Phil Mulder Retires
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Phil Mulder, Jr., Entomology and Plant Pathology department head and professor, will officially retire on Aug. 1 after more than 36 years of service to Oklahoma State University Agriculture.
Mulder received a bachelor’s degree in Science Education from Ferris State College, in Big Rapids, Michigan, and master’s and doctoral degrees in entomology from Iowa State University.
He began his career as a research and extension technician with ISU in 1984. He then moved to Oklahoma and worked as an area extension entomology specialist where his work focused on control strategies for insects affecting alfalfa, peanuts and other variables.
In 1995, Mulder became an assistant professor and cooperative extension state entomologist at OSU, where his responsibilities included alfalfa, peanuts, commercial and homeowner fruit and nut trees, small fruits and 4-H and youth programs. He served as the department’s cooperative extension coordinator and as the department representative and chair for the OSU Agriculture Faculty Council.
Mulder has mentored six graduate students and served on numerous student committees. He also served as the advisor for the Sanborn Entomology Club. Under his leadership, the undergraduate entomology program has seen significant increase from five students in 2007 to over 70 in the fall of 2020.
Mulder has received numerous awards, including the Herman Hinrichs Pecan Citation Award from the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association, Oklahoma Fruit Growers Association Award of Merit and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from the Entomological Society of America. He has made more than 2,300 extension, media outreach and research presentations and has authored or co-authored more than 150 extension and research publications.
“My time and efforts at OSU have been rewarded by so many rich relationships with faculty, staff, students, and of course, our many other stakeholders,” Mulder said. “God has blessed my career and my life with so many wonderful colleagues and a very loving family and both have enriched my life beyond measure.”
After retiring, Mulder plans to spend most of his time with family, including his five
grandchildren. In addition, he has planted 130 pecan trees on his family farm north of Stillwater.