Gore School of Business in the fall Website
Nancy Panos Schmitt

Nancy Panos Schmitt

 


Nancy Panos Schmitt never thought she would be a professor, let alone a marketing professor, but 35 years after coming to Salt Lake City, and 33 years after starting at Westminster, she’s still here. “I fell in love with this place, and what was only going to be a couple years of teaching turned into a couple more years, and then a couple years turned into a couple decades. Other than family, Westminster has been the most important thing in my life.”

Nancy, a self proclaimed ‘lifelong student,’ received Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and philosophy, and a Masters degree in genetics. What lead her on her path to becoming a marketing professor, then? “While I was working on my Ph.D. in biology and the University of Arizona, my husband became disgruntled with his work, so we moved to Salt Lake City. I decided I’d continue my Ph.D. studies at the University of Utah in genetic research and the plan was to be a genetic researcher the rest of my life. That’s when my advisor up at the University of Utah told me about this thing called an MBA and a program being taught at Westminster College." Nancy found her background in biology was a natural fit for marketing, using the inputs and outputs formulas she had practiced in biology easily applied to marketing. She received her MBA in marketing in a year and a half, and, soon after, interviewed and obtained a teaching position in the MBA marketing program at Westminster.

Interacting with and witnessing first-hand  the grow of students, acording to Nancy, is best part of the job. “When a student has been successful, I feel like I have been successful as an educator.” Nancy loves and encourages having alumni come back to talk in her classes, sharing their successes and fialures out in the real world. “I have had nine alumni come back as guest speakers in one class this semester alone. It's a great way for alumni to stay involved and give back to the college.”

One of the unususal and unexpected perks of her job is receiving packages in the mail from former students that have been abroad. These packages contain various cans, bottles, or boxes showcasing international marketing. “My office has become a community repository for international branding. My most prized possession is a Coke can from Mecca. A former student of mine went on her pilgrimage to Mecca, something that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for some reason, thought of me and sent me this can. I just felt so honored and humbled that in one of the most important moments in her life, she thought of me.”

We invite alumni to send Nancy a note, or share how Nancy made an impact on your life by emailing alumnirelations@westminstercollege.edu