2015 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Angelica Gutierrez, Loyola Marymount

Angélica S. Gutiérrez

Professor of Management

Loyola Marymount University


Angelica Gutierrez, Loyola Marymount University

Angelica Gutierrez, Loyola Marymount University

You might say Loyola Marymount University’s Angélica S. Gutiérrez is fueled by her drive to overcome obstacles and a genuine desire for helping students do the same. Having been pegged as “learning disabled” in grade school simply because she didn’t speak English, to then listening to her peers tell tales of unapproachable business professors who did more intimidating than they did cultivating the next generation of business leaders–Gutiérrez was driven to pursue her PhD simply because she was determined to become the professor these students needed and deserved. With that as her single source of motivation, Gutiérrez has accomplished this goal as evidenced by several honors for her outstanding teaching and mentorship. She was one of 10 faculty at LMU recognized as an “Outstanding Professor” by Kappa Alpha Theta, one of 10 Latinas in the U.S. recognized as the “Next Generation Latina” by Latina Magazine (an award that honors Latinas who have made a significant impact in their respective communities as role models, mentors and leaders), one of 20 Latinas in the U.S. named a “Latina of Influence” by Hispanic Lifestyle, and she is the recipient of a Positive Impact Award.

Age: 37

At current institution since: 2013

Education: PhD Management, Organizational Behavior, UCLA 2012

Courses currently teaching:  Leadership, Management

Professor you most admire: Margaret Shih

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when” I was an undergrad at UCLA and working as an academic peer advisor for first-generation college students majoring in business.  I remember meeting them for the first time and hearing about their dreams of launching their own business, becoming a high-level executive and making an impact in the business field.  Unfortunately, many of these students often returned to the counseling office (usually after taking their first exam) and expressed interest in changing their majors. I used to advise them to see their professors during office hours to seek guidance on how to improve their performance, but students often mentioned that they didn’t feel comfortable going to see their professors. The students who did decide to see their professors often told me that they felt their professors weren’t interested in helping them and sensed that their professors were always in a rush to get back to their work. It was hearing these stories from students that motivated me to become a business professor. I had no idea what getting a PhD at a business school entailed (I was a political science and sociology major when I was assigned to advise these business students, and had never taken a business course in my life). I also did not know what a career in academia entailed, but did know that I needed to become the professor that I knew these and other students deserved – a professor who would provide not only instruction, but also mentoring….a professor who would instill in students the belief that they not only belong in the business field but also have the capacity to serve as its leaders.

“If I weren’t a b-school professor” I would probably work in the private sector and aim to diversify corporate boards. There’s a lot of talent – women and ethnic minorities – out there with the capacity to make significant contributions to corporations, and I would strive to identify this talent and increase diversity on boards and in upper management.

Most memorable moment in the classroom or as a professor: It’d probably be the first day I set foot at the front of the classroom. I remember simply feeling “this is exactly where I’m meant to be. I know that I’m fulfilling one of my greatest missions on this earth.” I still feel this way every day that I come to campus. I realize it’s a tremendous blessing to pursue one of my greatest passions (and get paid to do it).

What professional achievement are you most proud of? It’s probably being recognized as an “Outstanding Professor” at LMU. It’s awesome to know that students are learning in the classroom and that I’m helping prepare the next generation of business leaders.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love every aspect of teaching, but what I enjoy most is the level of interest, engagement, and enthusiasm that my students consistently demonstrate in my classes.

What do you enjoy least?  There’s actually nothing that I don’t enjoy about being a professor or teaching. I wouldn’t tell my dean this, but it’s a job that I would be willing to do for free (if there were no bills to pay, of course).

Fun fact about yourself: Oprah is my role model – she exudes passion and enthusiasm when she’s in front of an audience, and uses her position as a means of empowering people.  That’s similar to how I see being a professor. I recognize the tremendous responsibility that comes with being a professor. I see it as a position through which I not only can impart knowledge, but also motivate students to leave their mark in the world (beyond contributing towards a company’s bottom line).

Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Favorite movie: A Beautiful Mind

Favorite type of music: Pop, R&B

Favorite television show: Shark Tank

Favorite vacation spot: Any tropical place

What are your hobbies? I enjoy volunteering with various non-profit organizations (i.e., Reading to Kids, Parents Against Cancer, TELACU Education Foundation, Riordan Programs), jogging, dancing, bungee jumping, traveling.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have” Greater diversity among faculty and students.

Students say…

“Professor Gutierrez makes a very content heavy class fun and interesting. Her respect of students and passion for teaching drives us to work hard and do well.”

– Natasha Gunasekara

“Professor Gutierrez has repeatedly proven that she is an exemplar of the Jesuit ideals of professorship. More than simply teaching, she fosters a thirst for knowledge and success in her students, and strives to provide mentorship and personal guidance for all those in her tutelage.” – Collin Vogt

“Professor Gutierrez comes to class each day with a passion and zeal that is infectious and definitely makes for a spirited learning environment unlike any other I have witnessed. Her love for both business and the students she teaches is unrivaled, and it is a joy to be a part of.”

– Ameer Bahhur

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