Elizabeth Cannata

Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2005

Professor Elizabeth Cannata

Contact Info


“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

These words, spoken by Benjamin Franklin, have had a profound impact on Elizabeth Cannata's teaching approach and passion.

As a JWU faculty member for the past 16 years, Cannata prides herself on involving her students in the learning process and guiding them on the path to successful careers.

Spending 25 years as a Certified Public Accountant — many as an auditor — has provided her with a wealth of real-world knowledge and industry contacts that directly benefit her students.

While technical skills are critical in the accounting and finance disciplines, the field is evolving at a rapid pace, and skills such as information technology, communication and leadership abilities are very important.

Cannata's focus has always been on developing the whole student. While teaching will always be her passion, she has enjoyed serving as the former Accounting Department Chair, as this gave her increased opportunity to champion curriculum changes, develop internships and service learning opportunities, and connect with a greater number of students outside of the classroom.


  • MBA, Providence College
  • BS, Stonehill College

I feel like I can add value to students’ career opportunities — maybe help them land that perfect internship or that dream job.


  • ACCT 1210: Financial Accounting
  • ACCT 2210 and 2220: Intermediate Accounting Theory and Practice I and II
  • ACCT 3040: Auditing
  • ACCT 4060: Accounting Seminar

Extra Curricular Roles

Faculty Mentor to Women's Ice Hockey Team
College of Business Advising Coordinator
JWU Gold Faculty Mentor


Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 1991–present
Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1991–present, Past Board Member, Committee Member, Cooperation with Educational Institutions Committee
Rhode Island Association of Accounting Professors, 1995–present
Rhode Island Association of Fraud Examiners, 1996–present

Rhode Island Board of Accountancy, Certified Public Accountant



  • PRESENTATION: “Hot Topics and Careers in Finance”. Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation, 2016. Authors: Elizabeth Cannata
  • PRESENTATION: “Careers in Finance and Impact Investing”. Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation, 2017. Authors: Elizabeth Cannata

Q&A with Elizabeth

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

How Did You Get Started?

I worked as a Certified Public Accountant, financial statement auditor for over 15 years, mainly for a large regional accounting firm in Providence, Rhode Island now known as Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP. I loved my position as an auditor and found myself in a management position responsible for training many employees. It was this experience in training that solidified my love for teaching. I began teaching at my alma mater, Stonehill College in 1996. I left Stonehill College in 2005 to join the JWU team.
Public accounting, specifically Auditing, is always changing and I found it very exciting. I had the opportunity to learn about many different industries and meet so many people including clients, bankers and attorneys. Public accounting exposes you to a very expansive network of business people. Many of these network connections still exist today. I was proud to serve on Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants.

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

There are so many favorite teaching moments - I love to think of them as learning moments as well. One would expect that I talk about accounting here, but my favorite moments go beyond that. I really enjoy getting to know my students and their interests so I can better teach them why accounting and finance knowledge and skills are so important to both their professional and personal lives. At the beginning of every term, I have students introduce themselves and speak about their work experience and interests so that during the term I am able to connect the subject matter directly back to the students. I am always amazed by our hardworking and diverse students. During those introductions, I have had students share that they they are singers, chefs, breakdancers, impersonators and more. Of course, the singer was cheered on to sing and the breakdancer to dance. Yes, we cleared the classroom desks to the side of the room for the breakdance performance. We also witnessed amazing celebrity impersonations that erupted the class in laughter. In those moments, we become "one class" sharing our time and talents and learning we really are One JWU!