Bringing Her Full Self to Work

PROVO, Utah – Sep 01, 2022 – Angela Baxter has held BYU track records, run at the Olympic trials, been an international student, and raised five children. She uses these and many other diverse experiences to help everyone feel welcome at the BYU Marriott School of Business, where she works as an undergraduate advisor.

Before coming to BYU as an undergraduate in 1984, the Glasgow, Scotland, native earned a bronze medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and ran for Great Britain at the 1984 Olympic Trials. Because of her past accomplishments, she attended BYU on a track scholarship with aspirations of pursuing a successful athletic career.

Baxter lived up to her expectations—her 23.47 seconds in the 200 meters stood as a BYU record for 26 years until the mark was broken in 2010. Baxter remains second on the leaderboard, with the walls of the Smith Fieldhouse keeping her name etched in BYU history. Her running results meant she succeeded in what she came to BYU for, but she accomplished even more, finding connections that changed her life. Baxter joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and met her husband, former BYU basketball player Kurt Baxter, while in Provo.

Because Baxter has experience adjusting to a new environment and being welcomed to BYU, she knows how to empathize with those in similar circumstances. “When I first started advising, I thought, ‘Why do these students need me?’ But I have learned that students need to know that someone cares and that everyone matters to the university,” Baxter explains. “I do the best I can using my background to connect with students, and then the next level of advising is building a relationship and providing valuable information to help students reach their goals.”

While building relationships with students, Baxter shares her experiences. “I love that at BYU Marriott I can bring my full self when I encounter students,” she says. “I especially appreciate that I can bring my faith. I don’t know if I could help people authentically when they’re going through a tough time without digging a little deeper into my own experiences.”

Baxter’s approach to advising stems from her time on the track, which continued after her collegiate running days were over. She coached a high school track team which included her own daughter—a position that developed Baxter’s mindset of helping every part of an individual. Much like how runners need to focus on being dialed in with all aspects of themselves on and off the track, Baxter explains that students are more successful when they develop themselves personally instead of just academically.

In addition to being an advisor at work, Baxter advises her five children at home. Athletic like their parents, every Baxter child played sports to some degree. Two competed at BYU: Lauren, whom Baxter coached, followed her mom and was a BYU sprinter, while Gavin played for BYU basketball like his dad. Beyond being able to relate to her kids as a fellow athlete, Baxter also helps them deal with setbacks.

Both Lauren and Gavin had careers that were limited by leg injuries, which is something that cut short Baxter’s career as well. “Sports are so much a part of who athletes are, so injuries are a huge challenge. When someone is hurt, the setback is so devastating that doing other things such as rehab and schoolwork is often harder,” she says. Because she knows these experiences can be challenging, Baxter used her approach of focusing on the whole individual to help her children see beyond their injuries. Beyond their athletic endeavors, Baxter enjoys spending as much time with her children and four grandchildren as possible, calling them one of the biggest parts of her life.

While Baxter has advised at and enjoyed several different BYU departments, she is especially grateful for the environment at BYU Marriott. “Brigitte Madrian—dean of BYU Marriott—has school staff bring the mission of BYU and the aims of a BYU education into everything we do,” Baxter says. “I love the focus of applying those goals, and I love bringing that perspective into my advising as part of my full self.”

BYU Marriott undergraduate advisor Angela Baxter (fifth from left) with her family, her greatest achievement. Photo courtesy of Angela Baxter.
BYU Marriott undergraduate advisor Angela Baxter (fifth from left) with her family, her greatest achievement. Photo courtesy of Angela Baxter.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller