Priya Iyer described it as a special gift in a timely fashion.
In August, Murata Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Ken Matsuno reached out to inform her that The Bala Iyer Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship Award had been established in her late husband’s, and former Dean of Faculty’s, name. This new award would recognize distinguished faculty members for lifetime achievements in research and scholarship.
It wasn’t just on any day, however. She received the news on their wedding anniversary.
“I’m completely overwhelmed by this great honor,” Priya Iyer said at the September 9 all-faculty meeting, her voice heavy. “You all know how truly passionate Bala was about academic achievement. Academic research was really his hobby. He managed to convert that to his profession.”
Fittingly, the inaugural recipient of the award was Dhruv Grewal, a close friend of Bala Iyer and the Toyota Professor of Commerce and Electronic Business.
An Honor in his Memory
The scholarship award comes after the 2019 installation and opening of the Bala Iyer Garden at Babson Commons at Horn Library.
“Bala lives on with us through this award for many, many years to come,” Matsuno said. “There is no question Dhruv holds and maintains an extraordinarily high profile in his field of research.”
Grewal’s research hones in on direct marketing, e-business, and retailing. He has won a plethora of awards for his teaching and research through the years, and in 2020 alone, has been published seven times.
“I’ve always valued my friendship with Bala,” Grewal said, noting that his current work stems from past conversations the two had together. “Thank you for this honor in his memory. It means a lot to me.”
During the same ceremony, Lecturer Bojan Amovic, Professor Jay Rao, Adjunct Lecturer Julie De Zutter, Assistant Professor Krista Hill Cummings, and Senior Lecturer Rich Hanna and were honored with Dean’s Teaching Awards.
Awards also were virtually handed out to:
- Assistant Professor Joanna Carey, Basic Research Award
- Associate Professor Josh Stillwagon, Early-Career Award
- Associate Professor Rob Cross, Applied Research Award
- Associate Professor Sandy Graham, Interdisciplinary Research Award
- Professor Vicky Crittenden, Senior Scholar Award
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