The University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School’s Georgios Panos was one of our most popular professors in terms of nominations this year. With around 80 nominations, not many had more support behind them. But it was what the nominators had to say about Panos that caught the eyes of our editorial staff. Panos was described as “an exemplary good citizen” and “the ideal academic.” And after looking at his research history, teaching prowess, and impact he has had across students at all levels at the University of Glasgow, we agreed.
“When it comes to describing the ideal academic, I think of the novelty of research, the passion for transferring knowledge and the integrity for societal impact that can make this world better. Professor Georgios Panos offers a rare example of a young yet already established scholar who encapsulates all these gifts,” one nominator — another professor at the University of Glasgow — said. “He is an expert on financial literacy and his work has already attracted research, teaching, policy, and societal recognition with several prestigious awards. Just to mention one, in his mid-30s, when most young academics still hold their first junior appointment, he was already a Full Professor and a Principal Investigator on a large EU Horizon Grant on “Promoting Financial Awareness and Stability” of €1.6 million. Apart from such achievements, I know that he is a great teacher and an inspirational mentor not only for his Ph.D. students but also for his junior colleagues.”
A native of Greece, Panos’ research focuses on financial literacy — especially at the household and personal level — and the importance of financial literacy to decisions throughout a lifecycle. When not in the classroom, Panos says he loves traveling — particularly island-hopping. He’s also known to love long philosophical conversations with friends, guitar jam sessions, and spending time with family.
Professor of Finance
Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Current age: 39
At current institution since what year? 2014
Education: Ph.D. Economics (2010) – University of Aberdeen – Business School
List of MBA courses you currently teach: BUS5012 International Financial Management & Corporate Finance
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR:
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I got admitted as an undergraduate to the Economics department at the University in Ioannina in Greece, in 1998, with the highest grade of admission in the Panhellenic exams.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am working extensively on the global financial literacy agenda. I find the most significant contribution pertains to the impact that financial literacy skills acquired early in life can have in outcomes such as entrepreneurship, financial choices throughout the life cycle, the formation of attitudes to economic matters, the public dialogue, wealth later in life and overall financial well-being.
If I weren’t a business school professor… I would have joined the airforce if my eyesight allowed. Otherwise, I would probably have had an easier, yet less intriguing, life path.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? The research-led, impactful and policy-relevant experience I got prior to and during my PhD years at the World Bank. The lifelong and often turbulent trip to knowledge, academic self-esteem, and Ithaca.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Euphoria
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: “You will always overestimate how much you can achieve and complete in one year, and underestimate how much you can achieve in 5 to 10 years”. I was told by an academic I admire the most only last year.
Professor I most admire and why: I would name two. Professor Deirdre McCloskey for the unique rhetorical and narrative skills, the academic soul and spirit, and for the impactful pedagogical book, titled Economical Writing. Then, Professor Annamaria Lusardi (George Washington University) for leading a number of pioneering and impactful research agendas throughout her academic life, for introducing novel curricula, for research-led teaching, for successfully engaging with policy and practice, and for all the ethos, style, positive energy, and generosity in academic conduct.
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Introducing them to new ways of thinking and writing, the economic philosophy in business and finance, and making them notice alternative career paths in international organisations and policy-making institutions that can aim for social performance, impact, and the improvement of overall well-being.
What is most challenging? Sometimes the management of student expectations, if these are mostly outcome-driven in terms of grades only.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Inquisitive
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Uninspired
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Tough but fair
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? Travelling, island-hopping, long philosophical discussions with friends, a few guitar jam sessions, spending time with my parents, sisters, nephews, and niece.
How will you spend your summer? Noting 2020 has been a very particular year for the world, I wish I was able to combine research time with some island-hopping trips in Greece.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Kefalonia, Tinos, Crete, and most of the Greek islands
Favorite book(s): Report to Greco (Nikos Kazantzakis, 1961)
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Good Will Hunting (1997). I enjoy the philosophical inquiry into the meaning of success in life, the battle for work-life balance, and the lesson that there is more than one way to make it in life.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? 80’s Rock, e.g. Guns’n’Roses and, in particular, Slash, for making his own brand via the unique style of playing the guitar.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS:
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… an enlightened curriculum that emphasizes on financial literacy skills at all levels, inspiring and novel lifelong academic training in pedagogy, and modern business ethics courses
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… embracing responsible finance, via explicitly specifying and monitoring client protection targets and social performance and impact agendas.
I’m grateful for… having a multitude of different academic mentors supporting my journey in my early student and academic years, and quite a few people that challenged me.
Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say:
“Dr. Panos helped me a lot for completing my master’s dissertation when I was at … Business School. He is an intelligent, helpful, and knowledgeable person who has extensive experience in quantitative research in the fields of Finance, Economics, and International Business. I was lucky to have him as one of my supporting advisers and believe he is a valuable asset for any university.” – Student
“Prof. Panos’ course game me an enlightening different insight into finance, which is rarely discussed in finance courses. I was really impressed and have found a new motivation to embark on a career in the fields of development finance and responsible banking.” – Student
“When it comes to describing the ideal academic, I think of the novelty of research, the passion for transferring knowledge and the integrity for societal impact that can make this world better, Professor Georgios Panos offers a rare example of a young yet already established scholar who encapsulates all these gifts. He is an expert on financial literacy and his work has already attracted research, teaching, policy, and societal recognition with several prestigious awards. Apart from exceptional research achievements, I know that he is a great teacher and an inspirational mentor not only for his Ph.D. students but also for his junior colleagues. Last but not least, Professor Georgios Panos is fully committed to outreach, making his research findings easily accessible to everyday people and ultimately contributing to guaranteeing a more efficient, equitable, and sustainable future. Overall, no matter how hard you search for candidates, it would be difficult to find a scholar who fits better than Professor Panos your award.”