Dharwadkar named Meredith Professor, Torrens receives Meredith Teaching Recognition Award

Ravi Dharwadkar, professor of management, and John Torrens, professor of entrepreneurial practice, were recognized with prestigious university-wide honors at a ceremony held recently in the Goldstein Alumni & Faculty Center on the Syracuse University campus. Dharwadkar was named a 2014-15 Laura and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence; Torrens received a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.

Dharwadkar joins Milton L. Mueller, professor in the School of Information Studies, in receiving this year’s Meredith professorship, while Torrens joins six other nontenured faculty members in receiving the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.

The Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence
The Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships were created in 1995 to recognize and reward excellence in teaching, encourage faculty members to look upon the many dimensions of teaching as manifold opportunities for constant improvement, emphasize the great importance the University places upon teaching, and improve the teaching and learning processes on campus. The Meredith Professors receive a supplementary salary award and additional funding for professional development for each year of their appointment.

Ravi Dharwadkar
Dharwadkar teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in international business, corporate governance, organization theory and corporate strategy. In his current teaching, he emphasizes the importance of a global mindset in terms of business and also in approaching the future more generally. He tries to make students aware of both short- and long-term opportunities in the global environment, and engages current students in discussions with former students about their SU Abroad “Students truly relate to having their peers speak about their initial hesitations and eventual experiences abroad,” says Dharwadkar. “… Through such presentations, I make students aware that this course is just a starting point for their careers in the world of business.”

“Professor Dharwadkar consistently encouraged the opportunity to study abroad. He explained with an expanding global business environment and the rise of emerging markets, there is a critical need for students to understand the changing dynamics of business,” says senior Hillary Tucker.

“Overall, Professor Dharwadkar impressed me with his professionalism, knowledge and wisdom,” says senior Timothy Cheng. “He teaches subject material with a passion that engages his students, and he has consistently provided opportunities to dig deeper into the course. His teaching methods hold the attention of every student in the room, balancing the class with a perfect mixture of guidance and flexibility. … He understands that effective teaching is not merely achieved, but constantly evolving. He continuously adjusts the course to provide the best student experience possible.”

He has also influenced the teaching styles of many of his doctoral students, giving them access to all of his teaching materials and letting them teach a class.

Dharwadkar’s research interests include corporate governance and corporate strategy. His research appears in the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Executive, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies and Journal of Marketing. Dharwadkar serves on the editorial review board of the Academy of Management Journal, the leading management research journal.

"Dharwadkar is not only known as an outstanding teacher in the classroom, but one who is always ready to assist his students," says Tridib Mazumdar, the Howard R. Gendal Professor of Marketing at Whitman. “Ravi is an educator in the true sense of the word. He is impatient with mediocrity and sloppiness. At the same time, he has the big heart to accommodate student needs, whether they are of an academic or personal nature,” Mazumdar says. “Students can count on Ravi on all facets of their academic growth.”

For his Meredith project, Dharwadkar plans to develop Project ASIA, a plan to expose students, administrators, educators and the Central New York community to a changing and resurgent Asia. The project will initially focus on the continent’s two most populous countries—China and India, and will be built on four pillars: Appreciate Asia (A), developing instructional materials on Asia for core and elective global business courses; Stay in Asia (S), developing a two-week immersion seminar and a possible semester-long program in India; Invest in Asia (I), introducing local businesses and entrepreneurs to opportunities in Asia; and Attract from Asia (A), recruiting qualified students from China and India to enhance the global diversity of SU's student body.

Dharwadkar is a previous recipient of the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.

The Meredith Teaching Recognition Awards
The Meredith Teaching Recognition Awards program was established in 2001 through an expansion of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program. The program recognizes excellence in teaching by non-tenured faculty and adjunct and part-time instructors. Recipients are selected for teaching innovation, effectiveness in communicating with students and the lasting value of courses. Candidates must have completed two years of service to the University and not yet received tenure. Each recipient is given $3,000 to further his or her professional development.

John Torrens
In addition to other EEE classes, Torrens is responsible for teaching the senior capstone course in the Whitman School. He has also been involved in the cross-campus entrepreneurship courses, IDS 401, “What’s the Big Idea?” and IDS 401 “Idea2Startup.” Torrens has been active in the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, teaching in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, the Veterans’ Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship symposia and the online Boots to Business training program. Torrens was recognized as an “Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator” by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education in 2012.

Prior to joining the Whitman faculty as a professor of entrepreneurial practice, Torrens had multiple start-ups, including four companies in the health and education industries. He was the founder, president, and executive director of InterActive Therapy Group (ITG), a provider of medical and educational rehabilitation services for young children with disabilities throughout New York State and Washington, D.C. He sold his company in 2008 and stayed on as president in transition until September 2010 and remained on the company’s board of directors as a consultant to the executive team until March 2011. In April 2011, he bought himself out of his non-compete, raised more capital, and repurchased ITG’s assets and operations in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse with two other equity partners (one operational and one financial). He continues in his faculty position and engages more fully in his business and consulting practice during the summer months and on school breaks.

He is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, business planning, and raising capital. Most recently, he gave invited lectures at Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Syracuse, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) in San Antonio and Baltimore; Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) in Syracuse, and the Private Practice Institute for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. He has been invited to speak at state and national professional association meetings on topics such as finance, technology, and strategy.

Torrens is an active member of Young President’s Organization (YPO) as a member of the Empire State Chapter. He also serves on the YPO International Education Committee, in YPO’s Deal Network and he chaired the 2009 YPO Global Leadership Summit in Miami.

In addition, Torrens is an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University and teaches in the area of business practices to doctoral students in the speech-language pathology program. He has co-authored several technical papers and position statements for ASHA in the area of business practices and telepractice; is a contributing author for “Business Matters: A Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists;” and has recently contributed a chapter to a new textbook titled, Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.