June 9, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University President Richard F. Wilson announced Tuesday that Chemistry Professor Ram Mohan has been awarded the Earl H. and Marian A. Beling Professorship in the Natural Sciences at Illinois Wesleyan.
“Endowed professorships honor faculty members who have distinguished themselves in terms of teaching, research, and service,” said Wilson. “Dr. Mohan is a recognized scholar, both nationally and internationally, and is an exemplary teacher and mentor for students at Illinois Wesleyan. We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments in this very special way.”
“I am both deeply honored and humbled to be named the Beling Professor,” said Mohan, who has been teaching at Illinois Wesleyan since 1996. “It offers great encouragement and validation for the work I have been doing at Illinois Wesleyan with our own students.” Mohan’s celebrated research is geared toward discovering environmentally friendly synthetic methods for chemists to use at pharmaceutical and other companies. His work is known worldwide and published in international journals.
“The Belings, who are remembered as humanitarians and philanthropists dedicated to their community and education, established the professorship because of their admiration for the liberal arts at Illinois Wesleyan and because of the quality of the IWU faculty,” said Ben Rhodes, associate vice president for advancement at Illinois Wesleyan. Earl Beling, who died in 1977, was the founder of Beling Engineering Consultants, which had offices throughout the Midwest. A resident of Moline, Ill., Mr. Beling was a former president of the Illinois Association of School Boards, and was one of the founders of Black Hawk College. Mrs. Beling, who died in 1970, was known for her volunteer work, and held several leadership positions with the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.
A 1985 graduate of Hansraj College in Delhi, India, Mohan earned his master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Delhi in 1987 and his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1992. Following that he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Throughout his academic and professional career, Mohan has received four research grants from the National Science Foundation, two from the American Chemical Society and one from Research Corporation.
Mohan and his team were honored at the American Chemical Society national conference in 2007 for co-authoring a 2004 article in the international journal Tetrahedron that became one of the 50 most-cited articles from 2004-2007. In 2006, the Chairmen of the European Research Council selected Mohan to attend a chemistry workshop in Belgium, and in 2003 he received the Young Observer Award from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Mohan was the 2002 winner of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Distinguished Alumnus Award, a 2001 winner of the national Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award and a recipient of Faculty Travel Awards from The American Chemical Society in 1997 and 1999.
During his time at Illinois Wesleyan, Mohan has co-authored 42 articles with University undergraduates as co-authors. A 2007 article was recognized internationally as an innovative study of the reactivity of ionic liquids. He has also been invited to speak at universities and institutes worldwide.
Contact: Nicole Travis ’11, (309) 556-3181