Alumnus/biologist headlines research conference

Jan 10, 2013

Mike BoehmDr. Michael J. Boehm, a distinguished teacher and researcher in plant pathology, will deliver the keynote address as part of the 2013 “Minds at Work” Student Research Conference on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Boehm, a 1987 Heidelberg graduate who is currently the vice provost for academic and strategic planning and a professor at The Ohio State University, will give a presentation about his research and his career to the student presenters and the campus community. Dr. Boehm has graciously offered to spend some time after lunch talking to students about graduate school and other topics.

After he graduated from Heidelberg, Boehm went on to earn his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology from OSU. His widely published researches focuses on biology, ecology and management of fungal diseases of turfgrass of the kind used on golf courses and athletic fields, and on integrated management of Fusarium head blight of wheat, an area where he holds several patents.

After teaching at Oregon State University and Monmouth College early in his career, Boehm returned to OSU, where he developed new courses in bioterrorism and turfgrass disease management. His teaching is characterized by innovative uses of technology and real-world applications. He has received numerous teaching awards.

While enrolled at Heidelberg, Boehm joined the military reserves and served for 20 years. He was recalled to active duty as a microbiologist with the U.S. Navy after 9/11 and the intentional release of anthrax. His first-hand experience with bioterrorist led directly to his courses on the subject.

Boehm was named vice provost for academic and strategic planning in 2010. His responsibilities encompass capital planning, strategic planning and major academic initiatives. He continues to develop commercial applications for his patents and teaches one course a year on bioterrorism.

This year, Heidelberg is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Student Research Conference, which has three objectives:

  • To increase student interest and knowledge concerning academic research and scholarship
  • To recognize, honor and reward academic excellence
  • To give students an opportunity to experience the conference format of academic inquiry and to improve their critical thinking, writing and presentation skills in a professional format

Students from a wide variety of academic disciplines will present their research papers or other projects. The conference has grown significantly over its lifetime, and now includes nearly 100 presentations. 

Undergraduate papers judged to be exceptional are eligible for the Ernest and Martha Hammel Research Award and cash prizes. Those awards are announced in April as part of Heidelberg’s Student Awards Celebration.

The deadline to register to present at the conference is Friday, Jan. 25. Students can register online at