Know Your Professor: Paula Gutlove

September 28, 2015

Paula Gutlove

We caught up with Professor Gutlove about health care management and why she loves her students.

What is your favorite class to teach?

My favorite course to teach here at the School of Management is Negotiation and Problem Solving. I believe we’re negotiating all the time and that anytime we communicate with someone to solve a problem or influence in any way, we’re actually negotiating. When you can look at this an opportunity instead of a crisis, it can be very empowering and it can create new possibilities.

It is exciting for me to bring this opportunity to students and help them think about what they want, how they want it, and how they can get it in a way that creates value for all parties involved. One of the things that I particularly enjoy doing in my course is helping people to think about what their value is. I enjoy helping people look at and realize what their sources of power in negotiation are. There are many sources of power – information, relationships, organizational – that people don’t even know that they have. I have the opportunity to change how people think and act in my courses and this is extremely rewarding.

What’s your professional focus within health care management?

I am the Deputy Director of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies (IRSS), where I founded and direct the international project, Health Bridges for Peace. This project links health care with the prevention and resolution of inter-communal conflict, using a common interest in public health as an opportunity to bring people together for negotiation training, collaborative action, dialogue, and community reconciliation. I’m an Associate of the Harvard Program on Negotiation Pedagogy Group, a founding member of the Leadership Team of the US-Muslim Engagement Initiative, and a founding board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. I’ve served as a consultant to numerous international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Fill in the blank: I love my students because…

I love my students because they really want to learn how to create value and how to be empowered, principled leaders. My students come to class and ask the most amazing questions and bring great value to the classroom with their different experiences and backgrounds. We can create key value together in the classroom by learning more about each other and by learning how to negotiate difficult conflict successfully and sustainably. I love that I’m teaching future leaders who are going to do the right thing and do it well. I consider it a privilege to teach them.

Fill in the blank: I love Simmons because…

I think Simmons has an unusual and wonderful sense of mission. Students come to Simmons because they share this sense of mission. Our students have an opportunity to make the world a better place and the tools that we’re teaching in the classroom are tools that leaders need to be able to create the kind of world we need in the 21st century. Simmons is dedicated to this type of leadership.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

I would travel to Australia and New Zealand. My husband is Australian and has a lot of extended family in Australia. The country is very interesting and I love the beach and ocean swimming. I have some colleagues in the peace for health world who have moved from North America to New Zealand and have set up an eco village that I would really like to visit. I may think about bringing a group of students…

Do you have a hidden talent?

I’m a gardener and I have an extensive vegetable garden – eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, herbs, etc. I try to do this as a sustainable, eco-friendly practice.