Alumni Spotlight: Joan Gabel (J.D.'93)

Joan Gabel

News @ Georgia Law Nov. 2012 Alumni Profile

Name:  Joan T.A. Gabel
Title:  Dean of the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri
Employer Name:  University of Missouri
Location:  Columbia, Missouri
Number of years there:  2
Georgia Law graduation year:  1993
Other degree(s)/institution(s)/year(s):  B.A. / Haverford College / 1988


1. Why did you choose to attend Georgia Law?

  • I grew up in Atlanta and knew many UGA alumni. I went to a small liberal arts college outside of Philadelphia for undergraduate studies, but I knew when I came back to Atlanta, I’d want to go to Georgia Law for graduate school.


2. Who was your favorite Georgia Law professor? Why?

  • Jere Morehead. He has been my mentor and role model since my first days on campus. He was and is a tremendous teacher. He taught me how to communicate, how to leverage my strengths, and how to work in a team. I consider myself extremely lucky to know him and to have had the benefit of learning from him.


3. What is your most memorable experience from your time at Georgia Law?

  • Competing as part of Moot Court. Throughout my time at Georgia Law, there were lots of good times and fantastic classes, but my time on Moot Court was particularly memorable in that it drew from classroom learning, offered challenging applied experiences, and gave me a sense of what it meant to be on a dedicated team.


4. Where was your favorite place to study during law school?

  • I guess I was old school – I studied in the library. Actually, I still find libraries a great place to think and working at a university means I have the luxury of having one close by.


5. What advice would you give to current Georgia Law students?

  • Take advantage of how this type of education teaches you to think, teaches you to solve problems, and teaches you to communicate. Those skills will serve you at any level, in any industry, and in any job. I use these skills daily in my position now and have at every post I’ve held along the way.


6. Please give a brief description of your responsibilities as the dean of the Trulaske College of Business.

  • My job is hard to describe, but I am responsible for the success of the Trulaske College of Business as an academic unit, a community partner, and as a component of the university as a whole. My priorities include cultivating an environment of learning and innovation for our students, recruiting and retaining excellent faculty while nurturing their research, building partnerships with the business community, strengthening alumni engagement, and ultimately generating support for all of the above.


7. What do you enjoy most about your job?

  • Universities are a vibrant community of people bubbling with potential. I live and work around young, smart students; brilliant, seasoned faculty; and passionate alumni who love their school – something I understand very well. The energy is contagious and there is never a dull moment.


8. What is one of the greatest challenges facing your field right now?

  • Higher education funding. Public dollars have decreased in recent years causing us to rethink not only the way we allocate our resources but also how we communicate the value proposition of public education to various constituencies. We know that higher education offers true value for students, for innovation and research, for cultural advancement, and for economic development. As a college of business, we try to turn this funding challenge into an opportunity by using our constrained resources to help our students launch new businesses and be growth agents within the companies who hire them.