Ryan Mehl '96
Associate professor of chemistry at Oregon State University

His spirit of collaboration began at Moravian

Dr. Ryan Mehl ’96 credits his successful career as a scientific researcher to the early years of his education at Moravian College and the collaborative spirit cultivated there.

Mehl is currently an associate professor of chemistry at Oregon State University in Covallis. He says it was at Moravian that he was challenged to be his most creative, innovative and collaborative, and it was this last quality that that honed his exceptional skills as a researcher in the field of engineering proteins.

"Because Moravian is a small, liberal arts school committed to educating the whole person, I was not indoctrinated into a standard way of doing science where you just throw lots of money at a problem. At Moravian, I learned to think differently; I did not have to conform."

In particular, Mehl remembers Dan Libby, a professor from whom he learned a great deal. "He had an unbelievable amount of energy, and he inspired me to do science."

Not only was Moravian's size not a deficit for the young scientist, Mehl says it was an enormous benefit. To do the type of groundbreaking research he became intrigued with required intellectual stretching, both by him and his professors.

"The attention and feedback I received was unsurpassed. I learned how to think through scientific problems, and I took that critical thinking skill with me to graduate school and used it to build my program at Franklin and Marshall," says Mehl. "The collaborative way I do research was seeded by my training at Moravian, and I carry many Moravian memories with me wherever I go,” he adds.

"I developed many close friendships, which I think would have been harder at a larger school. It was unique to think through life with them."


Ryan Mehl

"The collaborative way I do research was seeded by my training at Moravian."