Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 5.8/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Well-Traveled Nonprofit Star
GRE 322, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Low Undergrad GPA
GMAT 760, GPA 65/100 (1.0)
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Vigor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
London Business School | Mr. Family Investment Fund
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0

2020 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Jen Dannals, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business

Jen Dannals of Dartmouth is a Poets&Quants Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professor

At 29, Jen Dannals, an assistant professor of business administration at the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, is the youngest professor to make this year’s list. No other professor is under 30. But don’t let her age fool you. Dannals was one of the easier inclusions on this year’s list. Receiving more than two dozen gushing nominations, Dannals is extremely well-liked and appreciated by not only MBA students at Tuck but also her fellow more-experienced colleagues.

“As a faculty member who teaches the same sections of MBA students as Professor Dannals, the students were absolutely raving about their experience with her a full term after her class was over,” a Dartmouth Tuck professor wrote in nominating her as one of the best 40-under-40 profs in business education.

“Tuck underwent a large curriculum change, in particular with some of the OB and Leadership courses, and Professor Dannals took the lead on the changes in these areas and delivered a new course with absolutely blockbuster ratings, unheard of for a relatively new professor in the MBA core at Tuck. In addition, she does very interesting and important work on how issues like hierarchy, social norms, and gender dynamics affect important aspects of organizational behavior. She presents at all of our fields’ top conferences, and in addition to conducting research related to gender, also co-leads the Society for Judgment and Decision Making’s initiative to promote networking opportunities for women. In addition, she is an amazing colleague.”

An award-winning researcher with a Ph.D. from Stanford, Dannals focuses on how groups and teams interact as well as how individuals perceive social norms of groups. She focuses on how to improve the performance of teams in startups and organizations. “Jen is a terrific colleague and an amazing member of our faculty,” another nominator said. “She joined Tuck and, as a brand-new assistant professor, was asked to re-design the core micro OB course, now called Managing People, together with previous 40-Under-40 winner Dan Feiler and the new course has been a huge success. Jen also does fantastic research on perceptions of norms in teams, earning accolades from professional organizations in her field. In short, Jen Dannals is the real deal.”

An avid baker, Dannals is known outside of the classroom for her experimental flavors of macarons.

Jen Dannals

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Tuck School of Business

Current age: 29

At current institution since what year? 2018

Education: Stanford Graduate School of Business PhD in Organizational Behavior; Princeton University AB in Psychology

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Managing People (Micro OB Core)

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized how much I liked doing research in grad school.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? 

I study how we perceive social norms in everyday life – from this, there are findings that are particularly meaningful.  First, our perception of social norms can be influenced disproportionately by outliers, exceptions or unusual occurrences, even though we think of norms as being about the central tendency of behavior.  Second, though we often think of norms being set and enforced by those at the top of the hierarchy, those at the bottom of the ladder have a unique role in setting what will be perceived as the “true” culture in teams and organizations.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I’d be a lawyer, possibly just because then I would be J.D. J.D.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? 

If I’m honest, I try pretty hard not to think about how I’m perceived by students. When I think about that too much, I go down a rabbit hole of self-consciousness that makes want to never stand in front of a class again. I hope students notice that (a) I really love my course material and (b) I really love teaching my course.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Overwhelming.

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: It’s a pretty good gig.  Seriously, I think as a grad student I mostly heard professors complain about the downsides, which definitely exist, don’t get me wrong, but that meant that what I was most surprised by after I started at Tuck was what a great job it can be.

Professor I most admire and why: There are a ton of professors who’s work I really admire, but there are three who come to mind as having made a real impact on me personally.  Before I started grad school I was a research assistant for Betsy Levy Paluck at Princeton.  I really admire her determination and fearlessness in the research projects she pursues and she’s why I went to grad school.  The second is my PhD advisor at Stanford, Dale Miller.  He has a way of thinking about things that I find so valuable because he cuts to the core of an idea in a way almost no one else can.  Inevitably talking to Dale about any idea, research or otherwise, seems to give me a new vantage point on it, which is just so refreshing.  The third is Maggie Neale, who was a member of my dissertation committee at Stanford and is also a coauthor.  Maggie’s an amazing researcher but I think of her most often when I think of the kind of colleague and mentor I want to be.  She’s the most loyal and competent advocate you could possibly have on your side.

STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

The experiences they bring into the classroom.  Teaching team dynamics and organizational behavior is much more engaging when MBAs bring their own past experiences to bear in the classroom.

What is most challenging?

It takes a lot of energy.  After teaching two, three-hour sections back to back in a day, I’m both high on adrenaline and exhausted and I haven’t quite figured out how to best manage that.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious.

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Disengaged.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… reasonable.

LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

What are your hobbies?

I got really into baking while I was a grad student.  I went through a period where I was experimenting with new macaron flavors so much that it was a running joke among the Ph.D. students that I should quit academia and open a bakery.  The frequency of baking has decreased a bit now, but I still like having it as a creative outlet.

How will you spend your summer? 

Given everything at the moment, presumably continuing to social distance.  For me that means lots of zoom coffees, zoom happy hours and zoom board game nights; a bit of hiking around Hanover; lots of baking; and then eventually switching from research to teaching prep before my class starts up in Fall.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: When I travel not for work it’s almost always to see my family, so I’d say my favorite vacation spot is where they live outside of Baltimore in Maryland.

Favorite book(s): My favorite research-related books are probably Nudge by Dick Thaler and Cass Sunstein and The Grammar of Society by Cristina Bicchieri.  Both had a huge impact on how I think about and evaluate pretty fundamental ideas in my research.  Deciding on a favorite not-research-related book is too hard, so I’ll do some recent good ones I read instead.  I recently finished Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.   Both were great, in very, very different ways.

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

During social distancing I’ve become a bit obsessed with the Bon Appetit youtube videos, especially the Gourmet Makes series.  In it a pastry chef, Claire Saffitz, works to recreate classic junk food – think Starburst, Twix, Oreos, Ruffles.  It’s hard to put my finger on why I like it so much but it’s some combination of the hypothesis testing and inevitable failures she faces that parallel similar to the research process, the camaraderie of the test kitchen team of chefs who often get called in to help out with some task and the nostalgia of childhood treats revisited.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?  

Spotify says I’ve been playing the following on repeat and in different combinations for the past year: the Broadway cast album of Hadestown, Caro Emerald, Billie Eilish and Paul Simon.   If you can discern a reasonable pattern from that list, you deserve a prize.

THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… diversity and inclusion.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… diversity and inclusion.

I’m grateful for… my family, my friends, my job, my health – reading news lately has me feeling particularly grateful and lucky about so many things.

Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say: 

“Jen is a terrific colleague and an amazing member of our faculty. She joined Tuck and, as a brand-new assistant professor, was asked to re-design the core micro OB course, now called Managing People, together with previous 40-Under-40 winner Dan Feiler and the new course has been a huge success. Jen also does fantastic research on perceptions of norms in teams, earning accolades from professional organizations in her field. In short, Jen Dannals is the real deal.”

“Professor Dannals started just last year at Tuck, but you would never know that from how great of a professor she already is. Her ability to convey information, captivate a classroom, and connect with her students is something one would only expect from a very tenured professor. I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn from her last year and that future Tuck students will have the opportunity to learn from her in the future!”

“As a faculty member who teaches the same sections of MBA students as Professor Dannals, the students were absolutely raving about their experience with her a full term after her class was over. Tuck underwent a large curriculum change, in particular with some of the OB and Leadership courses, and Professor Dannals took the lead on the changes in these areas and delivered a new course with absolutely blockbuster ratings, unheard of for a relatively new professor in the MBA core at Tuck. In addition, she does very interesting and important work on how issues like hierarchy, social norms, and gender dynamics affect important aspects of organizational behavior. She presents at all of our fields’ top conferences, and in addition to conducting research related to gender, also co-leads the Society for Judgment and Decision Making’s initiative promote networking opportunities for women. In addition, she is an amazing colleague.”

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE 2020 LIST OF THE WORLD’S BEST 40-UNDER-40 BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSORS