Stephen A. Kolenda, professor of Business Administration and Accounting at Hartwick College, recently returned from a whirlwind study tour of India, visiting 24 businesses in 22 days in four of the country’s major cities and, after being selected as a prestigious Mellon Fellow, will be headed back in June to see a more rural side of the country.
Kolenda, 59, said the trip, which he will take alongside six to eight other professors, will be a scholarly expedition and seminar, titled “India: Religion, Globalization, and the Environment in the 21st Century.” It’s being funded primarily by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which sponsors liberal arts educators from across the nation with fellowships.
Kolenda, of Treadwell, said the foundation focuses its funding on Fellows involved in scholarly activities that will develop specific areas of expertise such as, in this case, Asian studies.
Kolenda was recently selected as a Mellon Fellow after a highly competitive national selection process, according to a Hartwick media release. The 2014 India Seminar is part of the Faculty Enhancement Program of ASIANetwork, the release said, which is an association of 160 American Liberal Arts colleges, including Hartwick, that are focused on deepening Asian studies in the Liberal Arts and expanding overall knowledge of the continent.
Kolenda, who teaches international business courses at Hartwick, has more than 25 years of experience with China and Southeast Asia; living, studying and traveling there extensively. He said there is much that can be learned from studying India.
“As a student and teacher of international business, India presents a fascinating economy predicted to overtake China’s within the next two decades,” Kolenda said. “American businesses are already heavily invested in operations there, and Indian businesses have developed into world-class competitors.”
As a Mellon Fellow in the summer 2014 India Seminar, Kolenda will tour and study five south Indian sites, including the historic capital cities of Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, and will engage in field studies at important religious, historical and environmental sites, many of which are still important political centers, according to the Hartwick release. While in India, Kolenda said, he will be studying under the guidance of American professors who are experts in Indian religion and philosophy.