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Meet the Professor: Dr. Colin Gabler

Monday, November 23 2015 12:00am

Ever prepared, ever enthusiastic, ever ready to help students

By Brianna Wilson 

Colin GablerWhen I asked Dr. Colin Gabler, assistant professor of marketing, to give me an “elevator speech” about his life – personal and professional, he told me he’d prepared his answer ahead of time. Mostly because he teaches students how to give elevator pitches in class, so he figured his had better be good – but also because he believes in practicing what he teaches.

If there’s one thing Gabler advises his students to do, it’s to prepare and over prepare. He prepares for class every day, and also lives the mantra in his personal life. Why? “If you know the question that’s going to be asked, you’re going to have the best answer.

Additionally, if you can ask somebody the right question, you’re going to add value to that job, internship, class, conversation, anything,” he said. “The cool thing about this is that anyone can be the most prepared person in the room. You don’t need to be an extravert or an A student, you just have to put in the time and effort.”

Helping students prepare for their future, both inside and outside of the classroom, is Gabler’s favorite part of the job. That’s why he tries to teach “tangibly practical” skills, like how to build rapport or how to ask the right questions. 

It’s also why he rerouted his career path from the nonprofit sector to academia. “There aren’t many professions where you feel like you impact someone’s life every day,” he said.

Why Gabler chose academia is clear, but why did he choose marketing? “The marketing profession is so dynamic,” he told me. “Plus, it’s a topic people want to talk about  anyway, which makes it fun to teach.”

In the same way, it makes for meaningful research. Gabler wrote an article about why people feel compelled to donate after natural disasters. He notes that people are inherently generous: when a disaster occurs and you can send a text and donate $10 to provide relief,  it’s a no-brainer. What’s not quite so instinctual is donating before a disaster strikes. However, a dollar spent on preparation goes further than a dollar spent on recovery, and therefore, a philanthropic shift in this direction would minimize the negative effects of such events. Gabler wants to use marketing to create that shift by altering people’s perceptions about when and how they should donate to charity.

So, what can students expect of Gabler as their professor? Someone who wants to positively impact his students’ futures, a passionate teacher, and a prepared lecturer. Don’t forget to take notes.

- Potpourri –

Five pressing questions for Dr. Gabler

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus?

“For a nice dinner, Zoe’s. Hang out dinner, Broney’s. For a drink, Cider House.”

Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?

“I do, and I just realized it has a name: Emeriti Park.” 

Which season do you like best in Athens?

“Fall because of the weather, the sports, and the students coming back to school. It’s sort of the quintessential college season to be here, and there’s a great energy.”

What performances or sporting events have you enjoyed?

“The Copperheads are my favorite sporting event because it feels so homegrown, and I know some of the sport management students working there. At the games, you feel really integrated with the team and the league.”

What have you liked most about working with students and faculty here at Ohio University’s College of Business?

“You can see pride in the faculty, staff, and students, which I think is unique to Ohio University. The students here genuinely appreciate the privilege and opportunity to be not just at Ohio University, but at college in general. People here have a lot of the Bobcat pride. I hear that, and I see that. I’ve been in airports and people see my Ohio University shirt and will say, ‘I graduated in ‘83 and it’s the greatest place in the world. Go Bobcats!’”