John Torrens entered college as a music education major but realized he was meant for another path after observing an elementary school clarinet lesson. He earned a bachelor’s in psychology from State University of New York at Potsdam and a master’s in speech-language pathology from Syracuse.
After working at a few places as a speech-language pathologist, he started a home-based practice. While pursuing his Ph.D. in business administration from Northcentral University, Torrens grew his company to five locations with 250 employees. He sold the business in 2008, but later reacquired three locations.
In 2009, Torrens found his second calling while teaching a class at Whitman as an adjunct professor. Today, he is a full-time professor of practice and engages more fully in his business during school breaks.
Torren’s real-world experience and passion for teaching have contributed to the rise in reputation of the EEE program. They were also factors in his selection for SU’s prestigious Meredith Teaching Recognition Award, which acknowledges non-tenured faculty for teaching excellence and innovation, effectiveness in communicating with students and the lasting value of courses.
In addition to other EEE classes, Torrens coordinates Whitman’s senior capstone course and has instructed cross-campus entrepreneurship classes. He is active in the Institute for Veterans and Military Families where he teaches 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 also honored as an outstanding educator by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. He has co-authored papers and contributed to a speech-language and audiology textbook and guide.
Torrens counts teaching as his most rewarding role. “The thing I love most is connecting with and learning from students. They constantly teach me something new. I enjoy staying in contact with them as they go out into the world. It is rewarding to watch their career trajectories.”