Dr. Nancy Church - Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship | SUNY Plattsburgh
Nancy Church likes to stay in touch, so much so that she puts out an APB on alumni who have turned up missing from her Christmas card list.
"I always tell my students when they leave to keep in touch. I tell them, 'Send me your business card.' I love to stay in touch. When I travel to other cities I get a list of my former students and try to give them a call. My husband said he can't imagine a former professor from his college calling him, but a big chunk of my Christmas card list is former students. I love hearing how they're doing. Students who were here when I first got here are turning almost 50 now. If they were 22 when they graduated and I've been here 28 years now, they're probably at the peak of their careers."
Happy and Successful
The distinguished service professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) is herself very happy and successful in what she's chosen to do. Church first arrived on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus as an instructor in September 1977 having just finished her MBA.
Looking around her office in the School of Business and Economics, it's easy to see her affection for her work. Church is surrounded by the things she loves: books, posters, photos, works of art picked up during her travels as both a faculty member of the SBE and from her time spent in 2001 and 2002 as acting director of Canadian Studies and International Programs and Exchanges.
Different and Challenging
"That was a big job," she said. "I was learning about the Canadian Studies Program and grants and study-abroad programs and exchanges. Very different and challenging, but I really enjoyed it. I've been a Canadian Studies associate since the late 1970s, so I know about the program but until I was actually working with grants and the programs I didn't know all the details. While I was there I was still teaching one course a semester with SBE."
At that time, the College was restructuring all the international programs under the Center for the Study of Canada and International Programs. Church was involved in the search committee that hired Dr. Chris Kirkey as director for the Center. She was then named interim director of international education in an effort to separate the study-abroad program from Canadian Studies.
"We also created a new Council on International Education, including people from all over the campus who are involved in international education - language, study abroad, International Student Services, Canadian Studies, Latin American Studies, English as a Second Language," Church said. "A strategic plan was created for international education."
Now firmly re-ensconced in her office at the SBE, Church was thoughtful about her tenure at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Making a Connection
"I love coming to work. It's as simple as that," she said. "I just love it here - Plattsburgh State, the students, the people I work with in SBE, the businesspeople I have the opportunity to meet because I work here. I invite a lot of businesspeople into my classes so my students have the chance to meet and discuss what the real business world is like."
And she loves staying in touch.
"Yes. I need to update my Christmas card list, so for any one who's lost touch, I'll be looking for them," she laughed. "I hope to reconnect with many more of my former students. It's good for them, and it's good for us. For me."