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Professor of Business Administration and Accounting at Hartwick College - Stephen A. Kolenda

Hartwick's Kolenda Selected As Mellon Fellow

March 11, 2014

Hartwick College Professor of Business Administration and Accounting Stephen A. Kolenda has been selected as a Mellon Fellow and will accompany several other Asian Studies faculty in a study tour of India this June and July. Titled "India: Religion, Globalization, and the Environment in the 21st Century" and funded primarily by the Mellon Foundation, the 2014 India Seminar is part of the ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Program, Deepening Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts.

ASIANetwork is a consortium of 160 U.S. Liberal Arts colleges, including Hartwick. The Fellows were chosen through a highly competitive national selection process focused on expanding the knowledge of U.S. Asian experts into countries with which they are not familiar. Kolenda has 25 years of Asia experience focused on China and Southeast Asia, places where he has lived, studied and traveled extensively.  He regularly teaches international business courses and his research interests include East Asian business practices and economic development in Southeast Asia.

Kolenda explained, "As a student and teacher of international business, India presents a fascinating economy predicted to overtake China's within the next two decades. American businesses are already heavily invested in operations there, and Indian businesses have developed into world-class competitors. Business there operates in a complex social environment that comingles an overwhelming variety of languages, religions, and social structures.  Only by spending time in these organizations and with the people of India can one begin the challenging process of understanding more about its unique challenges and opportunities."

Fellows in the summer 2014 India Seminar will tour and study five south Indian sites, including the historic capital cities of Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Field study during the seminar will take Fellows to vital religious, historical, and environmental sites, many of which are also 21st century industrial, educational, and IT hubs, as well as important political centers. The seminar will focus on the contemporary interplay between these sometimes conflicting identities: the concern to balance development with environmental conservation, the challenges of pan-Asian globalization, and the difficulty of preserving ancient archaeological sites in a developing country.

"Industrial organizations deliver the means to improve the lives of the entire strata of society in developing countries," says Kolenda. "Equitable wealth distribution is difficulty to achieve, but can play a critical role in a country like India where extreme poverty is extensive. As well, companies in rapidly developing economies must well strategize their many social responsibilities ranging from their environmental impacts to labor practices. Examining these issues first-hand through this unique Mellon experience will be my primary focus."

Kolenda has just returned from a successful January Term program taking business students to India along with co-Director Pinki Srivastava, Executive-in-Residence of Business Administration. Kolenda has led similar J Term programs in China (2011 and 2012) and Thailand, as well as in Eastern Europe. He regularly teaches international business courses and his research interests include East Asian business practices and economic development in Southeast Asia. 

According to Kolenda, "A great additional benefit of this program will be a chance to visit some new cites and especially to spend time in more rural areas. The new cultural knowledge I expect to gain - specifically about the religions and philosophies of India - will definitely serve to improve future Hartwick College off-campus programs in Asia."

For more information, contact Kolenda at 607-431-4951 or kolendas@hartwick.edu.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
E-mail: capullov@hartwick.edu 
Phone: 607-431-4031