Dr. Karen Mancl

Demonstrating a devotion that transcends the intellectual and the occupational, Dr. Karen Mancl has made a planned gift that helped cement another research endowment in the field of wastewater treatment.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences appreciates the commitment from Dr. Mancl, herself a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and an internationally known expert on sewage treatment and water quality.

“Endowments are really about an opportunity for me to fill the important gaps in between what it takes to make a program exceptional, sustainable and vibrant versus one that just struggles and bounces along from grant to grant,” she said.

The Environmental Science Graduate Program Endowed Fund (#480514) is the second research endowment established by Mancl. In 2002, she set up The Wastewater Treatment Research Fund (#647577).

“You have to be thoughtful when you write an endowment statement. … When I’m gone, the endowment will continue on. It won’t have my name on it -- and that’s fine -- but it will continue to support that work,” she said.

In addition to appointment as professor, Dr. Mancl is a specialist for OSU Extension and a scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. She also works in China’s Shandong Province on new low-cost, low-maintenance rural wastewater treatment systems. Her research in bioreactors is being utilized throughout parts of Ohio and in China.

She holds a PhD in water resources from Iowa State University, an MS in environmental science from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in East Asian studies from The Ohio State University. Her BS in environmental science is from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay.

Describing herself as a pioneer in the college, Dr. Mancl is accustomed to overcoming obstacles along a unique path to success.

“In the 1970s and 1980s, the vision that people had was that a girl good in math and science would become a lab technician, nurse or teacher, not an environmental scientist, not an engineer,” she said. “I was fortunate to have had good advisors and mentors who gave me opportunities to succeed.”

She became the department’s first female faculty member and remained its only female faculty member for ten years. In fact, she is among the nation’s first female full professors in agricultural engineering.

Click here to see a partial list of the numerous publications and presentations made by Dr. Mancl in recent years.