Sherri Anderson, an accounting professor for 31 years at SSU, has lived a life full of serendipity.
Never imagining herself teaching at Sonoma State, since she herself had just been a student here, she has made a mark not only on the School of Business and Economics but on the entire North Bay region as a whole.
In her many years of teaching, she has educated thousands of students who have gone on to work for almost all the small and large accounting firms in the area.
In the 1980's she was working with a public accounting firm in San Rafael, but was unhappy with the long hours and the demand it placed on her life. Her husband, who at the time was working at Sonoma State, informed her that Jeff Doutt, then dean of the School of Business and Economics, had stopped by to inquire about her work status.
Soon enough, she learned that there was an emergency and the school needed a "warm body" to teach an auditing class. Sherri, a bit hesitant, agreed. As her first semester came to a close, she was asked to teach two more classes the following semester.
This continued until she was eventually offered a permanent tenured position, contingent upon her finishing her master's degree. More enthusiastic this time, she accepted and has never regretted the decision.
Sherri's life continued to be one of good fortune. She has taught at Sonoma State since fall of 1981 and has loved every minute of it.
"I had no idea what made me want to get into this field; it was all serendipity. I went into the Business Department for another degree and soon enrolled in Principles of Accounting and just fell in love." Sherri's life has literally gone full circle. Since then she has walked in the same shoes as her students.
Annemarie Brown, Business Manager for the School and Sherri's colleague on their financial literacy campaign, remembers a moment that illustrated the impact Sherri had on her students.
"In a community brainstorming meeting last year, Sherri knew a majority of the accounting professionals in the room because they had all been her students. Seeing the connection she had with them and the respect they had for her was really remarkable."
Sherri currently teaches every fall semester; however, year round she is an active participant in community service. Currently, she is on the finance board of the YWCA, a safe house for women undergoing domestic violence and intervention services in Sonoma County.
In this position, she reviews the company's financial statements and, "...makes certain they are on track and meeting their budgets, as well as developing a strategy to meet necessary cuts in the most humane way possible."
Aside from this, she has also served as a member of the California Board of Accountancy's Accounting Education Advisory Committee where she was recognized for serving her term "with the public interest and welfare in mind."
Sherri has one more semester left before her full retirement. And as for her plans for the future, she says she is leaving that of course, up to serendipity.
- Casey Marshall