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A well-timed career change offered her new challenges and a fresh perspective for Kim Schatzel.

She took the jump from a more than 20-year career in the technology and advanced manufacturing sectors to pursue positions in the education field, and now, as the 14th president of Towson University, Schatzel is one of less than 2 percent of university presidents who have extensive business and private sector experience.

As president, Schatzel believes building and supporting a team that leads is the most important part of her job and is “fortunate” that her team is so “outstanding” at what they do.

“I truly couldn’t see myself anywhere else besides at Towson University,” she said, adding that if she had to do something else, she would be a chef.

Who was your most significant mentor and what did you learn from that person?
I have had several mentors throughout my career. But my dad was my very first mentor. He encouraged me at every turn to take risks — ones that were generally not taken by girls and women in the ‘60s and 7’0s — and to have confidence in myself, especially when I failed. There is much research on how fathers positively influence their daughters. My dad was truly a #girldad before hashtags and that phrase ever existed.