Bringing Supply Chain Management to Life

When Pat Penfield first met Fred Easton, Whitman School professor of supply chain management, he was president of the Central New York chapter of the Association for Operations Management (APICS) where he often would teach associated courses. Professor Easton was on the board of APICS and he noticed that Penfield really enjoyed teaching.

“Professor Easton offered me an adjunct instructor position at Whitman, teaching APICS courses,” said Penfield. “When a full-time position opened up in 2004, I applied and the rest is history.”

After joining the Whitman School faculty full-time, Penfield, now Professor Penfield, began teaching Strategic Sourcing and then Intro to Supply Chain Management. Today, his current load also includes Supply Chain Systems, Green Supply Chain, Project Management and Global Supply Chain Management for undergraduates, graduates and he is teaching in the online MBA@Syracuse program.

Never one to let grass grow under his feet, Professor Penfield served as one of the inaugural housemasters for the Goodman IMPRESS program, a position he recently vacated to serve as director of Whitman’s executive education program where he is helping to grow the number of learning opportunities, as well as the scope.

“For nearly 10 years we’ve offered executive education programs in the area of supply chain management,” said Professor Penfield. “Now we’re including other disciplines, such as finance and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Professor Penfield strives to bring in as many real-world examples to the classroom as he can so students can understand and relate to what they are learning. He also has his students work on special projects, such as sourcing with Syracuse University, value stream mapping with groups across campus and more.

“If I can show them what GE or Apple is doing, they can better relate to the theories we present in the courses,” he said. “You can’t beat real-world experience.”

When he’s not teaching, Professor Penfield authors research and practitioner articles, exploring sourcing, manufacturing, materials management, sustainability, LEED certification and natural resource management. He is working on a doctorate in forestry and natural resource management at the SUNY College of Environmental Forestry.

An antique dealer on the side, he lives in Baldwinsville with his wife and two children.