Disney trip beckons, but first, a year as trustee Hanover student to serve on AACC board

July 21, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A year from now, as Terri M. Mohr participates in Anne Arundel Community College commencement ceremonies, she will conclude nearly 22 years of education with five words.

"I'm going to Disney World!" she said. "That's my dream. And I think I really am going to Disney World."

But for now, the 39-year-old Hanover resident is the new student member of the community college's board of trustees. Mohr, a general studies major and medical practice manager at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, replaced Scott C. Smith, who graduated in May.

Mohr is not complaining about her newest responsibility.

"I think it's wonderful," she said. "I want to be able to walk away from here after 22 years and say I experienced everything I could."

The youngest of the four children of Harold and Lowleda Whitwer of Brooklyn Park, Mohr graduated from Brooklyn Park High School in June 1974 and enrolled at the community college.

But taking 18 credits in her first semester and daily classes from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. wore her down.

"I almost died," Mohr joked. "It was tough when you're just 18 and you're just out of high school. It was a little too much."

So she dropped out of school and married Glenn Mohr, now band director at North County High School, in December 1975.

After working for several years at a local mall, Mohr took classes for six months at the Medix School in Glen Burnie, a vocational school that offered medical assistance training and medical secretarial training.

After she graduated in 1981, Mohr worked two years for a doctor in Glen Burnie. She then returned to Medix and taught for a year. In 1984, she began what would become 11 years as medical practice manager in oncology for Harbor Hospital.

And she continued to find the time for evening and weekend classes at the community college.

"My education is really important to me," she said. "I'm not going to school to be anything, but I'm going to school to get a degree and learn some skills that can help me do what I do."

"When I know that [the hospital is] going to be extremely busy or that they need me, I only take one class a semester," she said. "It's tough, but the support I get from my family allows me to do it."

Mohr said she had no intention of becoming a student trustee until after she wrote a letter last year to Martha A. Smith, the college president, detailing some changes the school should consider.

Mohr said Smith called her and asked her if she would like to be the student board member. After a lengthy interview and nomination process, Mohr was sworn in last week.

One of Mohr's primary goals is more services for part-time students. She said she would like to extend the hours of the Career Center and improve the advising department for part-time students.

Mohr also said she wants to create a stronger link between part-time and full-time students.

"I think we have a great opportunity for peer grouping," she said. "People who come to school during the day don't realize that the people who come to school at night are working in the very jobs that people who come to school during the day are competing for. It's almost a built-in mentoring program."

Mohr already has one supporter in Scott Smith, the trustee whom she replaced.

"I think she'll do fine," he said. "What I found is that the board responds strongly to the student members and wants input from them.

"She tends to take the initiative," he said. "So I think she'll be a very good addition to the board."

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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