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20 Minutes with Professor Hindy Schachter

Dr. Schachter is a professor and active researcher at the Martin Tuchman School of Management. She conducts research in public administration, organizational diversity and management history. Her research work also explores interest in bringing new voices and groups into organizations.  

 

A long-time resident of New York City, Schachter describes her home city as “the perfect place to live”. “What I like about Manhattan,” she says, “is that there are so many different things you can do: you can go to the opera, you can go to the museums, there is Central Park… I don’t know what you can’t do in Manhattan,” she said. 

 

Two of her favorite spots to visit are the Metropolitan Opera and Central Park. “It’s a multifaceted destination,” she said about the park. “Sometimes in the morning, I’ll ask myself, ‘should I run […] or should I cycle in the park?’ That’s a nice kind of problem to have.” When not riding in the park, Schachter takes her bike on a Metro North train and cycles up to Westchester or Garrison, New York. “You can go up the mountain. There’s all sorts of fabulous bike routes around [there],” she said. 

 

As an undergraduate, Schachter attended Brooklyn College for a degree in English. At the time, she was looking towards a career in teaching people to read. “I loved to read,” she said, “I thought I would spend my life teaching other people to read, but as I progressed, I saw that my real interest was in organizations—not so much in books, but in organizations.” 

 

This realization came after taking a class with Professor David Abbott, who was a researcher in the field. Schachter explained: “He was teaching behavioral political science where he was articulating numerical means of learning about politics.”  She continued, “I thought that was fascinating and that helped to bring me over to a sense that I cared more about learning about the public sphere. [However], in my most recent years, I’ve moved away from what’s now called positive history search to thinking that—with statistical research, you can really learn all there is to know about people and institutions, and I’ve become more interested in using what are called Post-Positivist Historical methodologies like feminist theory and reflexive historical methodologies to analyze organizational trajectories.” 

 

Schachter recently collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Transportation on several projects to solve diversity problems regarding bringing women to the executive ranks of transportation and into highway construction. “Probably the most difficult question I’ve ever been [asked] involved projects on ‘how can we bring businesses into financing transportation projects?’” she said. “When you look at public agencies like NJDOT, bringing business of itself gives you diversity, so that is very much a managing diversity issue.” 

 

When asked about her favorite classes to teach, Schachter said she liked teaching organizational behavior and management diversity. This semester, she is teaching two organizational behavior classes: one at the undergraduate level and the other at the graduate level. 

 

 

When asked what piece of advice she has for young students, Schachter answered,  

“Be bold. Look at new things—don’t say ‘I can only do these things’, do things that you think you might not be able to do. If you don’t try, you’re never going to be able to do them!” 

 

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