REMEMBERING TERRY LITUCHY
Viswanath Baba, McMaster University, Canada
Terri Lituchy, a long-time friend of ISSWOV, lost her battle with cancer and passed away on March 3, 2020 at the age of 56. She was well known to many regular ISSWOV attendees, and was scheduled to present her research on training and development for African countries at ISSWOV 2020 in Brasov, Romania.
Terri was generous to her friends, kind to strangers, committed to her work and was tireless in advancing management scholarship in Africa and its diaspora. She remained an exemplar of the human side of scholarship. She was also a dear daughter to her parents, much loved sister to her brothers and a favourite aunt to her nephews and nieces. More importantly, Terri has touched each of our lives uniquely and in very meaningful ways. While we mourn her passing, her memory remains with us as large as her life was and here, I reminisce.
At a personal level, Terri was a close friend, confidante and conscience keeper for me for a very long time. Terri and I had been colleagues in the same department at the Molson School of Business in Montreal for several years. During that period, we had worked on research projects, co-authored papers, had been on the same committees, and had worked on international assignments in the Caribbean, Japan and China. We overlapped each other in a capacity-building program in the Caribbean as part of an international development initiative. Subsequently, she came to work at McMaster University and we continued to work on various projects together until last August where she shared the work she has been doing on leadership development in the African diaspora.
Most people in the field of international management and organizational behavior both in Canada and in the US know of Terri Lituchy. She is an active academic with an impressive record of publications, conference presentations, and research grants from Canada and the US. Simply put, she is a valued member of the academic community. What I want to do here is to give a glimpse of the kind of contributions she has made to the global community in general and to Africa and the African Diaspora in particular. In recognition, she has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to carry out her research in the Caribbean.
Terri was deeply committed to her work – teaching and research, advancing knowledge and sharing it with those who need it most. I know the enormous amount of time she gives to, and the effort she takes in preparing for her classes. Since both Terri and I had taught the same course, we often compared notes. She also spent considerable time outside the classroom talking with her students, both on campus and in the global community. The important point here is that her commitment is unwavering: Terri will spend the same amount of time and expend the same amount of energy, if need be, with an undergraduate student taking an introductory course as she would with a doctoral student in an advanced seminar that she teaches, or a trainee at an international workshop.
Terri had a wanderlust. The globe was her stomping ground. Terri started her career in Japan, learning the language and culture. Subsequently, she was involved with the Czech Management Centre, helping them in their efforts to transition from a command economy toward a market economy, shortly after their velvet revolution. Then she was helping the Canadian International Development Agency in a capacity building effort at the University of West Indies in Trinidad. This has ignited her interest in the Caribbean and resulted in her moving to the University of the West Indies in Barbados and starting a leadership development program for the African diaspora. Subsequently, Terri was again engaged in capacity building at CETYS Universidad in Mexico, helping them develop their doctoral program and establishing connections with surrounding industry, benefiting both. Then she decided to combine her twin interests of travel and teaching and became a professor of management for the Semester at Sea program, teaching management on a cruise ship that circled the world.
Until her untimely demise, Terri was leading an international project on leadership with the focus on Africa and the African Diaspora supported by grants from various agencies. I had seen the work she was doing that was both scholarly and developmental. She had mentored a lot of junior scholars over the years and was still at it weeks before she died. I was very impressed by the leadership Terri provided to her team. She was able to keep a large group of scholars from different parts of Africa and the African Diaspora, totally engaged and totally committed to her efforts.
Those of us who have known Terri will miss her presence. But her life and the way she lived her life are worthy of celebration.