2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Jenessa Shapiro, Anderson School of Management

Jenessa Shapiro UCLA

Jenessa Shapiro

Associate Professor

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, stigma, and diversity are the research interests of Jenessa Shapiro, a psychology professor turned business professor of Management and Organizations at UCLA. She’s authored 30 research articles and given close to 20 conference talks as she sets out to understand–and help others understand–stereotype threats and social stigmas. Professor Shapiro’s commitment to these areas is also reflected in her university service to UCLA. She’s a member of the Anderson School’s Task Force on Faculty Gender Climate, a Faculty Sponsor for Underrepresented Graduate Students in Psychology, and a member of the Psychology department’s Diversity Issues Committee. At UCLA, she maintains a dual professorship role serving as both Associate Professor in the School of Management and Department of Psychology.

Age: 35

At current institution since: 2008

Education: PhD Social Psychology, Arizona State University, 2008; BA Psychology, Rice University 2002

Courses you currently teach: Core Organizational Behavior and Leadership Foundations

Professor you most admire: I am very fortunate to have had two amazing mentors: Professors Steven Neuberg and Michelle (Mikki) Hebl. Both are incredibly brilliant and creative, but also kind and thoughtful. Both are incredibly productive research-wise, but also prioritize and invest in teaching and mentoring. I have always admired them as scholars, but also as people. This combination is something that I aspire to in my research and teaching.

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…I thought about the career stage of those in our classrooms. Teaching in the MBA classroom is incredibly rewarding because you are talking to students who are in positions to leave your classroom and implement the content immediately.”

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…If we are talking about leaving academia altogether, then I would want to work with organizations to use an evidenced-based approach to diversity and inclusion. If we are talking about a completely different career path, I would be interested in architecture or design school.”

Most memorable moment in the classroom or in general as a professor: Every time students tell me how something from class has helped them in their job.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? The success of my students. We have a lot of undergraduates and post-baccalaureate scholars who have worked in my research lab who have gone on to graduate school. I am also very proud of the successes of my graduate students—the prestigious awards they receive and the awesome research that they are doing! If you are reading this and you are hiring, I have some excellent PhD students who will be on the job market and are on the fast track to a 40 under 40 award!

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Learning from the students. Each year I meet new students with really interesting, different experiences. I love learning about their experiences and challenges as we work through the material across the quarter.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? The administrative details and grading.

Fun fact about yourself: I was a contestant on “The Price is Right.” My total winnings in cash and prizes? HUGE. Five—that’s right FIVE—sunglasses!

Favorite type of music: I like pretty much everything. Although I am most likely to be listening to NPR or a podcast.

Favorite book: Right now it is all the Ottolenghi cookbooks and the new Zahav cookbook.

Favorite movie: I don’t watch a lot of movies. Princess Bride, Clueless, and Mary Poppins have always been some of my favorites.

Favorite television show: Anything funny—currently I love Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. I also really like The Good Wife and I can always watch Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, or Arrested Development! (I am so excited about the Gilmore Girls reunion and I am ready to donate to the next Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign!)

Favorite vacation spot: It is difficult to beat Hawaii and Europe! But, the best vacation I have ever taken was to Antarctica—breathtaking ice and adorable penguins.

What are your hobbies? In my free time I love to do yoga, hike, and cook.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…more diversity.”