Wiljeana Jackson Glover
Steven C. and Carmella R. Kletjian Foundation Distinguished Professor in Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship (as of Sept 2020), Fisher Family Term-Chair in Healthcare Management (2019-2020), Associate Professor of Technology, Operations and Information Management
Wiljeana Jackson Glover is an award-winning professor at Babson College as was a no-brainer to be included on this year’s list of Best Undergraduate Business School Professors. In 2018, Glover won the Lewis Institute Changemaker Faculty Award and it’s not surprising why. Glover is a professor of technology, operations, and information management and has dedicated her recent career to researching how healthcare ventures can measure effectiveness and equity in their products and services, looking across different races, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses.
A trained engineer, Glover has multiple degrees in industrial and systems engineering. While Glover says she spends a lot of her free time writing music and singing, being a professor is literally in her blood as her mother, Dr. Betty Graper, is a math professor at Albany State University where Glover majored in mathematics as an undergraduate student.
Current age: 37
At current institution since what year? 2013
Postdoctoral Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech
B.A. in Mathematics, Albany State University
List of courses you currently teach: Technology and Operations Management, Scaling Lean Ventures, Experiment to Scale
LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I became one. I always thought I would end up at an engineering school or potentially a public health school, but fate had other plans. But I’ve always known that I wanted to be an educator and I enjoy teaching interdisciplinary concepts like systems thinking, process analysis, performance measurement, complexity and uncertainty, and change management to my students.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?
I’m currently researching how healthcare ventures measure 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. This may also mean that new healthcare ventures are seeing and successfully executing on opportunities that established firms are not because they haven’t made equity a priority.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… either a COO of a healthcare startup or a full-time singer-songwriter and minister.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?
I focus on giving my students real experiences, with an emphasis on company projects where they have to implement changes. I also challenge my students to use their creativity as much as their analytical capabilities.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Elated
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Just be yourself and your students will find you.
Professor I most admire and why: My mother, Dr. Betty Graper, who’s a mathematics professor at my undergraduate alma mater, Albany State University (GA). Her dedication and availability to her students is remarkable.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?
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.
What is most challenging?
Over the years, they’ve become more concerned about grades; or maybe I’ve become less concerned. So we discuss the importance of understanding a learning orientation versus a performance orientation and that has helped.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: engaged
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: distracted
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… fair and willing to give grace.
LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies?
Singing and songwriting
How will you spend your summer?
Spending time with my husband and children
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Road trips to almost anywhere, research-related trips abroad
Favorite book(s): Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?
This is Us on NBC does a phenomenal job of discussing emotions and inter-generational commonalities and challenges through beautiful writing and acting.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?
So tough! I especially like gospel, R&B, and jazz, but also hip-hop and country. Some of my favorite artists cross these lines regularly, so Lalah Hathaway, PJ Morton, Jonathan McReynolds, and Lauren Daigle are some of my current favorites.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… stronger focus on minority businesses, more discussion of how accepted business practices impact the most vulnerable populations and also more exploration of the intersection of liberation pedagogy and business.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… including equity of the product/service itself as a metric of success and allowing employees to explore both their analytical and creative sides. Our employees have the answers to some of our most challenging world problems if we can only listen at all levels of the organization and act.
I’m grateful for… my family, students, and colleagues who challenge me and teach me so much!
Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say:
- “Professor Glover is a campus superhero. Not only is she effective in the classroom and forward-thinking, but her global consciousness and creative senses give space for her students and colleagues to dream and manifest beyond their limits.” –Alexis Cohen, ‘19
- “Professor Glover’s genuine care and attention to her students not only allows her to create an environment where students are motivated and thriving, but also growing their abilities to consult with clients, overcome obstacles, and think differently. It has truly been an honor and privilege to have been mentored and taught by such an inspirational role model at Babson College.” –Jen Lin, ‘20
- “Professor Glover is passionate, driven, and a phenomenal educator. Her enthusiasm and energy radiates throughout the classroom. I’m so grateful to have taken her at Babson.” –Inedaba Oruwariye, ‘20
- “Professor Glover has been an inspiration through my undergrad career and has made my first two years at Babson an enriching experience. I’m grateful to have had such a positive mentor that has shaped my outlook on healthcare and operations.” -Alexander Correa-Garcia, ‘22
From Faculty and Administration
- “I find Wiljeana to be an inspirational thinker, dynamic presenter and rigorous scholar! We are lucky to have her here at Babson!” –Prof. Candida Brush, Franklin W. Olin Chair in Entrepreneurship, Babson College
- “Wiljeana is that rare educator who engages full on. She brings her craft but also brings her heart and soul to her work. I met Wiljeana her first week at Babson and as a faculty member and Executive Director of one of Babson’s Centers, I continue to be educated by Wiljeana in many ways. Wiljeana’s passion for learning by doing, design, innovation and social justice are core to her orientation towards her work with her students.” –Cheryl Kiser, Interim CEO, Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Babson College
- “What I’ve come to realize is that we are all students in Dr. Glover’s classroom. Among her many stand-out qualities as an educator is Dr. Glover’s ability to decompose an ordinary question into an interactive exploration and an enduring lesson. –Richard Goulding, Senior Lecturer, Technology and Operations Management, Babson College