Alan Webb, Christine Wiedman, Patricia O'Brien

Three SAF professors earn Distinguished Emeriti recognition for longstanding service

Alan Webb, Christine Wiedman and Patricia O’Brien receive honorary award upon retirement
Thursday, June 13, 2024

By Rachel Doherty

Three School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) professors will receive an honorary award during the spring 2024 convocation ceremony. The Distinguished Professor Emeriti is bestowed upon retired professors with at least 15 years of service teaching and researching at the University of Waterloo. 

Alan Webb- Distinguished Professor Emeritus  

Alan Webb

Alan Webb holds Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) designations. He received his Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and a PhD in Accounting from the University of Alberta. After graduation, Webb worked as an auditor and accountant in banking before joining the University of Waterloo in 2000.  

During his time at Waterloo, Webb taught accounting courses and participated in many research projects that focused on the behavioural consequences of management control system elements such as targets, incentive schemes and the motivational effects of non-cash rewards. 

“I am proudest of the success of my doctoral students. Working with them was a privilege and watching them progress in their own careers is highly rewarding. I am also pleased that I was able to achieve success both in teaching and research. I was equally passionate about both and the recognition I received over the course of my career was very satisfying,” said Webb. 

Since his retirement in 2023, Webb has joined the boards of several non-profit companies in his local community. “I am always on the lookout for new ways to give back. It turns out there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities for a retired accountant!” 

Christine Wiedman- Distinguished Professor Emerita  

Christine Wiedman

Christine Wiedman earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Accounting degrees from the University of Waterloo in 1988. She holds a PhD in Accounting from Cornell University and holds CPA and FCPA designations. Wiedman taught in the United States and at the Richard Ivey School of Business prior to starting at the University of Waterloo in 2006. 

When asked which accomplishments she is most proud of, Wiedman explained, “Throughout my career, I have strived to make my research relevant not only to academics but also to practitioners. I am particularly gratified by the recognition I have received for research projects that have had an impact on accounting standard-setting and on securities regulation. I have also been honoured to serve on the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) for seven years. Advising doctoral students has also been very rewarding.”  

Since retiring in 2022, Wiedman has joined a community choir and volunteers through CPA Canada’s Financial Literacy program, teaching financial concepts to Grade 8 students.  

“My husband and I are looking forward to spending time with friends and family and having more time for travel,” said Wiedman. 

Patricia O’Brien- Distinguished Professor Emerita 

Patricia O'Brien

Patricia O’Brien earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Cornell University, and an MBA and PhD in accounting and econometrics from the University of Chicago. 

During her time at Waterloo, O’Brien taught accounting courses and conducted research that that focused on corporate disclosure and financial reporting including their effects on capital markets. 

“In my career, I am most proud of my research, which has studied the activities of financial analysts, and the effects of financial reporting standards. I have focused on relevant research questions and taken great care to understand the data and to apply appropriate methods. I believe this has led to robust results, which have remained relevant over decades. In my personal life, I am most proud of having raised a talented, intelligent child to adulthood,” said O’Brien, when asked about what makes her most proud. 

“Since the end of the pandemic, I have been enjoying volunteering and active travelling. In 2023, I walked 260 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago through Portugal and Spain. This year I hope to reach the highest peak of Mt. Olympus in Greece, something I last did in 2005.”