Mass Communication Professor Wins National Teaching Excellence Award

April 14, 2017

Quick Facts

bullet point The award recognizes outstanding contributions to teaching in advertising.
bullet point Patwardhan joined the Winthrop community in 2005.


ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop University Professor of Mass Communication Padmini Patwardhan has another well-deserved plaque in her Johnson Hall office: the Charles H. Sandage Award for Teaching Excellence from the American Academy of Advertising (AAA). She accepted the award at the March 23-25 conference in Boston.

"Needless to say, I am very honored since this is a national award from one of our prestigious academic associations," she said. "Incidentally, Charles Sandage's book on advertising was the first I read on the subject as a journalism school student in India back in the day, so it has special meaning for me."

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to teaching in advertising. Guy Reel, chair of the Department of Mass Communication, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Sabrina Habib and Professor Emerita of Mass Communication Marilyn Sarow and three alumni nominated and/or wrote letters of recommendation for Patwardhan.

Reel said Patwardhan rightfully earned this honor through her dedication to her students and the classroom experience.

"I can honestly say she brings as much joy to the classroom as any teacher I've ever seen," he said. "When students excel and are successful in the profession, she is prouder than anyone for them. That's why she brings excellence to her teaching, because she wants to see those students be the best that they can be. The ˜Sandy' award was well deserved."

Habib agreed, noting that students respect Patwardhan as a "tough professor who sets high standards, and they want to grow to meet her expectations."

"I have observed first-hand the dedicated relationships she has not just with current students, but also alumni," Habib said. "In all interactions, she focuses on creating a comfortable and respectful environment that encourages collaboration and sharing of ideas."

Joe Phelps, chair of the AAA award committee and Reese Phifer Professor at the University of Alabama, noted that many regard Sandage, the award's namesake, as "the" pioneer in advertising education. His and Patwardhan's name will now be forever connected, he said.

Patwardhan has been a much-decorated member of the faculty since joining the Winthrop community in 2005. Winthrop career highlights include securing the Advertising Educational Foundation Visiting Professorship in 2006; being named the Thompson Scholar in 2011; embarking on a sabbatical studying leadership qualities and factors impacting leadership development in 2015; and earning the Temerlin Advertising Institute's Visiting Research Fellowship in 2015.

The American Academy of Advertising (AAA) is an organization of advertising scholars and professionals with an interest in advertising and advertising education. The Academy fosters research that is relevant to the field and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among its academic and professional members.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator at Winthrop, at 803/323-2236 or

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