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and grins. “Best faculty, best students, best space, best business school … all tied up with a bow.”

Gabel is not one to sit on the laurels of another, though. “What is left for me to do is take this cake that’s been baked and frosted, and plot a course for the future,” she says. “Business education reflects changing market and demand. We are preparing students for roles five years, 10 years, 20 years out. My job is to continue to support the faculty in scholarship and in the classroom. To that end, we are exploring programming and looking at how it readies students to be leaders.” Gabel’s emphasis on professional development and real-world preparation has brought nods of approval from local business leaders and sparked excitement among the faculty.

Readiness is a key concept for the new dean, says Joe Stephens, director of the Crosby MBA program. “ ‘Ready’ is the word Joan has used to describe what students will be when they go out into the world,” he says. “I think that makes a lot of sense in many ways. We’re growing our emphasis on professional development so students use good social judgment — “polish” — in all scenarios. We’re expanding international immersion opportunities so students get the truest sense firsthand of how people from vastly different perspectives can work together to add value. We’re leveraging expertise across Mizzou in science, medicine and engineering to create rare collaborations that should yield amazing outcomes on multiple levels. And we’re doing great things within Cornell Hall to give students the tools they’ll need to thrive in their longterm careers. We’re teaching them how to think, why that’s important, and that it’s a perpetual process. They’ll be ready.”

With an eye toward the business school’s core strengths — accounting, marketing, management and finance — Gabel wants to tailor Trulaske’s offerings to areas where there is growth: traditional fields of banking, risk management and insurance, as well as interdisciplinary undertakings in science and technology, and preparation for entrepreneurship. “We have to develop the next generation of new businesses,” she says. Gabel thinks many of these new businesses will come from outside of the United States, which makes it imperative that Trulaske expand the international opportunities available to students. “Our economy is so much more global now,” she says. “Look at Monsanto — testing new crops outside of the United States; international companies like Shasun from India and Mamtek from China are investing in this country — in mid-Missouri. Emerging businesses come from emerging economies. This calls for a spring 2011

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Inside Columbia’s CEO

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Inside Columbia's CEO Spring 2011  

Joan Gabel prepares MU business students for a bright future; the Renaissance Awards celebrate local art's biggest fans; and Columbia's busi...

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