2021 Best Undergraduate Professors: Hooria Jazaieri, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Hooria Jazaieri

Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“Prof. Jazaieri is an incredible professor and very knowledgeable. She is willing to help students both inside and outside of the classroom. Her passion for management and care for her students is apparent from the very first class.” – Lucas, student

Hooria Jazaieri, 37, is Assistant Professor of Management at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, where she’s taught since 2020. 

She has a PhD in Social Psychology from University of California, Berkeley, an MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, and a BS in Psychology from the University of Washington. She currently teaches Management of Organizations and Leadership.

Dr. Jazaieri’s research examines individual reputation and emotion along with how people gain, lose, and recover their reputations. She is director of the LASER (Leadership, Affective Science, Emotion, and Reputation) Laboratory, and a faculty scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. 

In the classroom, students who nominated her for this award describe her as engaging, responsive, and organized. 

Dr. Jazaieri is hands down the best professor I’ve had at SCU. I feel so lucky to have had her as a teacher during a pandemic. I was skeptical about online classes but her course on leadership exceeded my expectations. Huge fan of Dr. J!” writes Eugene. 

“Professor Jazaieri is one of the most engaging professors at Santa Clara. She truly cares about her students and our success. I took two classes with her and could not recommend her more highly for this award!” writes Felicia.


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized how central my research (emotions and reputation) is to organizational life and the potential to improve the lives of people at work. Also, as a PhD student I was a TA for an MBA negotiations course for Laura Kray (Haas), and I eventually taught an MBA course at Haas on compassionate leadership, and I absolutely loved it.  

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I study individual reputation (how people gain, lose, and recover their reputations, and how reputational information is stored and communicated in networks), and emotions (compassion, joy, gratitude, and hope) in organizations. One line of research I’ve been working on with my colleague Mandy O’Neill (George Mason University School of Business) examines the function of expressions of gratitude in organizations. For example, in one paper we examine how expressions of gratitude to employees during times of extraordinary distress can function to encourage employees to carry on for the good of the group when resources are scarce. We uncovered key features of the organization, institutionalizing a communal culture and specific attributes of these gratitude expressions, which resulted in gratitude having beneficial effects on the employees and organization.

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… While my career aptitude tests always said I should be an accountant, I think I’d follow my interest in law and be a human rights attorney. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? As cliché as it sounds, I think my students know that I genuinely care about them, not only as students in my classroom, but I truly care about them as people in the world. 

One word that describes my first time teaching: Adrenaline

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: The students are far more interesting than I ever was at their age, and they are far more interesting than I currently am today, which makes for a lively and engaging classroom environment.

Professor I most admire and why: So many professors have shaped me into the person I am today. I would not have gone back to school to get my PhD without the guidance I received from James Gross (Stanford), and I wouldn’t be a business school professor without the encouragement from my PhD advisor Dacher Keltner (Berkeley) and the mentorship from Laura Kray (Haas). While all three are world-renowned researchers and award-winning teachers, they’re even better human beings, which I really admire. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I love watching business students immediately implement what they’re learning in the classroom to their lives outside of class. It’s quite satisfying when they can experience the application of concepts they’re learning in class in any given week. 

What is most challenging? Managing time – I always seem to have an extra hour or two of content prepared. 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Thoughtful 

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

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Transparent and detailed/thorough 


What are your hobbies? Yoga, pilates, golf, tennis, meditation, and organizing things (drawers, pantries, closets, etc.). 

How will you spend your summer? Summer is my most productive research time so I’ll be at the office, but also training my new puppy, Wes (a West Highland White Terrier).

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Strolling through the towns along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. 

Favorite book(s): The book “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn changed my life. I also love reading anything by Brené Brown or Malcolm Gladwell. 

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I pretty much only watch sports. I love watching Tom Brady play on Sundays – he has such a competitive spirit and joy for the game. He is the epitome of what it means to be an exemplary leader. I also enjoy watching Formula One racing and Lewis Hamilton, who is an inspirational figure in his own right. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? You will always find me in the front row when Taylor Swift comes to town. Not only has she mastered her craft across the genres of Country and Pop, I respect that through her songwriting and music, she doesn’t portray a misconception that her life is perfect. 


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… an emphasis on positive organizational scholarship, compassionate leadership, and humanistic management. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… taking time to truly recognize the humanity of people in the organization, and prioritizing building a sense of community in the workplace.

I’m grateful for… There’s so much to be grateful for. I’m particularly grateful for the opportunity to have a career that allows me to pursue my passion every day through my research, writing, teaching, mentorship, and service. 

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