BG professor granted prestigious opportunity

Chris Willig and Chris Willig

Dwayne Gremler, a marketing professor at the University, was recently chosen to participate in one of the most prestigious academic programs in the world. Gremler, who will be teaching and studying next semester at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, was one of only an estimated 800 people selected to be part of the highly coveted Fulbright Scholar Program.

Generally regarded as one of the most celebrated awards in academics, the Fulbright Scholar Program was started by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 1946, and is designed to build better understandings and relationships between the United States and foreign countries. Gremler, however, hopes to achieve much more.

A leader in the service marketing field, and co-author of one of the leading service marketing textbooks, he hopes to share his expertise as well as gain additional knowledge from the University.

“It’s a really good marriage between my interest, my background expertise and what they do at their university. It’s kind of a win-win,” Gremler said. “I win by going over there and rubbing shoulders and helping them. They win by having an American scholar come over in this area that their known for. It works good for both of us.”

Gremler, who has taken part in international service marketing seminars in the past, also hopes to travel around Europe and give seminars at several different universities. With planned trips to France, Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, he hopes to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Being granted the honor of a Fulbright Scholar, however, didn’t happen overnight. Gremler first learned of the program, the application process and of all the available opportunities after attending a meeting in 1999. It wasn’t until the summer of 2004, however, that he decided to go through the long and complex application process.

“When I started with the application process I think my thought process probably was, ‘let’s see what happens.’ Worst case scenario is it doesn’t work, but I learn from the process,” Gremler said. “But my own personality is if I’m going to apply I’m going to do the best I can. Why go through all this and not do your best – I was doing everything that one could do.”

After taking nearly a summer with the application process, he was finally notified of his acceptance in May 2005 and he is looking forward to this great opportunity.

“I’m very happy,” Gremler said. “Not for just me. It adds to the department, so I’m happy for what we can now say for the department, and I’m also happy for my family. I have a wife and two little girls who will be going. For us it’s a once in a lifetime thing – To be in the program and the opportunities that it will present for me professionally and for the family, yeah, I feel very happy and very excited to be doing this.”

While Gremler admits that his two daughters may not be thrilled with the idea of going to an international school for six months, the university and the marketing department are excited to have such a high honor bestowed upon one of their faculty members.

Bob Wu, the chairman of the marketing department, believes this honor is not only great for Gremler but for the whole department.

“It really adds a lot to the marketing department,” Wu said. “It increases our reputation… He also has a chance to network with some of the leading experts in that area and that definitely, when he comes back here, will really help the department.”