Colin Gabler ‘99, an associate professor of marketing at Ohio University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for a one-semester teaching and research opportunity at the University of Pécs, in Hungary. As a Fulbright Scholar, Colin will teach students, conduct research, engage with the local Hungarian community, and strengthen the bonds between OU and the University of Pécs. This competitive award is selected based on academic and professional achievement, service, and demonstrated leadership. Colin holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Alabama and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University.
Colin and his wife, Kathleen Kelliher Gabler ’03, will travel to Hungary in January of 2021. Colin will teach a course adapted from his OU class on professional sales and relationship management, as well as mentoring doctoral students to help launch their academic careers. He will also research the impact of pricing on consumer decision-making and the ethical implications for businesses. In the community, Colin will speak at engagements throughout Hungary and engage with the entire Fulbright Network.
Kathleen’s background is in environmental and plant biology, as well as community planning and geography, and the faculty in Pécs is helping to find a teaching and/or community outreach position for her. Though the pair don’t speak Hungarian, they are spending the next few months learning what they can and are excited to live in Europe and travel afterward.
As a professor, Colin’s experiences with his teachers have influenced his own teaching style and way of interacting with others, especially Mr. Carr, who Colin describes as having a “tremendous impact on [his] life.” He said, Mr. Carr “made me love mathematics and problem-solving because he took something abstract (like cosigns and tangents) and made it applicable through a story.” Colin shared a story from calculus class with Mr. Carr, which is especially poignant during Teacher Appreciation Week:
“I have one very vivid memory from calculus. I had studied very hard for an exam and because there were a dozen or so formulas to remember, I put them in my TI-83 calculator. I remember going through the exam, doing well, and at one point, Mr. Carr was standing behind me. I looked up at him, we both smiled I think, and I went back to my calculator and the exam. When I handed it in, he asked me to stay after class. All of a sudden I am panicking, but I don’t know why. When everyone left, he said, “Mr. Gabler, do you know why I kept you after class?” to which I said, ‘Honestly no.’ He asked if I cheated on the exam to which I again replied ‘no.’ He asked for my calculator and went to the screen with the formulas. He said we were supposed to have the formulas memorized and I immediately broke into
a cold sweat. ‘I truly didn’t know, I am sorry,’ I said. ‘I didn’t try to hide it, I had my calculator right on my desk, even when you walked by, honestly I didn’t know.’ He smiled and nodded and said he understood. ‘I believe you, it was an honest mistake. Here’s what we’re going to do. If I do nothing it will be unfair to the other students who memorized the formulas, but if I give you a zero–which is the policy–it is unfair to you. So which questions did you use the formulas for?’ We went through the exam and he marked with a red X the questions I pointed to and then he graded it on the spot. My grade went from somewhere in the 90s to somewhere in the low 60s (not every question needed a formula and he trusted that in some cases I knew them). He then asked if I thought that was fair, and I said it was. Looking back, I don’t even remember what grade I got that semester, but it really taught me to trust people. As a professor, I give every student the opportunity to evaluate their performance and my assessment of their performance, then I give them a window of time to come to me with questions or concerns. We are all human, and we all make mistakes (me or them). Also, everyone is going through their own thing, and so a little transparency and trust goes a long way.”
Best of luck to Colin and Kathleen!