Who's Who of Professional Women


Katie Wilwohl

Katie Wilwohl, PhD, has been drawn to the field of biology since high school. After realizing she enjoyed teaching, she gravitated toward doing so at the college level, where she felt she could be more effective. Foremost, Dr. Wilwohl is known for genuinely caring about her students inside and outside the classroom. She strives to help create professionals who contribute greatly to their disciplines and communities.

A full professor of biology at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee, since 2013, Dr. Wilwohl is also a scientific researcher and a writer. She enjoys preparing lectures, advising students, and meeting with them to provide additional assistance as well as teaching labs. She also helps prospective graduates apply to graduate schools, find summer internships, and participate in research opportunities. Highly accomplished in microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, and research, Dr. Wilwohl maintains affiliations with the American Association of Immunologists, the American Society for Microbiology, the Biology Teachers Association, and the National Collegiate Honors Council.

In 1989, Dr. Wilwohl completed her undergraduate education at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science in biology. Later, she studied molecular biology and genetics at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she secured her Doctor of Philosophy in 1997. On the path leading to her current professorship at Bethel University, she garnered earlier experience as an adjunct professor at Camden County Community College and Middlesex Community College. Additionally, Dr. Wilwohl was a visiting professor at West Chester University from 2001 to 2002 and subsequently became an associate professor of biology at Clarke University, where she worked for a decade.

Outside of her primary professional endeavors, Dr. Wilwohl is active in her community, volunteering with libraries, local events, and at her church. Proud of throwing out the first pitch at softball games on two occasions, she was twice voted as the Educator of the Year by school athletes in 2007 and 2009 while teaching at Clarke University. In further recognition of her accomplishments as an educator, Dr. Wilwohl has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators. Among the obstacles she has faced and overcome throughout her career, the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to learn how to teach remotely. Thankfully, her daughter is technologically savvy and taught her much about the process. Dr. Wilwohl ended up teaching an entire academic year online, which she considers a very instructive and worthwhile experience. She is grateful for opportunities to serve her students in a variety of ways, including being available and open as a mentor. Among her professional achievements, she took the most pride in convincing more than a dozen of her students to consider working as science educators at the middle- and high-school levels.

Dr. Wilwohl hails from a multi-generational family of educators, as her paternal grandmother was a high school English teacher, and her father was a middle school educator. Grateful for the example her father set, she also credits her mother’s hard work as a pharmacist with inspiring her professional excellence. She is the oldest of seven children, most of whom work in education. Two of her sisters teach kindergarten and second grade, and one of her brothers is a high school biology teacher. Yet another brother is the dean of global studies at Providence College in Rhode Island, and another sister is the director of housing at Longwood University.

In the future, Dr. Wilwohl aims to stay busy and continue inspiring others to pursue their passions. She has been offered the opportunity to work with exceptional high school students in a program titled Gifted Gabber, where she will serve as the subject matter expert on infectious diseases. This is a voluntary position, and Dr. Wilwohl is excited about the opportunity to instill a love of science in the students.


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