Year after year, Babson College is leading the way as the No. 1 school for entrepreneurship, due in part to its accomplished, insightful, and innovative professors and lecturers.
And, just this week, Babson was recognized once again for its outstanding business professors, placing a total of four faculty members among Poets & Quants’ list of the Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors for 2020 — the second most of any institution.
Professor Elizabeth Swanson, Associate Professor Wiljeana Glover, Associate Professor Mathew Allen, and Assistant Professor Krista Hill Cummings were named to the prestigious list, which included a record 23 women.
Nearly 850 professors were nominated for the recognition, and more than 100 were evaluated. Of the top 50, this year’s honorees represented 33 undergraduate business programs.
Pursuing an Equitable Society
As the Mandell Family Foundation Senior Term Chair in Literature and Human Rights, Swanson has become one of the most popular professors at the College over the past two decades. Swanson joined Babson in 2002, when positions in her field of expertise were scarce. An expert in postcolonial literature, she now teaches a course on human rights that has become one of the most sought-after classes on campus.
Swanson’s research has been focused on historical literacy of race and racism in the United States. Her goal is to help students understand the challenges Black people face in the U.S., and the changes required in pursuit of a just society.
“I understand the classroom as a nearly sacred public intellectual space designed to spark curiosity and expand perspectives,” Swanson said. ”The learning journey is, in my experience, one of the most profound connections humans can share.”
Offering Real Work Experiences
As a professor of technology, operations, and information management, Glover aspires to provide students with authentic experiences, specifically company projects that task them with implementing meaningful changes.
“Babson business students are very aware of not just business but the world around them and are able to bring in critical current events to the class discussions,” Glover said.
Glover currently is researching how healthcare companies measure the effectiveness and equity of their products and services.
“The study is very new, but it has been fascinating to hear that some ventures view their ability to design for or consider equity, in terms of product/service accessibility and use for all ethnicities and varying socioeconomic levels, as an untapped facet of opportunity identification,” she said.
Researching Family Entrepreneurship
Simply put, family business is in Allen’s blood. In addition to his role as associate professor, Allen is the faculty director for Babson’s Institute for Family Entrepreneurship and also works with his father as an accountant.
“I love what I teach and truly believe that it can change the lives of my students and their families,” said Allen, who also is the academic director for the Global Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices. “Because of this, I am thrilled when my students are as excited about the topics as I am.”
In his research, Allen has found interest in how a career in entrepreneurship can be sparked from a young age. “Specifically, the way in which parents raise their children can have a significant impact on their desire and ability to become entrepreneurs later in life,” he said.
Popularizing an Interdisciplinary Approach
Despite being one of the youngest professors on Poets & Quants’ list at age 33, Hill Cummings already has published a number of journal articles and book chapters and comes highly recommended from current and former students in part due to her interdisciplinary approach.
“To me, it is so important for students to be able to apply the knowledge they gain in my class to multiple contexts,” she said. “When students take a class with me, they know they will be synthesizing ideas and methodologies from various fields.”
Her research in service marketing has helped her learn about the importance and value of the consumer’s emotional state through listening before offering a response.
“If a provider does not address the consumer’s state first, the service recovery offered is often ignored or misinterpreted,” she said.