Assistant Dean at SU’s School of Education Opted for Online Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship

Torin J. Washington ’23 M.S.


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Earning a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at the Whitman School has given me the tools to do my job at the School of Education even more effectively.

While Torin J. Washington ’23 M.S. can’t pinpoint exactly when his interest in entrepreneurship began, he knows it has been there for some time. “I like the idea of starting with a simple idea and creating something special, as well as how that creation can change the lives of everyone around you,” he explains. “To me, it’s fascinating that we often speak of entrepreneurship as something exclusive to startup culture, or just something out of Silicon Valley, when the truth is that everything we see around us was built from an idea.”


Torin studied music and business as an undergraduate at Ithaca College. Fast-forward almost two decades, and he wanted an advanced degree that more closely reflected his current career path as assistant dean for advancement at Syracuse University’s School of Education.


Ironically, although his office at the School of Education is directly across the street from the Whitman School, he opted to pursue his master’s degree online. “Like many working professionals, I’m behind a computer screen all the time, so being in an online program required very little adjustment for me,” he explains. “I learned better online because there were fewer distractions, and I could work on most things on my own time and at my own pace. I think having the option to pursue a master’s degree online makes things much more viable for those with full-time job and family commitments.”


Washington says he was still able to connect with faculty members and students in his cohort, since the Whitman online program involved breakout groups during synchronous classes and was very interactive. He also found faculty to be easily accessible via email or online office hours.


“The overall design of the curriculum is straightforward, and the Whitman School does a great job of providing online students with the resources needed to navigate the system,” he explains.


Washington credits Adjunct Instructor Todd Bennett, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice Alexandra Kostakis and Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice John Torrens with making a real impact on him during his time in the program.


“All three contributed to the concept of entrepreneurship in several ways—from business planning and finance to their own experiences,” he says. “Because they are all

entrepreneurs themselves, they could connect practice to theory, and were very open about their business ventures—their own successes and failures and the thought processes around the decisions they made. These real-life experiences added tremendous value to the coursework.”


Although he just recently received his master’s degree, Washington has already incorporated much of what he learned about entrepreneurship into his current position at the School of Education.


“Earning a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at the Whitman School has given me the tools to do my job at the School of Education even more effectively. It has helped me further understand the nature of opportunities that come up, how I can leverage them using existing resources, and who I can partner with to expand on them, while also keeping a lookout for possible threats and how to mitigate them,” he explains. “I have picked up a tremendous amount of knowledge that I believe will benefit not only me, but the School of Education and its faculty, students and staff, as well.”


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