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Vaneet Kaur lives in North Canton and is an assistant professor at Kent State University at Stark in the Department of Management & Information Systems.
She is from a small town called Jammu which is a part of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, located in North India. Kaur pursued her bachelor’s degree in commerce, master of business administration in international business, and doctorate in business management from the University of Jammu.
“After graduating with a silver medal in Bachelor of Commerce, I topped the Faculty of Business Administration of the University of Jammu with my MBA in International Business and was accorded the university gold medal by the then honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee,” Kaur said. “Based on my academic merit as well as my research proposal, I was awarded Maulana Azad National Fellowship for pursuing Ph.D. research by the government of India for a duration of five years. Nonetheless, bagging the title of one of the youngest Ph.D.s in my region, I completed it at the age of 28 ― in a record time of mere two years and relinquished my scholarship for others in need.”
Kaur said although her family is 8,000 miles away, they are the wind beneath her wings. Their unconditional love and support provide her the strength to follow her dreams and help build the lives of innumerable students.
“I am deeply appreciative of all the blessings, affection, and support are given to me by my father Sewinder Singh Parwanda and my mother Satnam Kaur. My elder brother Gurpreet Singh Parwanda and his wife Ritika Parwanda always encourage me to hone myself. My little niece Abani Parwanda, who just turned 5 is the one that is always there to cheer me up through her video calls and voice notes. My most precious gift, my fur baby ― Leo (black labrador, male, 6 years old) ― has been bearing my separation since its neonate days but still showers me with unconditional love and waits for me to travel home to be embraced. Leo keeps me going from miles and miles away.”
She joined Kent State Stark in the fall of 2019.
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Would you share your experience in working with Kent State students in Strengthening Stark’s Shark Tank?
First, I wanted to channel my academic and business expertise toward supporting our region in its march toward economic development. Second, while the pandemic was painting a gloomy picture for students with regard to building a flourishing professional future in the existing milieu, I saw Stark Tank as an opportunity to reinvigorate students to identify and realize their passions for applying their business acumen to solve real-world problems.
I prepared my entire class of upper-division business consulting and practicum course, with students from five different Kent State regional campuses, to compete for Stark Tank 2022. I mentored individuals and teams from this class to come up with unique ideas on how to find, fund, and support marketable businesses that can help Stark County grow and prosper.
Eventually, we brought home the Stark Tank 2022 winner title, with our business proposal for Automatic Drum Tuner winning an award of $10,000.
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What are some of the daily duties and activities involved with your being an assistant professor?
Teaching, scholarship, and service are at the center of my role at Kent State Stark. The essence of the work that I undertake can be understood in five realms:
Distinguished teaching contributions: Teaching is my primary duty; however, it has been my endeavor to elevate it to the level that I can make distinguished contributions through this duty each day. In a short time at Kent State Stark, I have designed and re-imagined 10 unique courses, and delivered them in 60 class sections, serving 719 students across the KSU regional campus system. It has been humbling to receive student nominations for a Distinguished Teaching Award twice and to be recognized as a Featured Faculty by the Center of Teaching and Learning of KSU.
Impact that spans the boundaries of classrooms: Through various dynamic courses, I encourage students to engage with the campus community as well as the community beyond our campuses.
Applying research to student learning and careers: I strive to constantly produce scientific productions related to both my research area as well as my pedagogy. My maiden sole-authored book titled “Knowledge-Based Dynamic Capabilities: The Road Ahead in Gaining Organizational Competitiveness” was released worldwide by Springer International in 2019, and it has been very well received by educators, research scholars and practitioners.
Non-credit workshops and community outreach: During the peak of the pandemic, I collaborated with Corporate University of Kent State Stark to create a five-week workshop marketed to local companies to coach their employees to earn Microsoft certifications. This program was designed to help the employers get reimbursed under the Ohio Tech Credit Program while providing employees with Kent State Stark’s signature experience that opens pathways for them to pursue an academic program at Kent State Stark.
Serving as a steward of KSU: Service is a valuable component of my academic role, and I take the utmost pride in contributing toward the overall growth and development of students and the university by doing my bit at the campus, department, college and university levels. It has been my honor to serve as a chosen representative of the full-time, non-tenure track constituency of the Kent State Stark’s Faculty Council for two consecutive years and to play an instrumental role in the development of the strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion of Kent State Stark
As part of the Strengthening Stark initiative, would you share some of the strengths you see in the county?
Stark County is a great place to develop one's talent, pursue a career, and build a life.
It beams with the presence of the world headquarters of several large corporations, including Timken, Diebold Nixdorf, Shearer’s Foods, and the Kenan Advantage Group. It is the home to hundreds of other service and manufacturing companies that acknowledge the competitive advantage they gain from making Stark County the hub of their operations.
Our county is known for its strong industry-academic partnerships and businesses prefer to operate here for reasons like the availability of a skilled workforce. This future workforce brings a large trove of potential to our classrooms.
Who motivates you both in work and in your personal life?
I have primarily been self-driven. I always had an appetite for gaining knowledge and that kept me motivated to work hard and excel in academia.
It was my education that opened the gateways of the world for me, and I feel now is my time to share my knowledge through teaching and research that embodies the highest quality of world standards.
I specifically chose the U.S. to share my knowledge as it is the center stage of the world where students come from different parts of the world to gain top-tier research-backed education and go back to give back to the different parts of the world.
Who/what are some of the people and/or activities that make you laugh the most?
The words of my 5-year-old niece and the actions of my 6-year-old fur baby, and when both come together, there is no dearth of laughter stemming from their adorable mischiefs.
Editor's note: Five questions with ... is a Sunday feature that showcases a member of the Stark County community. If you'd like to recommend someone to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Five questions with Kent State Stark assistant professor Vaneet Kaur