“As a professor, we’re in the position to offer knowledge, but it’s also about having this responsibility to positively impact this world,” says Angelica Gutierrez, assistant professor of management in the College of Business Administration. She believes that, as a professor, her primary role is to provide guidance and mentorship, especially to those “without much hope.” This view stems from her time as an undergraduate peer adviser at UCLA where she witnessed students who weren't receiving the direction and attention they needed — these students were struggling academically, but their professors weren’t available or inclined to offer much guidance. "I wanted to become a professor who could provide motivation to students, even if they were doing poorly. I want them to know that I believe in them,” she says.
Gutierrez understands what it feels like to be labeled unjustly, and not provided with any hope. As a child who grew up speaking only Spanish, she noted that, “I had educators very early on who believed I had a learning disability because I didn’t know [English]." The experience, she notes, was one of several that pushed her to teaching, and toward establishing a lifetime goal of motivating others in need. Poets and Quants named her a 2015 “Best 40 Under 40 Professor,” and the Huffington Post featured her in an article titled “10 Latinas Think Big Innovators to Watch in 2016.” Her commitment to mentorship has earned her recognition, including the “Outstanding Professor" award from Kappa Alpha Theta, as well as an Ella Institute Research Scholarship Award, which went toward supporting her research on diversity and business negotiation.