Katie Badura, 29, is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business.
In the classroom, she is the winner of the Georgia Tech CTL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, as well as the Georgia Tech Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: CIOS Award. She has twice been recognized as a Georgia Tech Face of Inclusive Excellence and was the inaugural recipient of the Georgia Tech Scheller MBA Program Award for Service Excellence.
Her research includes two primary focuses: leadership emergence and personality. She investigates the process through which individuals emerge as leaders within organizations and how personality impacts employee, team, and firm-level outcomes. She has earned research awards from Personnel Psychology and the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Her work has been featured in top academic publications including the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin.
At current institution since what year? 2019
Education: B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Iona College; Ph.D. in Organization and Human Resources Management from the University at Buffalo
List of MBA courses you currently teach: Leading People and Organizations, one of five rotating lecturers in Leadership Development
TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was the only one in my industrial-organizational psychology program who was passionate about conducting research. Vipanchi Mishra—one of the core instructors in my master’s program—involved me in a research project on personality and I was immediately hooked. I always had a passion for teaching and this solidified my interest in pursing a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My research falls in two broad buckets: individual differences and leadership emergence. The work I do on individual differences ranges from demographic attributes such as gender, race, and disability status to personality attributes such as narcissism. I often look at how these (and other factors such as motivation) drive one’s ascendency into formal and informal leadership roles.
I would say my most significant discovery to date has been surrounding research on disability and compensation led by one of my Ph.D. students (Mary Eve Speach) and coauthored with another Georgia Tech faculty member (Terry Blum). We find that pay gaps for those with disabilities are partially driven by negotiation differences—which I believe has broad practical implications for those with disabilities in the workforce.
If I weren’t a business school professor… I would be a high school math teacher and a cross-country/track coach.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? A few common themes in my teaching evaluations are that students appreciate my enthusiasm for the content, my approachability, and the structure/design of the course.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Nervous!
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Just because you are a young woman, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in the MBA classroom. Admittedly, many of my students are older than I am, and this produced a sense of imposter syndrome and general concerns regarding whether I could thrive in the classroom with MBA students. In reality, I found our Scheller MBA students to care less about my surface level attributes and more about the substance and quality of the course. While I never would have anticipated being in the MBA classroom this early in my career, ultimately, I am really thankful for the opportunity.
Professor I most admire and why: There are a few here—first and foremost is my dissertation chair, Emily Grijalva. She epitomizes the apprenticeship model of academia, spending countless hours teaching me the skills necessary to be a successful faculty member, all while working toward her own tenure requirements. I admire her mentorship and it is something I strive to pay forward with my own students.
I also admire not only the trailblazing impact of Alice Eagly (Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University), but also her developmental nature. As a researcher, she has amassed over 133,000 Google Scholar citations—with her theories related to gender roles serving as the foundation for much of the work I conduct on gender and leadership. Beyond her research impact, as a Ph.D. student who had not yet interacted with Alice, I was humbled by her willingness to offer developmental feedback to our research team on a paper that enabled me to get my first tenure-track job. She has continued to offer meaningful feedback on subsequent work that has elevated the quality of these projects to top-tier publications. Collectively, her valuable insights changed the way I think about research and the mentorship process.
Last, I had the privilege of meeting Terry Blum (Professor, Georgia Tech) when she came to Buffalo for a research talk. Never would I have guessed that in a few years we would be colleagues, coauthors, and friends. You quickly observe in the service she performs for the college that she is a staunch advocate for our Ph.D. students, junior faculty, and those from marginalized backgrounds. Personally, her impact on me has been profound as I navigated the complexities of the Ph.D. to professor transition. Altogether, she serves as a role model of the positive impact faculty can have on the lives of our students through research, teaching, and service.
TEACHING MBA STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? The interactions. Our Scheller MBA students ask thought provoking questions in the classroom that often change how I think about the concepts we study.
What is most challenging? Students often seek tangible solutions to specific problems they are facing at work. Finding the right recipe to help out in their specific situation can be challenging but rewarding.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Engaged
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Disengaged
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair
LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? I enjoy running, spending time with family/friends, playing with our two pups (Teddy and Kodak), and watching the Buffalo Bills.
How will you spend your summer? A majority of my teaching falls in the summer. Therefore, I will spend a good portion of summer here in Atlanta exploring the city and interacting with my MBA students. I also plan to travel a bit—attending my first in-person conference in over two years and visiting family in Buffalo.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Hawaii and Italy have been among my favorites. I hope to make my way to the United Kingdom, Japan, and Iceland someday very soon!
Favorite book(s): The Harry Potter Series
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I tend to oscillate between re-watching The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and Community. I enjoy the humor in these shows, and it allows me to curate some content for my MBA classes.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Rarely will you hear “today’s hits” playing in my office—rather, I tend to enjoy music from past decades. I am not exactly certain why, however the decade often changes based on my mood and what work I am doing.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… a greater emphasis on experiential learning.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… connecting with employees to make work meaningful.
I’m grateful for… the MBA staff and students who make teaching in the program a true privilege. Additionally, I am appreciative of several folks at Scheller who make working here enjoyable including my faculty colleagues, the Ph.D. students in our area, and the many staff members I interact with. Finally, I am grateful to my family—I am here because of them.