Atav to revitalize Marketing Department


Nhi Tranh

Atav is currently working on her Ph.D. from Binghamton University, all while teaching marketing courses at Mercyhurst.

Hailing from Turkey, Gizem Atav is one of Mercyhurst’s newest faculty members.

Atav is Mercyhurst’s new marketing major program assistant and instructor of business. She has taught marketing for three academic years, which also includes teaching regular and online classes at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. and now at Mercyhurst University. She currently teaches Market Research and Consumer Behavior in the Marketing department.

Born and raised in Turkey, Atav learned at an early age to be hard working and trusting of others. After completing two years of higher education at Bogazici University in Turkey, Atav moved to the states to finish her dual degree program at Binghamton University. As the newest faculty, Atav is excited to see where her future .

“My career is definitely determined. Researching and teaching, that’s what I do,” Atav said.

Atav is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University and is expected to finish her dissertation in the next few months.
“I got an undergrad degree from both of them [Turkey and Binghamton University]. So after that, my original plan was to go home,” said Atav. “And then I stayed for my MBA and Ph. D, and now I’m here. So it’s been eight years.”

She is in the final stages of receiving her Ph. D from Binghamton University. Her focus and main area of research is in consumer psychology. Atav believes in motivating people to save more money.

“I try to work on projects that are mutually beneficial, both for the consumer, the economy and the company. When I tell people that I try to motivate others to save money, they say, ‘Well isn’t that the opposite of marketing?’ Well in fact it’s not,” said Atav.“

We need people to save more money so that we have a healthy economy. We need a sustainable one, so that companies can have a healthy environment.”

She has been researching this area of study for many years and has published much of her work. Atav recently published conference papers, peer reviewed journal articles and participated in multiple campus talks.

Atav is a co-author with Dipankar Rai, Ph.D, a former member of Mercyhurst’s Marketing department, and got accepted to present their project at an upcoming conference.

Atav believes that most of her work mentality derived from her father.

“I’m actually really lucky enough, when I think about this question, I think of many people. My father is a major influence on me,” said Atav. “He’s the type of person who says to work hard and you can reach anything. He instilled in me this confidence that I’m capable of doing anything.”

Aside from her father, her best friend from Binghamton also helped her to pursue a career. She made a big impact on helping Atav assimilate to America.

“Whenever I went to her saying, ‘this is too tough, I can’t do it anymore,’ she would say, ‘Just do it, there’s no way out, you just have to go and do it,’”Atav said.

Being at her last steps to receiving her Ph.D., she credits much of her passion for marketing to her old internship manager at Starbucks. Atav originally went to school for Political Science, but then wanted to try the corporate world. Her manager at Starbucks, where she interned in the Marketing department, was a “fierce woman” and influenced Atav to change her major to marketing.

“She pushed me really hard and made it tough, but it was an amazingly rewarding experience for me,” Atav said.

She noted that she had sent an email to her internship manager years later that read: “You were the reason why I decided to do an MBA, and look where it took me. Now I’m getting my Ph.D.”

Atav is truly grateful of all of the opportunities that have come her way.

“The reason why I really wanted to come to Mercyhurst was because when I came for my first interview, and when I had my campus visit, I really genuinely loved everyone I met,” Atav said.

Atav is expected to complete her dissertation from Binghamton University within the next few months.