Philip Mohr, affiliate professor of microbiology, retires

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Philip Mohr, Penn State affiliate professor of microbiology and director of undergraduate programs in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has retired after 35 years of service to Penn State. He joined Penn State in 1976 as a lecturer in microbiology, became an affiliate assistant professor in 1982, was promoted to affiliate associate professor in 1990, and was promoted to affiliate professor in 1998.

Mohr said his best memories of his years at Penn State are of watching students grow.

"It is particularly satisfying to see a microbiology student who starts off with minimal enthusiasm for the science suddenly 'catch fire' intellectually and academically," Mohr said. "I have seen so many students go on to honors programs and, eventually, to graduate or medical school."

Mohr added that his most important role as an advisor was helping students to identify what their passions were -- even when it turned out their passions were not for science.

"I remember counseling a particular student not to pursue science when I realized his true passion was for art. That student went on to have a very successful career in marketing and now he is a corporate vice president of a consulting company," Mohr said. "The best advice I can give to future Penn State students is that they follow their dreams. You should always be asking yourself, what makes you happy? What do you enjoy studying? Chances are that what you enjoy is also what you will be good at."

Mohr's service to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology includes membership on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Undergraduate Affairs Committee, the Computer Facilities Committee; and involvement with peer teaching evaluation, departmental strategic planning, and service as a mentor for junior faculty. At the university and college level, he has served as a member of the University Hearing Board, the Eberly College of Science Courses of Study Committee, the Health Sciences Preprofessional Evaluation Committee, the Health Professions Advisory Committee, and the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee. He also has served as a Penn State University Marshal, the faculty advisor for the Penn State student chapter of the American Society for Microbiology, and was involved in the creation of the new forensic-science major in the Eberly College of Science. Recognized for his excellence in teaching, Mohr was a recipient of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and the Tershak Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2000.

Mohr is a member of the American Society of Microbiology, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He earned doctoral and master's degrees at Lehigh University in 1976 and 1969, respectively. He earned a bachelor's degree at Muhlenberg College in 1967.

Mohr's retirement plans include travel, volunteer work, and pursuing his new hobby -- working with stained glass.

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Last Updated January 17, 2012