Cynthia W. Turner serves on the leadership team at Fisher as the assistant dean and chief diversity officer and has become a widely sought-after facilitator and guest speaker on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.
After joining Fisher in 2013 as a senior lecturer of accounting, she developed the award-winning Project THRIVE program, a diversity initiative designed to increase representation within the undergraduate accounting and management information systems department. In 2018, she was honored with Ohio State’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award for her success in doubling the diversity within the undergraduate program in two short years.
Since taking on the position as assistant dean and chief diversity officer at Fisher in 2019, Cynthia’s strategic efforts have helped double external funding for scholarships and DEI initiatives; facilitated the development of a formal partnership with the city of Columbus to support pre-collegiate programming for its underrepresented and first-generation high school students; developed programming to engage Fisher’s diverse alumni, including the Alumni of Color Network Weekend and the Women’s Leadership Symposium; and created a new DEI course offering at Fisher.
Cynthia has an MA and PhD in accounting from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and a BS in accounting from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. She was the first African American woman to earn a PhD in accounting at Ohio State and the first African American woman to be appointed to serve on the leadership team at Fisher in 2019. In 2023, she was nationally recognized with a lifetime achievement award for advancing diversity throughout her career.
Cynthia spent 17 years on the faculty of the Department of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she began as an assistant professor and was the associate director of the department’s undergraduate program.
Cynthia is also an award-winning educator who teaches courses in cost accounting and information systems in the undergraduate program, as well as to graduate and executive education students at Fisher. As a researcher, Cynthia's scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research and the International Journal of Accounting. Prior to beginning her academic career, Cynthia was a practicing accountant at EY.
Cynthia currently sits on the boards of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio and Women for Economic and Leadership Development. She also sits on the national advisory board for the Women Business Collaborative. Cynthia is a certified public accountant (inactive) and member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Black Accountants.
- The Ohio Society of CPAs 2023 Power of Change Honoree
- Kenneth Bouyer Difference Maker in Diversity Award, Business School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative, 2023
- Lifetime Achievement Award in Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Academy of the Diamonds Awards, 2023
- EY Excellence in Teaching Award (MAcc Program), Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University 2018-2019
- Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, The Ohio State University, 2018
- Undergraduate Service Award, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, 2018
- Outstanding Faculty Award, Residence Halls Advisory Council, The Ohio State University, 2014
- Included (every semester) on List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, University of Illinois, 2006-2009, 2012
- Outstanding Teaching Award for Small Classes, College of Business Council, 2002