The world has changed significantly after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the education industry has seen the most drastic changes at all levels. Technological solutions have paved the way towards remote functioning and gaining prominence in the time of crisis in the transformation of every aspect of life. These times have turned out to be the metamorphosis of the education system, and the need of the hour are leaders with intellectual and educational capacities to take on the challenges of tomorrow. Thus, talking about one such leader who puts in her constant effort in ensuring students of today become youth who value education they receive and are able to appreciate social relationships – Prof. Supriya Pattanayak, the Vice-Chancellor of the Centurion University Of Technology & Management is the main source of relentless overall academic vision and direction in addition to being an education administrator.
Shaping Lives, Empowering Futures
With 25+ years of experience in the development sector and academia, Prof. Supriya Pattanayak has varied degrees credited to her name, including M.Phil in Psychiatric Social Work and a Phd in Social Sciences, from RMIT University – VIC, Australia. Also, a top-notch level manager with multiple views on policy advocacy and good program management skills, she has specifically provided advisory support in all programs on social development and governance aspects. She has maintained oversight of all DFID programs in the State of Odisha over the past 15 years. Along with being the Vice-Chancellor at Centurion, she also holds the position of an Industry Liaison person with RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and is a Research Fellow at the St Petersburg State University, Russia, along with a number of publications to her credit.
A firm believer of competency-based education, she ensures that every endeavor carried out at Centurion is focused towards producing the highest levels of employability, employment, and an inert design for entrepreneurship. “Promoting the youth of the country to adopt and advance technologies while also ensuring social impact and sustainability, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, is the central focus of Centurion University”, shares Prof. Supriya Pattanayak talking about how she and Centurion work in unison towards a greater goal of educating tomorrow’s stalwarts. Continuing on that very point, she added – “Going forward, we aim to provide programs in hybrid mode to facilitate greater choice, ensure flexibility in examination systems to encourage students to undertake studies at their pace and allow for training and placement at different levels”. Moreover, she strongly feels that in this glocalised world, the most challenging task is to seek an equilibrium between the excesses of technology and the requirement for spirituality, and thereby, CUTM has always been in the forefront delivering beyond expectations.
To the stars through difficulties
Always in-sync with societal demands, Prof. Supriya Pattanayak is always in favor of translating vision into reality and ensures that she’s the main person in-charge behind the rendering of cutting-edge information, resources, research facilities to our students and faculty. While quality education is a goal, arriving at it requires investment in faculty, and thus, she motivates a targeted in-house Faculty Development Programs, sponsoring/ nominating faculty for external training programs and facilitating undertaking cutting edge research leading to quality publications, production and patenting. Further, she also engages herself in encouraging multi-disciplinary research and partnership with specialized institutions, year after year.
Furthermore, as an eveready beam of light and guidance to all the students, staff and faculty at CUTM, Prof. Supriya Pattanayak helped the university speedily place all its courseware in the public domain for all students to access. Also, uncertainties were minimized under her capable leadership, by ensuring that online classes were held and examinations were conducted on time. She personally feels she underwent a drastic change during the pandemic, where she increased the frequency of training in social work influences she undertook – multifold, and it has prepared her to be sensitive and empathetic to people’s needs, not to mention responsive to change.
Having always strived to outperform on a daily basis, Prof. Supriya Pattanayak along with her impressive years of experience has been affiliated with many top universities and institutes, such as School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (concluded 2017) as an Adjunct Professor, a Research Fellow at St Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, a Member, Governing Body, Bapuji Rural Enlightenment and Development Society (BREDS, an NGO in Andhra Pradesh), a Life Member at Odisha Professional Social Workers Association (OPSWA), and many more.. Also, working side-by-side with many PhD students she has helped a lot of them finish their thesis and in-turn gain tremendous experience during this period.
All in all, summing up the whole conversation and stating an important point about Women Empowerment in India, Prof. Supriya Pattanayak states – “Competency based skill integrated higher education leading to increased productivity, production and patents, is a must for women of our country”. “Most importantly, we need to understand that women empowerment in general requires women to enjoy freedom with responsibility, and thus, as Indians we must make sure, we progress in that very direction, slowly and steadily”.