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Chapman Professor Reflects on Family Legacy With 3 Generations in Education

Chapman Professor Reflects on Family Legacy With 3 Generations in Education

Kantilal T. Shukla, business professor at Compton College. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

Carol Cassis

Carol Cassis

9/8/2023

Updated: 9/11/2023

After Chapman University resumed fall classes this week in Orange, California, one of its business professors is looking back on his and his family’s long history in academia, at one point co-teaching across three generations.
The teaching veteran of more than four decades had much to say about his experiences, including co-teaching alongside his father and, most recently, his daughter this summer in a now treasured memory just weeks before National Daughter Day on Sept. 25.
Dr. Pradip Shukla was just 4 when his family immigrated from a small town outside of Mumbai, India to Los Angeles in 1960.
At the time, his father Kantilal was completing his Ph.D at the University of Southern California (USC), after which he would eventually move on to teach business and accounting at Compton Community College.
Growing up observing his father’s long career in academia, Mr. Shukla decided to pursue the same track and earned his Ph.D in business at the University of California–Los Angeles, as well as an MBA from USC.
Pradip K. Shukla, Ph.D., associate professor of management at Chapman University. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

Pradip K. Shukla, Ph.D., associate professor of management at Chapman University. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

At the beginning of his career, Mr. Shukla taught business alongside his father at Compton Community College—part of a last-ditch effort to spend quality time with him before his father’s death.
At the time, Mr. Shukla was beginning his university teaching career and his father was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
To help take some of the load of his ailing father, Mr. Shukla co-taught business and accounting with him during his last two semesters before his father died in 1981.
According to Mr. Shukla, the experience was one he will never forget.
“It was special at that point, because he actually saw me teaching in the classroom and [said] ‘oh, you’re a good professor,’” Mr. Shukla said. “Normally parents tend to be proud of their children, but they don’t see their children at work or in the work setting. So that meant a lot.”
Mr. Shukla credits his father’s tenacity and his Indian culture for spurring his own entree into teaching.
“I think it’s common in India that a lot of times the children go in the same footsteps as the parent’s [career]. And it’s quite common that if your father is a professor, then you think about teaching,” he said.
Kantilal T. Shukla, business professor at Compton College. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

Kantilal T. Shukla, business professor at Compton College. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

The same occurred with Mr. Shukla’s wife, also a Chapman Professor, whose father and grandfather were also educators.
Mr. Shukla, who occasionally co-teaches business and math alongside his wife at the university, recently co-taught a business course with his daughter as well.
Mr. Shukla’s daughter, Monica Shukla-Belmontes, is one of the youngest appointed assistant deans in the country at Brandman University’s business school, in Irvine, having also earned her doctorate and master’s in business.
Mr. Shukla and Ms. Shukla-Belmontes co-taught a business project management course earlier this summer for eight weeks, during which time Mr. Shukla, just like his father had done with him, observed his daughter’s skills in the classroom.
“It was the first time I was actually there the entire session. And she’s really good at technology and engaging the students and using online activities. And she knows more about that than I do in terms of how to use some of the online features of our learning platform system,” he said. “It worked out well.”
According to student reviews from the class, the pair’s class was highly rated at 4.7 out of 5 points. Mr. Shukla said they are likely to co-teach again sometime in the near future.
Monica Shukla-Belmontes, Ph.D., adjunct professor at Chapman University and associate dean at UMass Global. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

Monica Shukla-Belmontes, Ph.D., adjunct professor at Chapman University and associate dean at UMass Global. (Courtesy of Pradip K. Shukla)

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Carol Cassis

Carol Cassis

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