By Alec Austin — Professor Elizabeth Hoyt is a full-time business professor at Jewell. Her interests and accomplishments stretch far and wide and encompass much more than the typical academic life.
Professor Hoyt was raised in the town of Tulsa, Oklahoma and had what she described as a “pretty typical childhood.” Between the performing arts and swimming, Professor Hoyt was always a very active member of her community. She excelled in the arts as a young adult, starring in various performances including several professional productions. Her talent in the performing arts granted her admission to Northwestern University, graduating with a degree in Communication. Upon graduation from Northwestern, Hoyt moved to Madison, Wisconsin where she initially worked as a human resource manager for a chain of department stores and then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to pursue an MBA. As a graduate student, Hoyt was appointed Assistant Manager for Human Resources for the Student Union at the University. The position entailed what Professor Hoyt described as “the hiring and orientation of over 800 part-time student employees,” an impressive undertaking for someone also enrolled as a full-time graduate student.
After graduation, Professor Hoyt accepted a consulting position with Arthur Andersen and Company in Kansas City, and her husband, Chris, also started a new job as an attorney with the Spencer Fane law firm. She enjoyed the variety of work and the challenge of consulting. When asked about her position at Arthur Andersen, Professor Hoyt stated, “you learned in one year at Arthur Andersen what it would take you three years to learn anywhere else.”
Since the time of her studies at Northwestern, Hoyt had envisioned eventually using her expertise in business in a classroom setting. Acting on this vision, she sent out several letters and resumes to local colleges and universities in the greater Kansas City area. Almost immediately, William Jewell College sent her a letter asking to meet with her for an interview. At the time, Jewell had unexpectedly lost two professors in the business department and were eager to see what Elizabeth Hoyt had to offer. With her experience in the business field, William Jewell decided that she would make a great candidate for the position. Hoyt describes William Jewell as the “best fit” for her and went on to say that she is glad to be a part of the Jewell community.
After several years of teaching at Jewell, Hoyt decided to take a sabbatical in order to write and publish her book “How to Start a Business in Kansas City” in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Hoyt applied her business expertise to her performing arts roots by starting a non-profit theatre in Kansas City. This organization which is now in its 12th year, the Leawood Stage Company, partners with the city of Leawood, Kansas to produce theatrical productions for the community.
Though she has had a very successful past, many of her recent successes can be found at home. When asked to describe herself in one word, Professor Hoyt didn’t hesitate to say “family.” The recent engagement of her daughter and the birth of her two twin grandchildren have made her quite ecstatic. Professor Hoyt keeps herself very busy between her teaching and business endeavors, but she will always be a family oriented person.
As our interview came to a close, Professor Hoyt gave some words of advice to those pursuing a career in the business field. “Your greatest successes can be found in following your passions,” Hoyt says. She went on to say that many people attempt to find a job that pays the most money, but become unhappy in the end because they didn’t pursue what they enjoyed doing. She expressed the joy that she has had in having the opportunity to follow her passion and being a member of the Jewell community.
Between her many obligations, Professor Hoyt always finds time to give back to her community or talk to a student about his or her future in business. Professor Hoyt is a part of what makes the William Jewell community succeed and is a valued member of our Business and Leadership Department on campus.