt, because no financial institution will give us loans in dollars and allow us to pay them back with something other than dollars. If they did, none of us would ever end up with insufficient funds to make our purchases. The bottom line: using concepts from our personal finance to understand the Federal government’s finances is a misguided endeavor, and all this cacophony about the federal’s government’s debt ceiling and possible “default” is nothing more than sensational TV.

This article represents solely the opinions of its author. This article is part of the college’s The Exchange series which offers readers in-depth articles and op-eds written by our faculty with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas related to business, the global economy and society.


[1] In macroeconomics, debt is a “stock” variable, which is essentially a cumulative measure of deficits, which is a “flow” variable.

[2] Most industrialized economies of the world have experienced persistently low interest rates at least since the 1980’s, until the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.