Dana Roark, '89

Dana Roark, Accounting

By Caitlin Hofen

Dana Roark has returned full time to Northwestern’s Accounting Department. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting and a master’s of education degree, both from Northwestern. Roark is a Certified Public Accountant and also owns a tax preparation and bookkeeping business in Kiowa, Kan.
Roark was previously employed at Northwestern for eight years, 2007-2015, as an instructor of business.
“I’m excited to be back in the classroom,” Roark said. “I was teaching as an adjunct, but it’s nice to be back full time.”
Roark’s goal is to grow the accounting program.
“We need more accounting majors and future CPAs. At Northwestern, we’re a smaller program in size, but we have great opportunities to grow. We want excited accounting majors who we can lead to becoming Certified Public Accountants.
“I tell my students they need to study and work hard. Staying on top of classwork and assignments is important to me. In my tax class, I feel everyone needs to have some working knowledge of taxes regardless of their major. Whether they prepare a tax return or pick up their tax return, everyone needs to know a little bit about income taxes.”
Owning her own tax preparation and booking business gives Roark an edge when it comes to educating her students, which greatly benefits the students.
“I want to give my students real-world experience in order to be able to use the skills I give them right out of school. I want them to be prepared and not surprised by many of the obstacles they may face after they graduate and enter the accounting world.”
An alum herself, Roark has fond memories of her time as a student at Northwestern.
“Northwestern is a great place to come to school and to teach. My office was my favorite accounting professor’s office when I was an undergrad. It’s pretty cool to follow in her footsteps and teach the next generation of accountants and, hopefully, make them even more successful.”
Accounting is not Roark’s only passion.
“I started getting into fitness within the last five years. My favorite quote in my office is, ‘I don’t run fast, but I run far.’ I don’t run for speed, but for distance. I typically run between three to eight miles every morning and I recently ran my first 50-mile race.”
Roark’s running has taken on a new meaning.
“Each weekend I run purposeful miles for military heroes who have died. Wear blue: run to remember is an amazing organization. Someday, I would like to be more involved in the volunteer side of wear blue.” 


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