Gabel received a bachelor of arts degree and a master of arts degree in education from Georgia State University before earning his doctorate from the University of Missouri.
Gabel started his career as a kindergarten teacher, later moving into a position as a school administrator in elementary, middle, and high schools. He has also served on the faculty at Florida State University’s College of Education. Most recently, Gabel was the director of elementary programs at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.
Gabel was drawn to the University of Iowa by its excellent reputation and its leadership’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work. In his new position, Gabel is most excited to learn from his colleagues and work alongside the next generation of teachers.
Gabel’s research has focused on wraparound educational access. During the wraparound process, community-based services and supports “wrap around” a child or youth and their family in their home, school, and community in an effort to help meet their needs. His research also focuses on teacher preparation and support.
Professionally, Gabel is most proud of the STEM elementary program he created in South Carolina. He built a mobile STEM lab to travel around the state and provided high quality, hands-on STEM instruction to underserved students. Gabel did this by securing private funding and completed this project at no cost to students, parents, or schools.
Gabel says he works to provide educational opportunities where they are not available to level the educational playing field. Gabel also believes it’s important to give teachers the tools they need for success.
“When I was young, I did not have the best experience in school, and I wanted to make sure others had a better experience,” Gabel says.