Summer Surfing and Vacations: Not for These Two New Staffers

Posted by on July 18, 2013

While summertime traditionally involves flying somewhere for vacation and possibly trying your luck at surfing, you won’t find these two new Minnesota School of Business-Elk River staff members engaging in either of these activities. 

No, it’s not because we won’t let them out of the office. For our new academic coordinator, Sarah Panek, taking a vacation involving flying somewhere is a big “no” due to an extreme fear of flying.

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New staff members, Brian Stewart and Sarah Panek

“My fear mainly evolved from a horrible flight I once took from Seattle to Portland,” Panek said. “To overcome this fear, I decided it would be a good idea to jump out of an airplane from 14,000 feet—it wasn’t successful.”

For newcomer Brian Stewart, who took over the responsibility of the business degree program chair, surfing just isn’t his thing.

“I come from a long line of professional surfers,” said Stewart. “Sadly, I am the only one in my family who can’t surf.”

Summer quarter is the first full quarter that Stewart and Panek will be in their roles; however, neither is new to Minnesota School of Business. Stewart previously taught as an adjunct business instructor and Panek worked in several roles at the Blaine campus.

Both staffers said they are looking forward to connecting with students and helping them to achieve their goals.

Some other fun facts on the duo:


“I am married and have two precious and amazing little girls.  In the summertime, my family’s favorite thing to do is to spend time in Alexandria at the lake.”

“If I was deserted on an island and I could only bring three material things with me they would include a toothbrush, a blanket, and a cell phone.”


“I am married to the love of my life and have three fantastic kids. A fun fact about me is that my wife and I are major Walking Dead fans—bring on the zombie apocalypse!”

“If I was deserted on an island and could only bring three material items I would bring duct tape, a fishing pole, and an extra-large bottle of sunscreen.”

Make sure to stop by and welcome Stewart and Panek to the Minnesota School of Business – Elk River team!

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.